Steampunk! edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant

4/13/2012 – Welcome to the world of Steampunk Literature for young adults! This anthology of stories by fourteen authors, including the likes of Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty), Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices), Garth Nix (Sabriel, Mister Monday), and Delia Sherman (Changeling). These are steampunk genre stories based everywhere in the world and time EXCEPT Victorian London.

When I saw this book, I almost leaped on it. I love steampunk literature! I’ve taught it to 8th graders before and had a fantastic time. I love the fantasy of the genre and the creativity of it.

6/22/2012 –  This book gave me a great  evening of reading last night. I started at the end, starting with the story “Everything Amiable and Obliging” by Holly Black. Set in Victorian London, Sofie has become a “guest” in her aunt’s townhouse after the death of her father. The young heiress is being foisted upon her cousin Valerian by her aunt, though she is determined to do her duty by her family to accept him if the offer is made.

This is a world where automatons, mechanical servants, and “smart” houses with a central hub that control all of the automatons, who live only to serve their masters and mistresses. Sofie shies from automatons. She finds their humanistic features, porcelain skin, and jerky mechanical movements chilling, and everyone’s complacency with and acceptance of these machines unreal.

The next story I read was “The Oracle Machine” by M.T. Anderson. Set in ancient Rome with steampunk technology, Anderson weaves the brief but memorable story of Marcus Furius, a story of pain and genius. Anderson coils  flying machines, horseless chariots, tanks, and bombs in with the myths of Daedalus and Icarus, the tales of the razing and salting of Carthage. I adored this story, loved the history rewritten with science fiction. Simply fabulous!

If you enjoy steampunk stories, I wholly recommend this book as it stretches the steampunk genre out of Britain and into the Wild West of America, into Candana, ancient Rome, and beyond. It’s a clockwork world, Victoria!

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