The Mammoth Book of Steampunk

Sean Wallace, Editor
Edited by Sean Wallace. Running Press, $13.95 trade paper (512p) ISBN 978-0-7624-4468-7
Reviewed on: 04/23/2012
Release date: 06/01/2012
Paperback - 489 pages - 978-1-84901-736-7
Open Ebook - 337 pages - 978-1-78033-135-5
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World Fantasy Award–winning editor Wallace (Fantasy) has compiled an outstanding anthology of 30 stories (including four originals) sure to satisfy even the most jaded steampunk fans and engage newcomers and skeptics. The best steampunk writers, as Ekaterina Sedia says in her introduction, are engaged in an “examining and interrogation of the past”—critiquing historical sexism and racism via the possibilities created by fantastical technology. The results are delightful: the blinkered male narrator of Cat Rambo’s “Clockwork Fairies,” the steam-powered burlesque of Caitlin R. Kiernan’s “The Steam Dancer (1896),” the lonely Australian wife of Margo Lanagan’s Bluebeardesque “Machine Maid,” and the chameleonic political activist at the center of Catherynne M. Valente’s “The Anachronist’s Cookbook.” Aliette de Bodard and Tobias S. Buckell offer vivid re-imaginings of the Aztecs, and Shweta Narayan and Amal El-Mohtar’s stories take place in fantastic versions of the Middle East and India. Each story exemplifies steampunk’s knack for critiquing both the past and the present, in a superb anthology that demands rereading. (June)
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