Clockwork, Curses, and Coal: An Anthology of Steampunk and Gaslamp Fairy Tales

Edited by Rhonda Parrish. World Weaver, $15.95 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-1-73405-451-4
For this fun anthology, Parrish (Hollow) brings together 14 gritty fairy tale–inspired stories set in steampunk and gaslamp fantasy worlds. “The Iron Revolution” by Christina Ruth Johnson is one of the more fantastical stories, drawing from “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Princess and the Pea,” and “Cinderella” to tell the tale of a Victorian-era exhibition of works of artifice from around the world. “Clockwork Tea,” Joseph Halden’s take on “Pinocchio,” borders on horror, as a man confesses his lies to automaton companions before violently dismantling them. Similarly dark are “Father Worm” by Adam Breckenridge, about a girl fighting to save her town, and “Ningyō” by Laura VanArendonk Baugh, about two monks who survive an airship crash. “Sappho and Erinna” by Lex T. Lindsay, an enchanting love story based on “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” and “The Giant and the Unicorn” by Alethea Kontis, which feels the most like a children’s tale, add some welcome levity to the mix. The technological flights of fancy are always intriguing, and fairy tale lovers will enjoy deducing the inspiration for each tale. Readers will not be disappointed. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/07/2021
Release date: 03/02/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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