Gears, girls, and golems grind their way across the world from Russia to Africa in this Kickstarter-funded collection edited by Hans (Sidekicks!) that takes the steampunk genre into unfamiliar territory with varying results. Jay Lake's "Shedding Skin or How the World Came to Be," which mixes mechanical constructs into creation myth, and Ken Liu's "Good Hunting," which depicts the rise and fall of Chinese magic, bookend a wide range of ideas. Among the best are Marlon Edwards's "Mary Sundown and the Clockmaker's Children" wherein a creation of hope fights to stop one built out of fear; "The Emperor Everlasting" by Nayad A. Monroe, with a clever engineer who is "married" to a mechanical god and trying to foil the machinations of a rival wife; and "The Firebird" by Emily B. Cataneo, which pits two hybrid aristocrats against the Russian Revolution. While there are some clunkers, the best stories open up ideas about the future of steampunk. (May)
Reviewed on: 02/23/2015 Release date: 05/01/2014 Genre: Fiction
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