cover image Steampunk! 
An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories

Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories

Edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant. Candlewick, $22.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-7636-4843-5

Veteran editors Link and Grant serve up a delicious mix of original stories from 14 skilled writers and artists. Among the many high points: Cassandra Clare’s creepy “Some Fortunate Future Day,” in which a lonely girl, grown bored with her sentient clockwork dolls, develops a crush on a wounded soldier; Libba Bray’s subversively funny “The Last Ride of the Glory Girls,” which concerns a girl gang robbing trains and dirigibles on another planet (presumably a future Mars) heavily reminiscent of the Old West; Holly Black’s humorous and romantic “Everything Amiable and Obliging,” whose heroine, a rich orphan, must deal with her feelings toward her cousin and persuade his sister not to marry her clockwork dance instructor; and M.T. Anderson’s magisterial “The Oracle Engine,” which explores the political complexities resulting from the Roman Empire’s development of a Rube Goldberg–like supercomputer. Chockful of gear-driven automatons, looming dirigibles, and wildly implausible time machines, these often baroque, intensely anachronistic tales should please steampunks of all ages. As the lovelorn, mechanically gifted “hero” of comics artist Shawn Cheng’s contribution says, “The world is a machine. Imperfect parts together in a perfect arrangement.” Ages 14–up. (Oct.)