Steampunk

Steampunk

3.1 16
by Ann VanderMeer
     
 

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Steampunk is Victorian elegance and modern technology: steam-driven robots, souped-up stagecoaches, and space-faring dirigibles fueled by gaslight romance, mad scientists, and oh-so-trim waistcoats. It’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Wizard of Oz, and The Golden Compass.

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Overview


Steampunk is Victorian elegance and modern technology: steam-driven robots, souped-up stagecoaches, and space-faring dirigibles fueled by gaslight romance, mad scientists, and oh-so-trim waistcoats. It’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Wizard of Oz, and The Golden Compass.

Replete with whimsical mechanical wonders and bold adventurers, this riveting anthology lovingly collects classic steampunk stories, pop culture–fueled discussions of steampunk, and essential recommended reading lists for the discerning steampunk fan.

From the editors of The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases and The New Weird, this is steampunk. Hang on tight.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The VanderMeers (The New Weird) have assembled another outstanding theme anthology, this one featuring stories set in alternate Victorian eras. Michael Moorcock, the godfather of steampunk, is represented by an excerpt from his classic novel The Warlord of the Air. In ‘Lord Kelvin’s Machine,’ a fine tale from prolific steampunk author James P. Blaylock, mad scientists plot to throw the Earth into the path of a passing comet, declaring that ‘science will save us this time, gentlemen, if it doesn’t kill us first.’ Michael Chabon’s vivid and moving ‘The Martian Agent, a Planetary Romance’ recounts the lives of two young brothers in the aftermath of George Custer’s mutiny against Queen Victoria, while historical fantasist Mary Gentle describes a classic struggle between safety and progress in ‘A Sun in the Attic.’ This is a superb introduction to one of the most popular and inventive subgenres in science fiction.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Chock full of brass, steam, diabolical engines, villains, Victorian aesthetics, romance, and humour...[a]n essential primer!”
—Jake Von Slatt, The Steampunk Workshop

“All stories contained in the anthology Steampunk collected by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer are of high quality.... Recommended for those who enjoy steampunk and those who want a diverse exposure to the possibilities within steampunk.”
SF Revu

“The VanderMeers’s anthologies seem to be establishing a new landmark for the aughts.... Blimey, guv’nor! Mission accomplished!”
The Fix

“It is as if a mad scientist had done all his shopping at Victoriana instead of Sharper Image.... [It] effectively captures what the steampunk genre is all about.”
Los Angeles Times

“...of all speculative fiction’s subgenres, steampunk is proving to be among the most popular and influential.... Anne and Jeff VanderMeer have gathered many of the gnarliest examples of the genre in their Steampunk anthology.”
Manchester Guardian

“...dark pseudo-Victorian fun...a great deal to offer the casual reader and the critic alike....”
SF Site

“...from the inception of Steampunk right up through today...a great book...I can’t put it down.”
BoingBoing.net

“This new collection of previously published stories spotlights some of the best short work in the subgenre.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“...if you want to go deeper into realms where high tech and the old world meet, be sure to pick up the Steampunk anthology....”
San Francisco Examiner

“The diversity of the sci-fi subgenre is amply demonstrated in this anthology.... Both fans of steampunk and readers for whom it’s a foreign concept should find this collection rewarding.”
Kirkus

“The VanderMeers, ardent steampunkers themselves, historically sample that fantasy genre, in which the Victorian era is reimagined to include Martian technology, steam-powered robots, airships, alchemy, and various anachronistic technologies.”
Booklist

“In addition to offering a quick-shot education in the history and development of the genre, it also contains some truly excellent short fiction. Recommended.”
FantasyLiterature.com

“The VanderMeers’ first Steampunk anthology (2008) can already be considered a classic.”
Tor.com

Publishers Weekly

The VanderMeers (The New Weird) have assembled another outstanding theme anthology, this one featuring stories set in alternate Victorian eras. Michael Moorcock, the godfather of steampunk, is represented by an excerpt from his classic novel The Warlord of the Air. In "Lord Kelvin's Machine," a fine tale from prolific steampunk author James P. Blaylock, mad scientists plot to throw the Earth into the path of a passing comet, declaring that "science will save us this time, gentlemen, if it doesn't kill us first." Michael Chabon's vivid and moving "The Martian Agent, a Planetary Romance" recounts the lives of two young brothers in the aftermath of George Custer's mutiny against Queen Victoria, while historical fantasist Mary Gentle describes a classic struggle between safety and progress in "A Sun in the Attic." This is a superb introduction to one of the most popular and inventive subgenres in science fiction. (June)

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Book Fetish
Demonstrate[s] beautifully just how expansive and imaginative this world of ours, the world of steampunk, can be.
Uncommon Places
Great new anthology of all things steampunk
Booklist
The VanderMeers, ardent steampunkers themselves, historically sample that fantasy genre, in which the Victorian era is reimagined to include Martian technology, steam-powered robots, airships, alchemy, and various anachronistic technologies.
Author Magazine
Represent[s] the best tradition of steampunk
Los Angeles Times
It is as if a mad scientist had done all his shopping at Victoriana instead of Sharper Image . . . effectively captures what the steampunk genre is all about.
Locus
Jeff VanderMeer is one of the most remarkable practitioners of the literary fantastic in America today.
boingboing.net
From the inception of Steampunk right up through today . . . a great book . . . I can't put it down.
Kirkus Reviews
The diversity of the sci-fi subgenre is amply demonstrated in this anthology of previously published stories, which are supported by a handful of new essays. The essays are rather dull-mostly just rote lists-and not nearly as informative as just reading the stories, which define a nearly indescribable mode and milieu of storytelling both clearly and broadly. Put simply, steampunk is sci-fi either set in or extrapolated from the Victorian era, the "steam" part of the term referring to the source of technology in the various fictional worlds. But as the stories here demonstrate, even that basic framework is easily stretched, and the writers in this collection do so with creativity and verve. Ranging from big names (Neal Stephenson, Michael Chabon, Michael Moorcock) to small, the contributors bring in elements of alternate history, pulp adventure fiction, high fantasy, cyberpunk and drawing-room farce to their tales. There's a wonderful deadpan humor to Molly Brown's story of a ladies' gardening society discovering how to terraform the moon; James Blaylock's account of a rivalry between gentleman scientists; and Paul Di Filippo's tale of an amphibian Queen Victoria impostor. Some stories do stray a little too far afield: Ian R. MacLeod's impressionistic origin myth for a utopian society and Mary Gentle's fable about the perils of progress are a long way from the dime-novel origins of steampunk described in one of the opening essays, and not really grounded in anything recognizably Victorian. At the same time, Ted Chiang's haunting "Seventy-Two Letters" creates a nearly unrecognizable society based as much in magic as technology, but it still captures something essential about itsVictorian setting. And even when a story's inclusion is questionable, the writing is never less than compelling. Both fans of steampunk and readers for whom it's a foreign concept should find this collection rewarding.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781892391759
Publisher:
Tachyon Publications
Publication date:
05/01/2008
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
416,598
Product dimensions:
6.35(w) x 8.97(h) x 1.00(d)

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