The Omnibus Of Doctor Bill Shakes And The Magnificent Ionic Pentatetrameterby Matthew Delman (Editor), Jaymee Goh (Editor), Jennifer Castello (Contribution by), Olivia Waite (Contribution by), Rebecca Fraimow (Contribution by)
- Doctor Fantastique Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.59(d)
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The Omnibus of Doctor Bill Shakes and the Magnificent Ionic Pentatetrameter: A Steampunk Shakespeare's Anthology based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
(Full disclosure: I've had issues with co-editor and contributor Jaymee Goh's criticisms of "The Windup Girl" by Paolo Bacigalupi, and I submitted a story for this anthology that was rejected, but that hasn't influenced my opinion of the book.) I wish the editors could have chosen a title that indicates at a glance that these are steampunk Shakespeare stories (yes, it's in the subtitle on the cover, but the Barnes and Noble search didn't turn up any results for "steampunk Shakespeare"). That said, the biggest failing in these stories is that they don't tell a complete story, only non-self-contained vignettes from the plays. Most have good ideas that I would like to see more fully developed, such as "Measure for Steel-Sprung Measure," but they just end. Others merely add steampunk props to Shakespeare without making any other changes. I thought "A Midsummer Night's Steam" got it exactly right, transforming virtually the whole play from fantasy to steampunk science fiction in an entertaining way. "Much Ado About Steam Presses," "Leo’s Mechanical Queen" (based on "The Winter’s Tale") and "The Malefaction of Tybalt’s Mechanical Armature" (from “Romeo and Juliet”) -- came close to being complete or self-contained stories; I'm glad I've read them and hope to see more by the authors in the future. At the other end of the spectrum, "The Misfiring Love Piston of Sir John Autumnrod" tries to move the plot of "Henry IV, Part Two" to the American Civil War, with Lincoln in place of King Henry, Grant in place of Prince Hal and the fictional Autumnrod in place of Falstaff. It's long and labored; I didn't think it worked and was in no sense entertaining. I hope someone will try something like this again. I'd rate this two-and-a-half stars if that was an option; since it's not, I rounded it up to three.