Steampunk Trilogy

Steampunk Trilogy

2.8 5
by Paul Di Filippo
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1497626587

ISBN-13: 2901497626583

Pub. Date: 07/08/2014

Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media LLC


An outrageous trio of novellas that bizarrely and brilliantly twists the Victorian era out of shape, by a master of steampunk alternate history

Welcome to the world of steampunk, a nineteenth century outrageously reconfigured through weird science. With his magnificent trilogy, acclaimed author Paul Di Filippo demonstrates how this unique subgenre

Overview


An outrageous trio of novellas that bizarrely and brilliantly twists the Victorian era out of shape, by a master of steampunk alternate history

Welcome to the world of steampunk, a nineteenth century outrageously reconfigured through weird science. With his magnificent trilogy, acclaimed author Paul Di Filippo demonstrates how this unique subgenre of science fiction is done to perfection—reinventing a mannered age of corsets and industrial revolution with odd technologies born of a truly twisted imagination.

In “Victoria,” the inexplicable disappearance of the British monarch-to-be prompts a scientist to place a human-lizard hybrid clone on the throne during the search for the missing royal. But the doppelgänger queen comes with a most troubling flaw: an insatiable sexual appetite. The somewhat Lovecraftian “Hottentots” chronicles the very unusual adventure of Swiss naturalist and confirmed bigot Louis Agassiz as his determined search for a rather grisly fetish plunges him into a world of black magic and monsters. Finally, in “Walt and Emily,” the hitherto secret and quite steamy love affair between Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman is revealed in all its sensuous glory—as are their subsequent interdimensional travels aboard a singular ship that transcends the boundaries of time and reality.

Ingenious, hilarious, ribald, and utterly remarkable, Di Filippo’s The Steampunk Trilogy is a one-of-a-kind literary journey to destinations at once strangely familiar and profoundly strange.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2901497626583
Publisher:
Open Road Integrated Media LLC
Publication date:
07/08/2014
Pages:
396

Table of Contents

Contents

VICTORIA,
1. POLITICS AT MIDNIGHT,
2. A TRAIN STRAIGHT TO CHINA,
3. THE MAN WITH THE SILVER NOSE,
4. A WOMAN CALLED OTTO,
5. THE FATAL DANCE,
6. TREACHERY AT CARKING FARDELS,
7. WHAT EVERYONE ELSE KNEW,
HOTTENTOTS,
1. THE FACE OF AN APE,
2. SINUS PUDORIS,
3. WHALE BONES,
4. WHAT THE POSTMAN BROUGHT,
5. A STICKY SITUATION,
6. ONE OR ONE HUNDRED?,
7. SEWING ON A BUTTON,
8. A FISH'S STORY,
9. MOBY DAGON,
WALT AND EMILY,
1. "MORNING MEANS JUST RISK—TO THE LOVER",
2. "DEATH IS THE SUPPLE SUITOR",
3. "THE SOUL SELECTS HER OWN SOCIETY",
4. "INEBRIATE OF AIR—AM I—",
5. "MICROSCOPES ARE PRUDENT IN AN EMERGENCY",
6. "BY WHAT MYSTIC MOORING SHE IS HELD TODAY",
7. "HOPE IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS",
8. "THE SPIRIT LOOKS DOWN ON THE DUST",
9. "LAND HO! ETERNITY!",
10. "DROPPED INTO THE ETHER ACRE—WEARING THE SOD GOWN",
11. "THE GRASS SO LITTLE HAS TO DO, I WISH I WERE A HAY",
12. "HOW ODD THE GIRL'S LIFE LOOKS BEHIND THIS SOFT ECLIPSE",
13. "THERE WAS A LITTLE FIGURE PLUMP FOR EVERY LITTLE KNOLL",
14. "AN EAR CAN BREAK A HUMAN HEART AS QUICKLY AS A SPEAR",
ABOUT THE AUTHOR,

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The Steampunk Trilogy 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Urthwild More than 1 year ago
This is actually a collection of three novellas, ‘Victoria’, ‘Hottentots’ and ‘Walt and Emily’. In ‘Victoria’, we find ourselves firstly in 1838 in the company of Cosmo Cowperthwait a hit and miss inventor, with few redeeming features. By his side at almost all times is his faithful manservant, Nails McGroaty, the only albeit dim light in a dull story. In ‘Hottentots’, we have our main focus on Swiss scientist Louis Agassiz an odious virulently racist philandering little twerp, again with no redeeming features. Leaving his wife and children behind he heads off to America to give the populace the benefit of his combined wisdom in medicine, palaeontology, ichthyology and zoology, amongst other subjects. He tells us not once, but several times his loathsome feelings on miscegenation. You can therefore understand his chagrin when a white South-African and his black Hottentot wife ask for his help in regaining a magical artefact, only when he realizes that there might be something in it for him does he readily agree. What then follows is a romp searching for a 3ft African witch doctor before he can cast a much dreaded spell. Being as we have been so focused on Agassiz’s racism, it should come as no shock that it will be used against him as the story progresses. If both he and the reader were meant to learn something worthwhile as a result, the test failed spectacularly for this reader. The worst crime in this novella, the speech patterns of the South African character Jacob Cezar,’You know arse. Finally, ‘Walt and Emily’, instead of an odious little man we get an odious little woman as our lead. Was real life poet Emily Dickinson really that bad? All three were over long, containing far too much filler and might have made a better impression if they had been sharpened down to short story length. If many of the supporting casts had been allowed to develop, they would have provided better foils for the three unpleasant leads. My plea, do not let this volume put you off reading other works by Di Filippo. My verdict disappointing. Received from the publisher for an honest review on Darkness Beckons. Urthwild
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tedious and unreadable bit of formula writing. Historical names and events shuffled in with sf tropes and stuck together with pointless and suprisingly uninteresting sex scenes.
LoraMLM More than 1 year ago
This book is comprised of three stories reportedly in the popular Steampunk genre, all written by Paul Di Filippo. They are decidedly mock-Victorian alternative history, lack any of the attendant steam technology which is the defining factor of Steampunk. I found the first story, Victoria, immediately atmospheric, though some descriptions seemed overly complicated and a few sentences near the beginning were overly long. I soon got involved in the story and established that it is about Queen Victoria and an entity called a 'Hellbender' that might explain some of the conspiracy theorists' speculations that the Royal Family are actually lizard people. The book displayed a more extensive vocabulary than many modern books exhibit and a rather fantastical plot wherein the Alchemically transformed newt-creature (ala Dr Moreau) impersonates the queen. There are cameo appearances by such entities as Dickens, Tennyson, Lord Byron and John Ruskin as well as a Parody American character called Nails McGroaty, though the story is mostly from the point of view of Mr. Cosmo Cowperthwait, a tongue-in-cheek version of a Victorian English gentleman who experiments with a method of Uranium based transportation, with predictably disastrous results. The story is rather whimsical, yet most of the research rings true, keeping in mind that liberties have to be taken in Alternative Histories. There is only a time or two when an American term sneaks in to give away the author's nationality. The prolific use of guns also reflects a particularly American attitude. There was a surprising twist near the end of this story and it did hold interest, if not believability. It was actually rather fun. I didn't quite know what to make of the second story, Hottentots. It is about a rather extremely racist scientist who compares mixed-race breeding with cross-species taxidermy and finds himself dealing with a back woman who has been a side show for nothing more than looking different from the average Caucasian. He refers to "Negroes" and I wasn't sure if the author might be racist or whether he was incredibly brave in creating such an offensive character. He is accompanied by this woman and her husband, an associate of his that has a dodgy mock-Germanic accent as they go on a voyage to find a Fetiche which is supposed to relate to some form of black magic. As Rosicrucians and Satanists were mentioned in the same sentence, followed by a reference to 'Hand of Glory' (from Santeria) and then "Hermetic herbs", bringing Alchemy into the equation, I have to conclude that research about magic for the story was non-existant. There were cameo appearances by Herman Melville and Darwin. The third story, Emily and Walt, involved a relationship between the two poets, Emily Dickenson and Walt Whitman. I'm not overly knowledgeable about the lives of poets, so I don't know if such a liaison could or might have ever taken place. This one also involved two abortions from the hapless Emily Dickenson and a spiritualist quest to seek communication with her unborn children. It was all a bit surreal. The writing itself is very good, but I found the second and third stories a little disjointed, too obsessed with genitalia, and generally less interesting than the first story, which I quite enjoyed despite the fact that there was not an airship in sight or any form of alternative steam technology that would have justified labeling the book as Steampunk.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago