Steampunk

Steampunk

Paperback

Edited by Ann Vandermeer, Edited by Jeff Vandermeer

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  • Publisher: Tachyon Publications
  • Format: Paperback | 373 pages
  • Dimensions: 161mm x 228mm x 25mm | 428g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2008
  • Publication City/Country: San Francisco, CA
  • ISBN 10: 1892391759
  • ISBN 13: 9781892391759
  • Sales rank: 42,424

Product description

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.

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Author information

Ann VanderMeer is the Hugo Award--winning editor of Weird Fiction Review. She was the fiction editor at Weird Tales and the publisher of Buzzcity Press, work for which received the British Fantasy, International Horror Guild, and Rhysling awards. An expert on Victoriana, she is the co-editor of the bestselling World Fantasy Award--nominated Steampunk series. Her other anthologies include the Best American Fantasy and Leviathan series, The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases, The New Weird, and Last Drink, Bird Head. Jeff VanderMeer is the best-selling author of City of Saints and Madmen, the noir thriller Finch, and the quintessential guide to writers, Booklife. His award-winning novels have made the year's best lists at Publishers Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Wall Street Journal. His nonfiction and reviews have appeared in Washington Post Book World, the Huffington Post, and the New York Times Book Review.

Review quote

"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

Editorial 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 its Victorian 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. (Kirkus Reviews)

Table of contents

Preface by Jeff and Ann VanderMeer "Introduction: The Nineteenth-Century Roots of Steampunk" by Jess Nevins "Steampunk in Comics" by Bill Baker "The Giving Mouth" by Ian R. Macleod "Lord Kelvin's Machine" by James P. Blaylock "The God-Clown Is Near" by Jay Lake "The Steam Man of the Prairie and the Dark Rider Get Down" by Joe R. Lansdale "A Sun in the Attic" by Mary Gentle "The Martian Agent, a Planetary Romance" by Michael Chabon "Benediction: Warlord of the Air" excerpt by Michael Moorcock "The Selene Gardening Society" by Molly Brown "Excerpts From the Third and Last Volume of the Tribes of the Pacific Coast" by Neal Stephenson "Victoria" by Paul Di Filippo "Reflected Light" by Rachel E. Pollock "Steampunk in Pop Culture" by Rick Klaw "Minutes of the Last Meeting" by Stepan Chapman "Seventy-Two Letters" by Ted Chaing