Losing Toys and Finding Solace 30/03/20
Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories
Publisher: Walker Books
This collection of 14 stories cleverly stretches the boundaries of the increasingly popular steampunk genre. As an introduction it works well, introducing many of the typical steampunk features and themes – clockwork and machinery, Victoriana, science fiction. But for those who are already fans of all things steampunk, this anthology will surprise you with its twists and reinventions.
Dylan Horrocks’ Steam Girl puts an especially ingenious spin on the genre. Horrocks sets up a story within a story, where a young boy and girl escape their modern US high school by narrating an imagined world of adventure and intrigue. 'I don’t like writing what’s real, because mostly what’s real is boring and sucks,' thinks the narrator as he sits in English class – which some would say could work as a sci-fi slogan. But through the developing relationship between the two young storytellers, Horrocks writes a romance that feels tender, real and far from boring.
For a complete change of setting, try Hand in Glove, Ysabeau S Wilce’s noir-ish crime thriller. Or The Last Ride of the Glory Girls by Libba Bray, a Wild West-set adventure with outlaws, double-crossing and a fantastically daring heroine.
It’s a rich anthology with plenty of depth, that brilliantly illustrates the potential and the excitement of the steampunk genre.