Extraordinary Engines [Amazon link]
The Definitive Steampunk Anthology
Edited by Nick Gevers
I received this book for free as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.
I was disappointed with this book. Calling the book "definitive" is a stretch, but I was willing to let that pass. What truly disappointed me is the poor quality of the stories. Poorly written, clichéd, and heavy-handed are all terms that come to mind. To me the term steampunk brings to mind the works of Tim Powers and James Blaylock. I have enjoyed the works of both of those authors [I never liked Jeter, too Gnostic for my taste], and I hoped for more of the same. My hopes were dashed. I would never have purchased this book.
That being so, let me look briefly upon the two stories within this volume that I did enjoy.
Steampunch - James Lovegrove
There is just something about Mars that makes it a good place for a penal colony. Lots of authors have done this, it just seems right. Of all the stories in this volume, this one had the best look and feel.
The Lollygang Save the World on Accident - Jay Lake
Madcap, with the sense of a larger world that the story is embedded within. Only remotely steampunk, but I still liked the story.
I do not plan on ever reading anything by the authors in this collection, so it has basically failed to do its job. Life is just too short to read bad books.