Corsets & Clockwork – Trisha Telep (Editor)

corsets-clockworkOn The Cover: Dark, urban fantasies come to life in the newest collection of Steampunk stories, Corsets & Clockwork. Young heroes and heroines battle evils with the help of supernatural or super-technological powers, each individual story perfectly balancing historical and fantastical elements. Throw in epic romances that transcend time, and this trendy, engrossing anthology is sure to become another hit for the fast-growing Steampunk genre!

Published: 2011

Why I Chose It: This collection grabbed my attention when I was searching for works by Maria V. Snyder. When I saw the description and list of authors I knew I had to give it a try!

 


 

The Review:

It is very rare in an anthology to like all of the stories it contains, and yet, somehow it has happened. Yes, there are stories in this collection that are very different from what I usually read, some that puzzled me and some that left me thinking, but all of them fascinated me. This collection could have easily been twice as long and I would have happily read it all. This is an extremely strong collection for anyone who likes fantasy or steampunk stories with a romantic element. It has a really great variety of writing and I can’t wait to check out more works by all of the authors.

Overall Rating: 5 / 5

 

My Favourites:

The Clockwork Corset – Adrienne Kress

I loved this story because it was both a solid romance and a solid steampunk. While this story started slow, it continued to get better and better until the ending, which had me totally head over heels. The ending was beautiful – both for the clockwork corset and the romance story. Kress’ story ended up being really sweet and definitely made me smile long after I was finished reading.

 

Tick, Tick, Boom – Kiersten White

This story could have easily been a full novel. I still kind of want this one to be a novel so that I can read it. I fell in love with Catherine within the first page, and her adventure had me tearing through the remainder of the story. I loved that Catherine built devices using pocket watches, and her involvement with the political world was fascinating. White does an amazing job of leaving you wanting more, and oh, do I want more.

 

King of the Greenlight City – Tessa Gratton

When I put down this book, this is the story I kept thinking about. I loved this story. In such a small writing space, Gratton creates an amazing world that has an incredible amount of detail. Not only was I totally swept away by the space in which the characters existed, the characters themselves were totally endearing. This was such a unique and powerful story, and the ending absolutely shocked me, and I simply cannot stop thinking about it. This was easily my favourite short story in the collection.

 


 

Quotations:

“That was the fascinating thing about iron. It could be crafted to look as delicate as a willow branch but still have all the strength of an oak. In this instance, the platform’s supports had been wrought to appear as twisting vines. The natural and the man-made creating a new kind of beauty.” (The Clockwork Corset, Adrienne Kress)

“From the window of the library in the Promethean Tower, Alys could see the crown of the Seventh. A giant model of the solar system turned there with an audible tick-tick-tick. The planets were gilded and silver-cast, glowing in the sunset all the colors of blood. A scattering of glass stars hung from the clockwork and caught the light too, dazzling her eyes. Each was the size of her skull, but from this distance seemed little more than pinpricks against the sky.” (King of the Greenlight City, Tessa Gratton)

 

The Collection:

Rude Mechanicals – Lesley Livingston
The Cannibal Fiend of Rotherhithe – Frewin Jones
Wild Magic – Ann Aguirre
Deadwood – Michael Scott
Code of Blood – Dru Pagliassotti
The Clockwork Corset – Adrienne Kress
The Airship Gemini – Jaclyn Dolamore
Under Amber Skies – Maria V. Snyder
King of the Greenlight City – Tessa Gratton
The Emperor’s Man – Tiffany Trent
Chickie Hill’s Badass Ride – Dia Reeves
The Vast Machinery of Dreams – Caitlin Kittredge
Tick, Tick, Boom – Kiersten White

Advertisements

Stargate: Rebellion – Bill McCay

Stargate RebellionOn the Cover: When the crack team of scientists and soldiers entered the “Stargate,” armed rebellion on a planet a million light-years away was the last thing on their minds. Now that it’s started, no one can ignore it – not commando Jack O’Neil, not renegade Egyptologist Daniel Jackson, and most of all not the newly freed people of Abydos.

Published: 1995

Why I Chose It: I grew up with both the Stargate movie and the tv show Stargate: SG-1, so I was excited to explore this universe in written form.

 


 

The Review:

This was a really interesting reading experience for me. I don’t think I’ve ever started a book that I’ve never read before, yet known as much about the universe as I do this one. I was really interested in the use of alien technology in the book, as that’s something that is very prevalent in the movie. McCay does very well at balancing the descriptions of these technologies. To an unfamiliar reader, he’s detailed enough to give a solid image of the technology; yet he does not drag on the descriptions as to bore those who are familiar. For me, McCay provided the perfect level of description for the technologies used, both man-made and alien-made.

The highlight in this novel was the action that takes place. There is a very strong use of military strategy within the movements of characters, and I loved that even when soldiers were simply regrouping there was always something interesting going on and I was always learning something more about the fight. McCay has a very strong ability to cover the action from different viewpoints at overlapping times and I loved being able to see the playing field from all angles. I definitely felt immersed in the action and it was incredibly enjoyable to read.

Stargate Hungarian Cover

My only real complaint about the novel was the dialogue. I often found that the conversations between characters felt manufactured in order to move the plot forward. There was an abruptness to the dialogue that made it feel unnatural. Still, the dialogue achieved its goal of moving the plot forward quickly, and on some level I was glad we could get back to the action and not sit around talking.

I enjoyed this book on so many levels and I already know I will re-read this one in the future. Stargate: Rebellion does a great job at examining the movie and saying, what happens next? It answers a few questions the movie doesn’t, and continues the story in a really believable way. If you have ever watched the tv show or movie, or are interested in the combination of ancient worlds with alien technology, totally check this one out!

Rating: 4 / 5

Stargate Audio Cassette

Quotations:

“Lockwood had traversed a million light-years by StarGate from Abydos to Earth. He’d moved forward in terms of civilization eight thousand years, from ancient Egypt to an ultramodern missile silo in Colorado. He’d survived a jet trip to Washington. But as he drove through the Virginia countryside to the Pentagon, he glanced at his gold watch, hoping he’d budgeted enough time to make his official appointment.” p 112

“To an exterior observer, the battleship Ra’s Eye made the transition from stardrive to normal space in a soundless blaze of glory. Vacuum, of course, does not transmit sound. But it does convey light, and at the moment of its appearance, incandescent sheets of luminescence emanated from each face of the starship’s pyramidal structure.” p 179

“An udajeet flashed over O’Neil’s Humvee, and all aboard ducked. But the antigravity glider was after bigger game. Its blast-cannon flashed, and something exploded from beyond the next dune.” p 240