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Extraordinary Engines: The Definitive Steampunk Anthology (2008)

by Nick Gevers (Editor)

Other authors: Kage Baker (Contributor), Keith Brooke (Contributor), Jeffrey Ford (Contributor), Jay Lake (Contributor), Margo Lanagan (Contributor)7 more, James Lovegrove (Contributor), Ian R. MacLeod (Contributor), James Morrow (Contributor), Robert Reed (Contributor), Adam Roberts (Contributor), Jeff VanderMeer (Contributor), Marly Youmans (Composer)

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3441557,537 (3.48)18
"Extraordinary Engines is a collection of all-original stories from some of science fiction and fantasy's foremost writers. This anthology collects a vibrant and eclectic range of Steampunk-inspired stories by Kage Baker, Keith Brooke, Jeffrey Ford, Jay Lake, Margo Lanagan, James Lovergrove, Ian R. MacLeod, James Morrow, Robert Reet, Adam Roberts, Jeff VanderMeer and Marly Youmans."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
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» See also 18 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
I debated if I wanted to give it less than three stars, but in the end there is enough in the book to warrant at least a look. This is certainly not a "definitive" anthology, but it does have some good gems in it. The problem is it also has some pretty bad duds, and you have to sort them out. If you kept up with status updates as I read it, you will see that I found the book overall hit and miss. Some stories were really good, and others were not. When the book "worked," it was good. When it did not, I wanted to drop it. So, what worked for me:

*The first story, which kind of reminded me a bit of an early Heinlein.

*The Company story (I think that was Kage Baker's). It does capture a bit of the steampunk feel and scene, and it was good enough that I may seek out other novels in the The Company series.

*"Petrolpunk" was probably my favorite if not one of my favorites in the series.

*And "American Cheetah" gave an interesting look at one of the American presidents, with robots.

*Other stories varied. The wife revenge tale was interesting for the twist it offered, but I was not particularly thrilled with it (in other words, it was ok).

So read it, but keep your expectations in the average range. I told you the stories that worked for me. You may find others work better for you, so to speak. It is a decent anthology, and it has some good examples of steampunk. But it is not definitive.

( )
  bloodravenlib | Aug 17, 2020 |
As with many anthologies this is a little bit of a mixed bag, although on the whole the stories are excellent. The opener, 'Steampunch' by James Lovegrove, is for me far the weakest effort. Each of the other stories either presents an original take on the genre - 'The Lollygang Saves the World on Accident', 'Static', Petrolpunk - or, like Margo Lanahan's 'Machine Maid' use the tropes of the genre to excellent and chilling effect.

Well worth a read as an introduction to Steampunk and perhaps some unfamiliar authors. ( )
  Pezski | Jun 8, 2017 |
This was an amazing anthology. If you've got any love, or interest in, the steampunk genre, get this anthology. If you already read steampunk, this one will jump to the front of your favorites. If you haven't read steampunk, but you're kinda curious, this is the perfect introduction. There are examples in this anthology of what the genre can do when in the hands of truly talented writers. (ya... I'm talking to you Mr. Vandermeer) ( )
  JohnnyPanic13 | Apr 3, 2013 |
This was an amazing anthology. If you've got any love, or interest in, the steampunk genre, get this anthology. If you already read steampunk, this one will jump to the front of your favorites. If you haven't read steampunk, but you're kinda curious, this is the perfect introduction. There are examples in this anthology of what the genre can do when in the hands of truly talented writers. (ya... I'm talking to you Mr. Vandermeer) ( )
  JohnnyPanic13 | Apr 3, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
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. ( )
  bespen | Dec 9, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gevers, NickEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baker, KageContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brooke, KeithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ford, JeffreyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lake, JayContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lanagan, MargoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lovegrove, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
MacLeod, Ian R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morrow, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Reed, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Roberts, AdamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
VanderMeer, JeffContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Youmans, MarlyComposersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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My profound thanks to Christian Dunn and George Mann at Solaris for all their help on this project, and their confidence in its success. My gratitude to all the contributing authors also, for sterling work under a sometimes stringent deadline. And I dedicate this book to Peter Crowther, boss, mentor, and colleague, in token of his general inspiration as well as his invaluable assistance on the paperwork.
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Introduction: Steampunk is a particularly engaging, entertaining, as well as thematically resonant, subgenre of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
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"Extraordinary Engines is a collection of all-original stories from some of science fiction and fantasy's foremost writers. This anthology collects a vibrant and eclectic range of Steampunk-inspired stories by Kage Baker, Keith Brooke, Jeffrey Ford, Jay Lake, Margo Lanagan, James Lovergrove, Ian R. MacLeod, James Morrow, Robert Reet, Adam Roberts, Jeff VanderMeer and Marly Youmans."--BOOK JACKET.

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Ladies and gentlemen! Presenting Steampunk, the hottest new trend in fiction, where the grandeur of Victoriana blends with modern technology. Enter a world where robot pugilists perform for your amusement; where famous literary figures of yesteryear rail against the ceaseless tide of scientific advancement; a world with automated harlots, brass submersibles, and airships!
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