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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Book Review: Steam and Steel: Thirteen Riveting Tales Edited by D. M. Patterson

Steam and Steel: Thirteen Riveting Tales
Edited by D. M. Patterson
Contributors: Valentine Wolfe, David Lee, Michael Parodi, Matt and Lori DeLoach, S. A. Cosby, Jeanne Lark Wilkins, D. M. Patterson, Hunter Royall, Charlie Stayton, Stephen Chapman, J.M. Lee, Nicole R. Ordway, and Fred El Maafer.
December 1, 2017
190 pages
Publisher: HCS Publishing
ASIN: ISBN: 9781981189410
We invite you to find a comfortable spot and settle in for thirteen remarkable stories based on the imagination of the authors of HCS Publishing. This anthology focuses on our love of the Steampunk genre and each individual’s interpretation of bringing gadgets to life. Tales of time travel, war, mechanical mermaids, flying apparati, finding love, and losing loved ones, are all themes we hope will entertain and inspire you.

Steam & Steel: Thirteen Riveting Tales is a steampunk anthology. Not only are there thirteen stories and poetry, but illustrations, too. Be careful what you wish for when you think with time, you might be bargaining with the Devil in “The Morgan Aeronautical” by David Lee. In Stephen Chapman’s story, “The Crimson Curmudgeon,” an ill-tempered gun is used to capture a villain. Jill charges her landship into battle to recapture a well in D. M. Patterson’s reworking of the Jack and Jill nursery rhyme into the story, “To Fetch a Pail of Water.” Valentine Wolfe leads the anthology in a lovely poem, “Taphophilia,” in finding beauty in death. In “Mabel” by J. M. Lee, a doctor replaces legs with mechanical fins on children and on adults (beginning with soldiers during the Civil War). The kids and their parents lived in an underwater colonization under the Chesapeake Bay, named “Atlantis” after the mythological city. Over the years, the doctor has noticed babies born without legs, making it easy to put on the fins. Mabel receives her tail for the first time, and each night in her dreams she swims, doing it in real time like a sleepwalker, only she was a sleepswimmer.

The stories I enjoyed were “Memories of Amethyst,” “Mabel,” “To Fetch a Pail of Water,” the poem, “Taphophilia,” and “Diebus Tarde.” The rest were either just okay, or they didn’t work for me.

If you enjoy steampunk, you might read these stories to fine new authors.

I give Steam & Steel: Thirteen Riveting Tales 3 1/2 sheep.

Pamela K. Kinney

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