Friday, July 27, 2012

Corsets & Clockwork edited by Trisha Telep

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!


Genre: steampunk, short stories

Rating: 4/5

 If I've learned anything making book categories for the school library, it's that steampunk is the new black. Well, steampunk and zombies, but I'll get to that at a later date. Expecting to have a little trouble finding YA steampunk that was actually steampunk, I was shocked to find quite a bit of it. I'm assuming Scott Westerfield's Leviathan and Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices series to have something to do with that. While vampires and werewolves have been cashing in on the YA industry since they realized that YA is the new cash cow of publishing, other niche genres have started to expand wildly. Zombies, steampunk, faeries, angels, mermaids, and dystopian novels of every shape and form have popped up when publishers realized that YA is were the money is. I found so many dystopian novels I had to break them down into different KINDS of dystopian novels. Zombie novels everywhere. More mermaids than I even thought you could write about. Angel books all over with two series I have struggled to keep apart since they were published (seriously, both the Fallen and Hush,Hush series LOOK ALIKE and have confused me forever). So I guess it's not surprising steampunk has also made a good showing (sometimes involving zombies and other supernaturals, a combination I found more than once). 

That being said, these are a solid introduction to a lot of different aspects of the genre. There are more lyrical offerings, some that are quite bloody, some taking place in very random places, alternate history, and plenty of fantasy steampunk. There's even one dealing with the 1950s. I realize that some people need some getting used to with steampunk. The fantastic but not quite aspect of the genre sometimes hangs up readers who are too literal (WHY DON'T THEY HAVE COMPUTERS? WHY IS EVERYONE IN BUSTLES?) and this is a good smattering of a lot of different features of the category. Just like some people like some types of dystopian and not others (those who like survival dystopias may not be so keen on more elegant ones like Wither or Delirium), some types of steampunk are more cut out for some people. Those who like Clockwork Prince may not necessarily like Leviathan.

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