Review: Steamypunk #s 1-5 (adult)

Steampunk Challenge Review # 2

Steampunk challenge

Five cutely bound stories, like chocolate in a gift box, seem the perfect package for erotica. Each volume was published by www.steamypunk.net

I purchased these a while back, but only read the first one. Since I’m using this Steampunk Challenge to work my way through the TBR pile, I thought this was a great time to give these confections a try. They are quick and dirty for the most part. Grading Steampunk elements in such short pieces is a tad difficult. Is it really cool wallpaper, a mere mention, or part of the story?

Without further ado, the Steamypunk Collection recap:

#1 A Man of the Waste by Margaret Killjoy

#2 A Pirate of Both Day & Night by Margaret Killjoy

#3 Emerson & Adalia by Dimitri Markotin

#4 Chaos Theory by Dimitri Markotin

#5 Emerson & Adalia Rob A House by Dimitri Markotin

#1 A Man of the Waste — This story while it does not have a recognizable Victorian setting, but it has tons of atmosphere and steam and gears. A young man fresh from the Waste is propositioned by an intriguing woman who then vanishes with no explanation only to reappear later with still less explanation. I loved the world building here and wouldn’t mind seeing more of it. The sex was definitely steamy and the story ends with a note of snide humor which I liked. (Best Story in the Lot)

#2 A Pirate of Both Day & Night — This is a f/f story aboard a full automated steam-driven pirate ship. No mast required. The premise is a one woman crew, raids merchant vessels and liberates it merchandise and a female sailor.

#3 Emerson & Adalia — Steampunk references: airships; mysterious beauty comes shows up uninvited to a ball where the son of a lord is smitten. Sex and crime ensue.

#4 Chaos Theory — is m/m/f story about a penniless scholar and two lecturers who take him under their wing? This story was only okay. It has some Steampunk wallpaper — a scientific theory, the mention of a horseless carriage, and flight in a dirigible. But, they are sort of incidental. Kind of boring with a funny line about poetry.

#5 Emerson & Adalia Rob A House — m/f/f;  Steampunk elements:??? Emerson and Adalia add a friend Edith to their first joint venture into screwing & looting.

Overall I’d say the collection was a C- . I know there is a limited number of things you can do in stories this small and that by their nature sex was a big part, but I wanted a little more Steampunk.

Other Notes:

♦ A while back I mentioned a collection that I enjoyed called Like Clockwork, like in any collection some of the stories are perfect and some go just a little beyond the pale. But, if you are interested in the steamier side of Steampunk that might be a place to start.

♦ Lavie Tidhar also shares her thoughts on sex, science, and Steampunk at the Mad Hatter.

Victorian Fact ( or a line of random text):

“The dandy is fundamentally theatrical being, abjectly dependent on the recognition of the audience he professes to disdain.” p22 Dandies and Desert Saints: Styles of Victorian Manhood by James Eli Adams

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The Steampunk Challenge is run by Rikki @ The Bookkeeper.

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Review: The Women of Nell Gwynne’s by Kage Baker

Steampunk Challenge Review # 1

Steampunk challenge

The Women of Nell Gwynne'sThe Women of Nell Gwynne’s by Kage Baker
Subterranean Press, 2009

This was a fun novella. A romp, if you will. Gothic estates, silly costumes, funny sex, cool Steampunk gadgets (that work within the plot), and a happy resolution. I purchased it from Amazon, and it sat on my shelf for over a year, because I tend to acquire books faster than I can read them. Like a hidden treasure, I pulled it from the shelf today and was entranced.

Lady Beatrice, suffered myriad atrocities and had the audacity not to die! Fighting her way home she found the only path open to her was that of a street-walker. Providence intervened and found her a ‘home’ at Nell Gwynne’s – a house (brothel) for ladies like her, to employ their talents in service of the crown. Supplied with the latest technological gadgets by their brother organization, The Gentleman’s Speculative Society, the ladies set off to locate a missing member of the GSS and to determine what a mysterious Lord is offering to auction off to the highest bidder.

It is a shame that I’ve discovered Kage Baker only after her death. I understand that her Company novels are very good and that the GSS, is supposed to be a precursor to them. This is a novella which craves a sequel and while I understand there will be a short something out at the end of this month, they’ve appended it to the paperback edition. I hate when they do that! There are some books I’m quite happy to buy over and over, and while I did enjoy this very much, it just isn’t a must have multiple copies type book.

This title was nominated for a Hugo and I believe that it won the 2009 Nebula.

Side note:

The word pinion, was used both in this book and in the Steampunk novella I read a few days ago. In both cases to mean, to restrain a person by binding their arms.  I haven’t seen the word much and then twice in two days!

Victorian Fact:

The Great Exhibition was Prince Albert’s idea, held in 1851, it was wildly successful. The building it was housed in, the Crystal Palace, was made in sections before hand and assembled on the scene which “anticipated many building methods later used throughout the 20th century,” according to The Victorians (Backgrounds to English Literature) by Aidan Cruttenden (page 12).

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The Steampunk Challenge is run by Rikki @ The Bookkeeper.

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (Oct. 4th)

Read:

The Thin Place by Kathryn Davis –I finished this book Sunday afternoon… it took two weeks to get through this very odd novel. And, after all is said and done I can’t say that I enjoyed it. Will discuss further this week.

“Lord Kelvin’s Machine” by James P. Blaylock — This was originally published in 1980 at the beginning of the Steampunk movement. It has been republished in Steampunk edited by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer.

Reading:

Steampunk edited by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer — I am reading this as the first book for the Rikki the Bookkeeper’s Steampunk Challenge. I chose this title because it reprints story and excepts from  Steampunk pieces dating back to 1971, plus a couple of non-fiction selections. I thought if we are going to explore a genre, it might be night to get a little foundation.

Blogs:

I looks like other blogs are gearing up for a Steampunk month. The Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf & Book Review looks like it is going to have a lot going on, including interviews and giveaways.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is organized by Sheila over at Book Journey. Be sure to stop by her site and read the great blogs of the other participates.

( On a personal note I continue to thank St. Jude, St. Rita, the Blessed Mother, and Heavenly Father for all the prayers they’ve answered and I continue to pray for their help and blessings.)

Steampunk Challenge

Steampunk challenge

I’ve read Steampunk for a while now, but with its recent explosion in popularity I suddenly have a back log of parts books in the genre. The Bookkeeper (only English word with three consecutive sets of double letters) aka Rikki is hosting a challenge to explore all things Steampunk.  Please visit the The Bookkeeper website and sign up if you are interested.

As I mentioned over on the Challenge website, I’ve been storing several books I should get to sooner rather than later.  But knowing me, I probably acquire a new shiny book and be off examining that before I realize it.

Steampunk by Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer
The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (Burton & Swinburne in) by Mark Hodder
The Affinity Bridge (Newbury & Hobbes Investigations) by George Mann
Steamed: A Steampunk Romance by Katie MacAlister
Blameless by Gail Carriger

October to October….. 1 year.