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Broken Time Blues: Fantastic Tales in the Roaring '20s Paperback – July 21, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: Absolute XPress (July 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770530169
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770530164
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,950,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The idea of Spec-Fic from the 1920s intrigued me. At first, due to my own ignorance of the era, had assumed that each story would be filled with bathtub gin, rum runners, and speakeasys. Perhaps something about the depression.

I was wrong. Sure some of those elements were present, but the stories ran the gamut from magical to fantastic to out of this world. The authors (and editors) did their homework. I'm a stickler for details and when something feels out of place, I have a tendency to look something up. I only ran into a couple of snags that once I stopped, looked up the detail, I was pleasantly surprised to find the story accurate.

Aside from the details, the collection of stories were consistently different in tone, atmosphere, theme, and even locale. From the mean streets of Chicago, to a backwoods distillery, each story kept up a great pace to make the book a fun and fast read. Usually with a collection you'll run across one story that runs across the grain, but with this collection I was surprised that each flowed well from one to the next.

I'd be hard pressed to choose just one story out of the batch that I'd call my favorite. As I look over the list I keep thinking, oh, I really liked this part of this story, and I liked this one a lot. This story was fun, and that story started out gritty, but gave me hope at the end. To be honest, I love this collection as a whole. I highly recommend this collection. For only $2.99 for the kindle edition, it's a steal! Grab it. Read it. Enjoy it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I went into reading Broken Time Blues with more than a little enthusiasm. I love the interbellum years: the history, the culture, the music, the art, and the characters - the endless parade of dolls and dames and dudes and yeggs. It's life at its finest for storytelling, and the stories collected in Broken Time Blues do not disappoint. I was enthralled from the very first, reading about the veterans of WWI coming home to fantastic and far out adventures with a whole new cast of characters: the fae, hidden societies of automata, demons and warlocks, ETs.

My stand out favorite story is Ari Marmell's "The Purloined Ledger." But there isn't a single story in this book that I couldn't read over and over again.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anthologies are strange beasts, because they give you many different stories and so you can find pearls and pebbles all together. Occasionally, you get lucky and get an antho which offers you mostly pearls.
This is the case with ‘Brocken Time Blues’.

I really enjoyed this collection of dieselpunk stories. Dieselpank isn’t a genre that focuses on storytelling so it’s not often that you get to read stories in this genre. This is a collection of very interesting authors, themes, different alternate histories and places. There’s something for everyone and a lot for lovers of the fantastic.

The anthology opens with one of my favourite pieces, ‘The Sharing’ by James L. Sutter set in a Prohibition America where Prohibition has been passed to stop aliens from annoying humans, since they get a very strange power when they get drunk. So unusual. The second story is probably my least favorite, ‘Chickadee’ by Frank Ard, about a giant, human-like chicken and his falling in love. Not really my thing.
But from here on, I enjoyed most of the stories. Some of my favourite: ‘Button Up Your Overcoat’ by Barbara Krasnoff, a very mild dieselpunk about a peculiar way of ‘passing’; ‘Nor the Moonlight’ by Andrew Penn Romine, a hard-core dieselpunk set in interwar Paris, with a fantastic noir atmosphere and one Salvador Dalì turned into a wizard; ‘A Drink for Teddy Ford’ by Robert Jackson Bennett, another atmosphere piece presenting a very unusual idea for a cocktail; and probably my favourite, ‘The Purloined Ledger’ by Ari Marmell, which blends dieselpunk and more proper fantasy in a seamless way and has at his core a very ingenious idea.

Well worth a try if you are a lover of the fantastical.
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By Sara Saab on November 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was so fun. I love fiction about the 20s in general, and the addition of a speculative element here only enlivens the offering of the anthology. Almost every story in the collection stands out, and especially interesting are the two set in Europe. Highly recommended reading.
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