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Comment: Ex-library book. The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable.
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Ghosts by Gaslight: Stories of Steampunk and Supernatural Suspense Paperback – September 6, 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[A] collection of the eerie and fantastic.” (Washington Post)

“Devotees of M. R. James, H. P. Lovecraft and Algernon Blackwood will relish this superior anthology of original stories…. It seems almost unfair to single out individual works when all 18 are superb and will be cherished by steampunk and horror fans alike.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

Seventeen all-new tales emulating, or re-creating, the ambience of classic Victorian supernatural suspense....impressive work....more than a mere exercise in nostalgia.” (Kirkus Reviews)

Ghosts By Gaslight is a triumph of a themed anthology. Among the hundred or so books I have read this year, this one is my favorite. Acquire it at all costs. Highly recommended. (Cemetery Dance Magazine)

From the Back Cover

Seventeen all-new stories illuminate the steampunk world of fog and fear!

Modern masters of the supernatural weave their magic to revitalize the chilling Victorian and Edwardian ghostly tale: here are haunted houses, arcane inventions, spirits reaching across the centuries, ghosts in the machine, fateful revelations, gaslit streets scarcely keeping the dark at bay, and other twisted variations on the immortal classics that frighten us still.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; Original edition (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061999717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061999710
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,522,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
In the Introduction, editors Nick Gevers and Jack Dann explain that the premise of this excellent anthology is to explore the "great paradox of the Victorian age" in which the Queen declared the enlightenment yet superstition and paranormal species still held a grip on the people. Perhaps Laird Barron's "Blackwood's Baby" is the best example of that unbalanced scale between enlightened understanding and suggestive fears of the unknown. Thus the Enlightenment is a transition into the modern world. All seventeen entries are excellent examples of "Steampunk and Supernatural Suspense". "The Iron Shroud" by James Morrow opens the superior collection with Jonathan pondering insects and hell as his dead mentor remains interred. Just after Princess Maude married the future Sultan, four men living in a rooming house learn why Turks write down everything even "Music, When Soft Voices Die" by Peter S. Beagle. Margo Lanagan provides an engaging insightful focus on the changing class combat in "The Proving of Smollett Standforth." "The Curious Case of the Moondawn Daffodil Murder as Experienced by Sir Magnus Holmes and Almost Doctor Susan Shrike" (by Garth Nix) pays homage to the great Victorian detective and his sidekick in a razor sharp thriller. All the other entries are excellent as this may prove to be the historical fantasy (and horror) collection of the year climaxing with Jeffrey Ford's gloomy ghostly ruins of "The Summer Palace."

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Paperback
In general I prefer my steampunk without the supernatural, but I chose to purchase this book anyway for several reasons:
1. Nick Gevers also edited "Extraordinary Engines," a fine steampunk anthology, and some of the same authors are in this anthology.
2. The Table of Contents included several other favorite writers, including James Morrow, Gene Wolfe, Robert Silverberg and Lucius Shepard.
3. I like supernatural fiction.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, although I sometimes see other Amazon reviewers' point that some of the stories contain the supernatural, but little or no science, steam-driven or otherwise.
There are more winners than losers. "Christopher Raven" by Theodora Goss was a typical ghost story, no extraneous science at all, but not painful to read. "The Grave Reflection" by Marly Youmans, featuring Nathaniel Hawthorne as a character, was a little long-winded, in the Hawthorne style, but more rewarding.
My favorite story in the anthology was probably the first, "The Iron Shroud" by James Morrow. It does involve ghosts of a sort, but also a couple pieces of steampunky science: an unbreakable substance that can be used to capture spirits as they depart the body, enclosing them in a malleable armor, giving them form and an afterlife on earth as "golems"; and the "science" of vibratology by which the golems' spirits might be freed. It neatly mixes the supernatural and scientific.
I also greatly enjoyed "The Curious Case of the Moondawn Daffodils Murder As Experienced by Sir Magnus Holmes and Almost-Doctor Susan Shrike" by Garth Nix. The Victorian Age was also the time of Sherlock Holmes, and this story introduces a cousin of Holmes who investigates supernatural crimes. Sequels (or a novel) seem, planned, and I look forward to them.
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Format: Paperback
I confess I really don't know how to rate this book. On the one hand it was very good. On the other it was a complete disappointment.

Ghosts by Gaslight: Stories of stemapunk and supernatural suspense Edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers is a collection of 17 short stories by some of the better known horror authors. In the Introduction, editors Nick Gevers and Jack Dann explain that the premise of this collectionis to explore the "great paradox of the Victorian age" which was on the one hand an age of enlightenment and scientific advancement yet on the other was a time of incredible superstition and spreading of the occult.

The cover advertises the book as steampunk but there is scant little steampunk to be found here. Of the 17 stories I can only point to two of them that had steampunk elements incorporated into it. If you are going to promise me a ride on a steampunk express you had better deliver on that promise. It was here the book failed

That said the stories were very well written and they were a great collection of horror and ghost stories set in the Victorian era. They ranged from creepy to amusing and together makes a fine anthology.

If you are looking for a good horror anthology then this book is for you. if you have a taste for some steampunk you had best look elsewhere
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the better anthologies I've come across. Many of the stories are a blend of ghost story and weird H.G. Wells impossible machine yarns. The guidelines appear to have been broad enough, though, that there's enough variety to keep you on your toes.
The stand-out stories are the Laird Barron and Jeffrey Ford stories. Laird Barron's "Blackwood's Baby" is one of the best stories I've read, period. It's also the one that strays furthest from the anthologies theme of ghosts by gaslight, but it's that good that it can be forgiven. Terry Dowling, Gene Wolfe, and James Morrow also offer top-notch stories. The remaining stories are all quality, although I will say that the Theodora Goss and Margo Lanagan stories didn't work for me, but that may just be a matter of personal taste.
Overall, this is an anthology well worth getting if you're after a strong anthology with a SF/historical/supernatural bent.
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