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Comment: Condition: As new condition., Binding: Paperback / Publisher: Harper Voyager / Pub. Date: 2011-09-06 Attributes: Book, 400 pp / Stock#: 2048953 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
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Ghosts by Gaslight: Stories of Steampunk and Supernatural Suspense Paperback – September 6, 2011

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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: 8.8 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #798,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“[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.

More About the Author

JACK DANN is a multiple-award winning author who has written or edited over seventy-five books, including the international bestseller The Memory Cathedral, which was #1 on The Age Bestseller list, and The Silent, which Library Journal chose as one of their 'Hot Picks' and wrote: "This is narrative storytelling at its best... Most emphatically recommended." Dann lives in Australia on a farm overlooking the sea and "commutes" back and forth to Los Angeles and New York.

Customer Reviews

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If you are a steampunk purest, I do not recommend reading this book.
I didn't finish this and I didn't enjoy the story I did read. i've read other short story compilations and really enjoyed them.
This collection of seventeen Steampunk ghost stories, one has mummies, is outstanding.
Cornelia Amiri and Maeve Alpin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Raven's Writing Desk on December 22, 2011
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Durand on October 26, 2011
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brendan Moody TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although ghost stories are as old as human storytelling, they began to take recognizable form as a variety of fiction during the Victorian era, and while their settings, themes, and metaphysics have continued to evolve over the past hundred years, homage to the classics is of course very common. Too often such homage takes the form of dull pastiche, mistaking the choices of particular writers for a formal straightjacket. Happily, the stories in Ghosts by Gaslight, a new anthology edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers, make no such errors. Their styles, although rich with period diction, are as lively and readable as any contemporary fiction, and their content incorporates modern psychological and social wisdom without violating the mores of the setting. And, just as important, they're all thoroughly spooky. Packed with excellent stories and without a single dud, Ghosts by Gaslight is one of the finest anthologies of the year.

As the editors observe in their introduction, the popular image of the Victorian era has as much to do with gentleman scientists as with shadowy specters, and it's no surprise that several of the ghostly manifestations here are linked to experiments gone wrong. In James Morrow's "The Iron Shroud," a story whose ghosts have a perfect steampunk twist, an attempt to prevent the dissolution of the soul at death turns a promising inventor into a cruel tyrant. Sean Williams records how the study of mystical transformation leads to haunting, and murder, when Dr. Hugh Gordon encounters "The Jade Woman of the Luminous Star." And in "Mysteries of the Old Quarter," an atmospheric epistolary story of old New Orleans, research into communication with the dead gradually reveals an old personal tragedy.
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