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Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Torquere Press; Reprint edition (January 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610401506
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610401500
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,277,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cissa on April 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am of mixed minds about this anthology.

I really liked most of the early stories; they had a great steampunk base. I was less keen on many of the later stories; mostly the "steampunk" seemed irrelevant to the main focus of the plots; it would be straightforward to rewrite them with no steampunk whatsoever.

That in itself is OK; but I did not care for the narrative structures of several of the later stories.

Still, it's a good anthology, with several excellent stories. I definitely liked the fact that it was not all set in the British Empire! and that it did not focus on privileged white men (unlike a lot of steampunk).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Lundoff on March 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
A well-written, entertaining read with a new spin on a popular genre. I particularly liked the alternative perspectives of using settings and characters from North Africa, India, the American Southwest and elsewhere in contrast to the usual European settings for steampunk. Some particular standout stories for me included N.K. Jemison's "The Effluent Engine,"Tara Summer's "Clockwork and Music"and Shira Lipkin's "Truth and Life."
A few stories didn't work as well for me but overall I think this is a very strong anthology and well worth checking out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The stories are great: engaging, well-written, and various levels of riveting depending on the story. It's well worth reading. My issue is with the formatting: it's absolutely sub-par. There's no clear division between one story and the next. This is all you get:

This is the last sentence of story A.
Story B.
Author name.
This is the first sentence of story B.

When the stories themselves sometimes contain short lines for emphasis, it makes it difficult to realize you've finished a story until you're staring the next one. It would take all of five minutes to insert page breaks and bolding, so this formatting glitch is sheer laziness. I'd suggest buying a physical copy instead of the kindle edition.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sean Holland on March 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
Steam*Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories, an anthology edited by JoSelle Vanderhooft and published by Top Shelf, an imprint of Torquere Press Publishers.

This anthology consists of fifteen stories mixing lesbians and steampunk in various concentrations. For me, steampunk is mixing the untapped potential of the new sciences and technologies of the industrial age through the 1920s to the punk ethos from cyberpunk, in other words how the new technology changes and oppresses the world. By my definition, three of the stories do not fit into the steampunk genre but they are still quite interesting all the same.

Now, the lesbianism ranges from chaste romances to some quite explicit encounters, so if such is not your cup of tea be warned. The characters and setting range across the United (and disunited) States, to Haiti and South America, Africa, the Middle East and India, across much of the globe and even to other worlds which have parallels to our own. The first thing that struck me was how much of this anthology is an example of Hite's Law: "All alternate histories produce zeppelins." Almost all of the stories feature zeppelins and, as steampunk is almost by definition alternate history it conforms nicely to that Law. Though Sara M. Harvey's "Where the Ocean Meets the Sky" gets bonus points for incorporating both Emperor Norton and airship privateers in her story.

The stories are all well-written, though some I found more engaging than other which is always the case in an anthology. In general, the further they drifted from the roots of steampunk, the less enjoyable I found them but that may partly an expectation clash and not be a fair reflection on those stories.
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