Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded
by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, eds.
Available Format(s): Trade Paperback and eBooks
Gentle Readers, after the outraged letters following our first volume, I would be remiss not to warn you. The handsome tome of classic and original fiction, nonfiction, and illustrations is perhaps even more shocking than its predecessor. And yet, I see that your curiosity is piqued, so….
Enter the Scintillating Clockpunk Gear-o-Torium: Herein dwell the breathless adventures that you secretly seek. Gaze upon the rebellious Mecha-Ostrich, the seductive Steam Dancer, the intrepid Mssrs. Balfour and Meriwether, and the hithertofore undefeated Cast-Iron Kid.
Experience the Delights of the Chrononaut Odditorium: An esteemed panel of self-appointed experts, under pain of ridicule, will reveal Top Secret Historical Enticements. Be dazzled by the first English translation of the quintessential Steampunk story “Flying Fish Prometheus” by Vilhelm Bergsøe.
Oooh and Ahhh at the Subculture Contraptor Lounge: Authoress of the Parasol Protectorate Gail Carriger gaily holds forth on the fashionable subjects of fashion, fiction, and more. The Steampunk Workshop founder Jake von Slatt’s “Steampunk Manifesto” shares his musings amusing and profound on the future of Steam.
Look Upon Our Brass-Plated Wonders: From the rough streets of modern-day Manchester, world-famous adventurer John Coulthart provides the near-tactile visual experience of this elaborative tome. He is joined by the likes of the artistes Secret Agent Ramona Szczerba (a.k.a. Winona Cookie) and Lovereaftian maestro Eric Orchard.
Meet the Masterminds: Editors Extraordinaire Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, the well-known literary vagabonds and mesmerists, do fully guarantee your satisfaction. However, the publisher does regret that the VanderMeers have become mysteriously unavailable to respond to any grievances.
It’s Steampunk—and it’s reloaded.
“The dynamic VanderMeers follow 2008’s Steampunk with this engaging anthology of 23 stories (three original to this volume, including Jeffrey Ford’s ‘Dr. Lash Remembers’), two essays (including one by Gail Carriger), and a roundtable interview, all of which define, deepen, and demonstrate the clockwork beauty of automaton-laden science fiction. Standouts include Tanith Lee’s madness-inspired ‘The Persecution Machine’; Caitlín R. Kiernan’s hauntingly beautiful tale of ‘The Steam Dancer (1896)’; Marc Laidlaw’s photographic encyclopedia of ‘Great Breakthroughs in Darkness’; Sydney Padua’s comic ‘Lovelace and Babbage: Origins, with Salamander’; the frightening Pinocchio of Cherie Priest’s ‘Tanglefoot’; William Gibson’s proto-steampunk tale ‘The Gernsback Continuum’; and ‘Flying Fish Prometheus (A Fantasy of the Future)’ by Vilhelm Bergsøe, a Danish contemporary of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. Fabulous interior design by John Coulthart completes this worthy sequel to its well-regarded predecessor.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Steampunk is a genre for thinkers, and this book proves the point. The stories inside are beautiful, often lyrical, frequently disturbing, always exciting, and occasionally even funny, but they’re also dense, literary, and trusting of the reader to be smart enough to ‘get’ it.”
—New York Journal of Books
“Steampunk fans will want to add this to their personal collections; libraries owning the first volume should round out their holdings.”
“The VanderMeers have, once again, captured the essence of the genre…. This book is a must-have collection for fans of steampunk and those who love a dark, rousing tale of what could have been.”
“Overall, Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded resembles the current steampunk community itself: innovatively creative, expansive, and armed with something for everyone.”
“This is a well-put-together anthology suited for both lovers of Steampunk and those new to the genre.”
“Though it may be the brass’s flash that first attracts readers, it’s the grime and verdigris that makes the stories, and this anthology, so compelling.”
—Time Out Chicago
Ann VanderMeer is the Hugo Award–winning editor of Weird Fiction Review. She was the fiction editor at Weird Tales and the publisher of Buzzcity Press, work for which received the British Fantasy, International Horror Guild, and Rhysling awards. An expert on Victoriana, she is the co-editor of the bestselling World Fantasy Award–nominated Steampunk series. Her other anthologies include the Best American Fantasy and Leviathan series, The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases, The New Weird, and Last Drink, Bird Head.
Jeff VanderMeer is the best-selling author of City of Saints and Madmen, the noir thriller Finch, and the quintessential guide to writers, Booklife. His award-winning novels have made the year’s best lists at Publishers Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Wall Street Journal. His nonfiction and reviews have appeared in Washington Post Book World, the Huffington Post, and the New York Times Book Review.
Praise for Steampunk
“The VanderMeers (The New Weird) have assembled another outstanding theme anthology, this one featuring stories set in alternate Victorian eras. Michael Moorcock, the godfather of steampunk, is represented by an excerpt from his classic novel The Warlord of the Air. In ‘Lord Kelvin’s Machine,’ a fine tale from prolific steampunk author James P. Blaylock, mad scientists plot to throw the Earth into the path of a passing comet, declaring that ‘science will save us this time, gentlemen, if it doesn’t kill us first.’ Michael Chabon’s vivid and moving ‘The Martian Agent, a Planetary Romance’ recounts the lives of two young brothers in the aftermath of George Custer’s mutiny against Queen Victoria, while historical fantasist Mary Gentle describes a classic struggle between safety and progress in ‘A Sun in the Attic.’ This is a superb introduction to one of the most popular and inventive subgenres in science fiction.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Chock full of brass, steam, diabolical engines, villains, Victorian aesthetics, romance, and humour…[a]n essential primer!”
—Jake Von Slatt, The Steampunk Workshop
“All stories contained in the anthology Steampunk collected by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer are of high quality…. Recommended for those who enjoy steampunk and those who want a diverse exposure to the possibilities within steampunk.”
“The VanderMeers’ anthologies seem to be establishing a new landmark for the aughts…. Blimey, guv’nor! Mission accomplished!”
“It is as if a mad scientist had done all his shopping at Victoriana instead of Sharper Image…. [It] effectively captures what the steampunk genre is all about.”
—Los Angeles Times
“…of all speculative fiction’s subgenres, steampunk is proving to be among the most popular and influential…. Anne and Jeff VanderMeer have gathered many of the gnarliest examples of the genre in their Steampunk anthology.”
“…dark pseudo-Victorian fun…a great deal to offer the casual reader and the critic alike….”
“…from the inception of Steampunk right up through today…a great book…I can’t put it down.”
“This new collection of previously published stories spotlights some of the best short work in the subgenre.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“…if you want to go deeper into realms where high tech and the old world meet, be sure to pick up the Steampunk anthology….”
—San Francisco Examiner
“The diversity of the sci-fi subgenre is amply demonstrated in this anthology…. Both fans of steampunk and readers for whom it’s a foreign concept should find this collection rewarding.”
“The VanderMeers, ardent steampunkers themselves, historically sample that fantasy genre in which the Victorian era is reimagined to include Martian technology, steam-powered robots, airships, alchemy, and various anachronistic technologies.”
“The VanderMeers’ first Steampunk anthology (2008) can already be considered a classic”
Praise for The New Weird
“The VanderMeers (Best American Fantasy) ably demonstrate the sheer breadth of the ‘New Weird’ fantasy subgenre in this powerful anthology of short fiction and critical essays. Highlights include strong fiction by authors such as M. John Harrison, Clive Barker, Kathe Koja, and Michael Moorcock whose work pointed the way to such definitive New Weird tales as Jeffrey Ford’s ‘At Reparata’ and K. J. Bishop’s ‘The Art of Dying.’ Lingering somewhere between dark fantasy and supernatural horror, New Weird authors often seek to create unease rather than full-fledged terror. The subgenre’s roots in the British New Wave of the 1960s and the Victorian Decadents can lend a self-consciously literary and experimental aura, as illustrated by the ‘laboratory,’ where more mainstream fantasy and horror authors, including Sarah Monette and Conrad Williams, try their hands at creating New Weird stories. This extremely ambitious anthology will define the New Weird much as Bruce Sterling’s landmark Mirrorshades anthology defined cyberpunk.”
“Highly recommended for all libraries interested in the latest in SF and fantasy as well as modern horror.”
“The first comprehensive anthology of the movement….”
“…mix(es) elements of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror into a style
that reaches back to Lovecraft and Jack Vance while grasping at the darker
future of speculative fiction.”
—The A.V. Club
“If you’re into ‘lit-speak’ and the debate over what any of this
means, this is you’re kind of collection. If you don’t care and are just
interested in some cool disturbing stories set in gritty alternative worlds,
this is your kind of book, too.”
“This anthology is a must-read for lovers of literate dark fiction…. If the only way to grade an anthology is by its ability to provide fascinating dreams, then the New Weird gets an A+.”
—Internet Review of Science Fiction
Visit the Jeff VanderMeer and Ann VanderMeer websites.
Introduction: “What Is Steampunk?” by Jeff and Ann VanderMeer
“The Cast Iron Kid” by Andrew Knighton
“The Steam Dancer (1896)” by Caitlín R. Kiernan
“The Anachronist’s Cookbook” by Catherynne M. Valente
“Tanglefoot” by Cherie Priest
“O One” by Chris Roberson
“Balfour and Meriwether in the Adventure of the Emperor’s Vengeance” by Daniel Abraham
“The Bold Explorer in the Place Beyond” by David Erik Nelson
“The Strange Case of Mr. Salad Monday” by Geoffery D. Falksen
“At the Intersection of Technology and Romance” by Jake von Slatt
“The Future of Steampunk: A Roundtable Interview” by Jeff and Ann VanderMeer
“Dr. Lash Remembers” by Jeffrey Ford
“Lost Pages From The Encyclopdia of Victoriana” by Jess Nevins
“As Recorded on Brass Cylinders: Adagio for Two Dancers” by Lisa Mantchev
“A Serpent in the Gears” by Margaret Ronald
“Machine Maid” by Margo Lanagan
“Which Is Mightier, the Pen or the Parasol?” by Gail Carriger
“The Unbecoming of Virgil Smythe” by Ramsey Shehadeh
“Wild Copper” by Samantha Henderson
“The Mechanical Aviary of Emperor Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar” by Shweta Narayan
“The Unblinking Eye” by Stephen Baxter
“Lovelace & Babbage” by Sydney Padua
“The Persecution Machine” by Tanith Lee
“Flying Fish (Prometheus)” by Vilhelm Bergsøe
“The Gernsback Continuum” by William Gibson