Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, eds.

2009 World Fantasy Award nominee

Steampunk is Victorian elegance and modern technology: steam-driven robots, souped-up stagecoaches, and space-faring dirigibles fueled by gaslight romance, mad scientists, and oh-so-trim waistcoats. Replete with whimsical mechanical wonders and bold adventurers, this riveting anthology collects classic steampunk stories, pop culture–fueled discussions, and essential recommended reading lists for the steampunk fan.



by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, eds.

ISBN: 9781892391759

Published: 2008

Available Format(s): Trade Paperback

Steampunk is Victorian elegance and modern technology: steam-driven robots, souped-up stagecoaches, and space-faring dirigibles fueled by gaslight romance, mad scientists, and oh-so-trim waistcoats. It’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Wizard of Oz, and The Golden Compass.

Replete with whimsical mechanical wonders and bold adventurers, this riveting anthology lovingly collects classic steampunk stories, pop culture–fueled discussions of steampunk, and essential recommended reading lists for the discerning steampunk fan.

From the editors of The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases and The New Weird, here is steampunk. Hang on tight.

“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.”
SF Revu

“The VanderMeers’s anthologies seem to be establishing a new landmark for the aughts…. Blimey, guv’nor! Mission accomplished!”
The Fix

“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.”
Manchester Guardian

“…dark pseudo-Victorian fun…a great deal to offer the casual reader and the critic alike….”
SF Site

“…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.”

“In addition to offering a quick-shot education in the history and development of the genre, it also contains some truly excellent short fiction. Recommended.”

“The VanderMeers’ first Steampunk anthology (2008) can already be considered a classic.”

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 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.”
Library Journal

“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

Praise for Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution

“Steampunk isn’t just about Victorians playing with cogs and gears; these stories (and a few essays) reveal some of the latest steps in this branch of speculative fiction’s evolution.”
Shelf Awareness

“VanderMeer’s follow-up to previous similarly themed anthologies targets established fans of the retro-infatuated steampunk movement.”
Publishers Weekly

“This third volume of the acclaimed Steampunk anthology series features an international cast of authors and a revolutionary take on the wonders of Steam. As steampunk continues to gain in popularity, these new tales and fresh tropes from established steampunk storytellers and new exciting talents reconcile Victorian pleasantries with passionate ideologies, reinvigorating the genre.”
Books World

“…demonstrates the power of a well-orchestrated collection…a must-have for any fan of the subgenre.”
Beyond Victoriana

“The 27 stories gathered here are therefore noteworthy both because of their subject matter as well as for the way they stretch the stylistics of Steampunk in new and different directions.”

“These stories have something everyone can enjoy.”
SF Site

Visit the Jeff VanderMeer and Ann VanderMeer websites.

Preface by Jeff and Ann VanderMeer

“Introduction: The Nineteenth-Century Roots of Steampunk” by Jess Nevins

“Steampunk in Comics” by Bill Baker
“The Giving Mouth” by Ian R. Macleod
“Lord Kelvin’s Machine” by James P. Blaylock
“The God-Clown Is Near” by Jay Lake
“The Steam Man of the Prairie and the Dark Rider Get Down” by Joe R. Lansdale
“A Sun in the Attic” by Mary Gentle
“The Martian Agent, a Planetary Romance” by Michael Chabon
“Benediction: Warlord of the Air” excerpt by Michael Moorcock
“The Selene Gardening Society” by Molly Brown
“Excerpts From the Third and Last Volume of the Tribes of the Pacific Coast” by Neal Stephenson
“Victoria” by Paul Di Filippo
“Reflected Light” by Rachel E. Pollock
“Steampunk in Pop Culture” by Rick Klaw
“Minutes of the Last Meeting” by Stepan Chapman
“Seventy-Two Letters” by Ted Chiang

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