Steam Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories, A Penny Dreadful Review
I just read the most delightful anthology. Steam Powered introduces us to Steampunk lesbians from five continents. They are from cities, deserts, and jungles, the future, the past, and places that never were. They are cyborgs and pirates, spies and runaway brides, madwomen and scientists. The editor, JoSelle Vanderhooft, has masterfully assembled this brilliant conglomeration. It reminds me a bit of a bright rainbow quilt – every piece wildly different, and the whole a masterpiece.
I must mention a few tales of adventure and romance in particular. “Brilliant,” by Georgina Bruce, features lush descriptions of a beautiful Cairo and strangers on a train. “Steel Rider,” by Rachel Manija Brown, introduces the reader to damaged people in large suits of mysterious armor. “Love In The Time Of Airships,” by Meredith Holmes, is a crown jewel of a novella at the center of this anthology. It is sweet, sexy, intriguing, and exciting. “Effluent Engine,” by N. K. Jemisin, happens to be my personal favorite. There’s Haiti, New Orleans, spies, and the uncovering of a scientific mind. Also, a daring escape on an airship. I can never resist a daring escape on an airship.
Not all these tales have happy endings. Perhaps that is because not all real-life lesbians have happy endings. Perhaps that is because some romances are doomed. At any rate, this is not a book of happily-ever-afters. It is a book of adventures that will stick with you.
I give Steam Powered four gears out of five. I highly recommend that you seek out this fantastic collection and read it immediately.
Your Correspondent From The Bookstore,
Penny J. Merriweather