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Webs of Gold and Clockwerk

The Golden Spider Book Cover The Golden Spider
Elemental Web Chronicles #1
Anne Renwick
steampunk, fantasy, historical
Anne Renwick
(11 Aug. 2016)

London papers scream of dirigible attacks, kraken swarms, and lung-clogging, sulfurous fogs. But a rash of gypsy murders barely rates mention. Lady Amanda is tired of having both her intelligence and her work dismissed. After blackmailing her way into medical school, she catches the eye of her anatomy professor from the moment she walks into his lecture hall. Is he interested in her? Or only her invention–a clockwork spider that can spin artificial nerves? Lord Thornton, a prominent neurobiologist, has been betrayed. Secret government technology has been stolen from his laboratory, and a foreign spy is attempting to perfect it via a grisly procedure… using gypsies as test subjects. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a beautiful–and brilliant–new student, even if her spider could heal a deteriorating personal injury. Until her device is stolen and used in the latest murder. Lord Thornton has no option but to bring her into his laboratory as well as the investigation where they must fight their growing, yet forbidden, attraction. Bodies accumulate and fragile bonds are tested as they race across London, trying to catch the spy before it’s too late.

I am just loving SteamPunk (not yet ClockPunk although I hear this is coming to the fore – as I haven’t read any – I think, but new terminology…).

My reasons for loving SteamPunk are varied but – in the novels I have been reading, especially Anne Renwick, there are

  1. Heroines that defy societal norms and coincidentally,
  2. Are also great scientists/engineers/doctors. etc
  3. But also, partly because of the words used in them to describe concepts and inventions:

Acousticocept for instance which clearly starts as:

Acoustic – being the science of sound

CoCept – being concept without the ‘n’.

Newarachnid / Amatiflora / Phaoscope / Myotech

4. Also because they reference Babbage – one of my heroes

and

5. Lady Ada Lovelace – he great mathematician and first computer programmer.

6. And the goth fashion is also great too. Not tat i would wear it myself but I do love the look of it.

There is a great website dedicated to steampunk (.co.uk) which explains the literature, fashion, art and design and some authors to read. If the style of literature is new to you, then do and look at it for inspiration.  apparently even the great houses of couture such as Versace have referenced steampunk in their collections.

FOr me, Anne Renwick writes one of the best set of tales set in steampunk and there are quite a lot to choose from. I like her style of writing and her characters seem genuine and possible.

 

 

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Railways and Engineers

Steam and Rust
Elemental Web Tale
Anne Renwick
urban fantasy, Victorian, short story, steampunk
Anne Renwick
Kindle

In the very different urban Victorian landscape of clockwork and steam driven mechanicals we have delicate females who need protection.

But Anne Renwick provides us with heroines who are rather different. Who are self taught science and engineering, who become spies (!) and who are also rather lusty and happy about it…

Nicely written and satisfactory as a complete story despite its length.

Anne Renwick knows her craft.

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Enter the first Steam Pump! Ever….

The Steam Pump Jump Book Cover The Steam Pump Jump
The Chronicles of St Mary's Series SS
Jodi Taylor
Historians, action and adventure, sci-fi
Accent Press
(12 July 2018)
Kindle

Not one to let being banged up in Sick Bay stop her, Max has had a brilliant idea. But she needs Markham to execute it on her behalf. The subject of this cunning plan is Peterson, struggling with another bereavement and not doing very well. What’s needed to get him through it is sympathy, sensitivity, tact and understanding.
Step forward Mr Markham, for whom sympathy, sensitivity, etc., are things that happen to other people.
Combine a fanatic from R&D, a head of Security with his own problems, a steam-pump, two historians who can’t even be in the same room as each other, some fractious Protestants and a large body of very dirty water.
Told in Markham’s own words, this is the story of an intervention – St Mary’s style.

Or was it a steam cannon?

steam cannon is a cannon that launches a projectile using only heat and water, or using a ready supply of high-pressure steam from a boiler. The first steam cannon was designed by Archimedes during the Siege of SyracuseLeonardo Da Vinci was also known to have designed one (the Architonnerre). [see Wikipedia]
According to our St Mary’s Chronicles, they wanted to look for a steam pump but its actions was more like a steam cannon, in my mind.. either way, it was a fun thing to go and look at, or so Markham thought.
This is more unusual storyline form Jodi Taylor as it is written from Markham’s viewpoint and in his voice.
I really loved Lingoss’ explanation of why her hair was blue – as someone whose hair is purple and some people have failed to mention it, or apparently notice until it is pointed out to them! i do wonder who the teacher was she talks about. I’m sure that they will be mentioned in future stories as we have a lot of characters at St Mary’s we still know little about and how they came to be there.
After all, History has many years of exploration that can be taken.
So yes, the best laid plans of mice and men, especially when Markham is involved, don’t always work as intended.
A great addition to the series.

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Lace yourself up with a screwdriver!

Corsets and Cogs Book Cover Corsets and Cogs
Margo Bond Collins, Rebekah R. Ganiere, Erin Hayes, & 7 more
anthology, short stories, steampunk
Independently published
(11 April 2018)

Welcome to the world as it never was… Enter landscapes awash in steam-powered machinery, Victorian style, and mysterious magic shrouded in the fog of a city night. Join 25 New York Times, USA Today, and bestselling speculative fiction authors as they dive into alternate universes of tinkers, mad scientists, and space-faring soldiers, as well as leviathans, vampires, and demons—along with the cloaked lords and corseted ladies haunting pages of these alternative histories. This limited-time anthology features tales of whimsy and wonder rife with gaslamp masquerades, steam-driven dirigibles, clockwork landscapes, gadgets and gears, and more.

This is a set of short stories/prequels to series and other novels all set in the rather niche urban fantasy style with gothic overtones called Steampunk. Which somewhat unexpectedly I have found myself rather liking.

For me the best of these is the story called Heartless in New Orleans for the basic story idea; and Royal Ruse  for both the storytelling and the idea.

I am giving this compilation a 4 but this is more of an average, some were rather less and there are quire a number  of these short stories with a lot of typos. Once again I rail about he loss of editors to check plot holes, repetitions and basic poor spelling and lack of spell checking.

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SteamPunk rocks…

Corsets and Cogs Book Cover Corsets and Cogs
various
steampunk, fantasy. anthologies
Bathory Gate Press
(26 Mar. 2018)
Kindle

elcome to the world as it never was...

Enter landscapes awash in steam-powered machinery, Victorian style, and mysterious magic shrouded in the fog of a city night.

Join 25 New York Times, USA Today, and bestselling speculative fiction authors as they dive into alternate universes of tinkers, mad scientists, and space-faring soldiers, as well as leviathans, vampires, and demons--along with the cloaked lords and corseted ladies haunting pages of these alternative histories.

This limited-time anthology features tales of whimsy and wonder rife with gaslamp masquerades, steam-driven dirigibles, clockwork landscapes, gadgets and gears, and more.

What I like about SteamPunk stories is that clockwork rules.

The devices are semi-magical using this thing called aether which is harvested by air-ships. Aether was considered to be a Greek Deity but in most it is a source of magical power which is very dangerous to handle and to collect, and thus is very valuable – hence pirates.

The women in these stories – at least the ones I read and have been ‘directed’ towards are always daring, fighting ‘Victorian’ convention and feisty. All this despite wearing Victorian costumes and corsets! Not sure why the corsets except that is the convention.

So the women are not meek and mild but well educated and undertaking jobs that convention says are not their usual employment opportunities.

So there are 24 stories – short – and novella length – within this book and I have read the first 4: and the 1st three are definitely 4 star, not so sure about number 4 – maybe 3.5?

Of Love and Leviathans

Margo Bond Collins

The Lady Fugitive

Rebekah R Ganiere

Damn the Consequences

Erin Hayes

Frog Prince

Melanie Karsak

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