Corsets and Clockwork – Trisha Telep (editor)
Constable & Robinson, 2011
In this collection of steampunk romances, fantasy meets science in the strangest of places. A mermaid’s daughter seeks her fortune on the streets of London. A clockwinder’s creations go to war. There are inventors and spies, corsets and airships, kings and first kisses. Hearts are given, and broken, and occasionally, replaced…
The spectrum here is flexible; some stories are definitely more weighted to the romance than the steampunk, while several feel more like straight out fantasy. Not all are entirely well realised, but there are excellent ideas and memorable characters too. My favourites were Frewin Jones’s macarbely practical adventuress, Maria V. Snyder’s World War II inventor, and Tiffany Trent’s mysterious story of scientific extremists and otherwordly conquest.