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JonathanPeto

JonathanPeto

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Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone
J.K. Rowling
The Skillful Teacher: Building Your Teaching Skills
Jon Saphier, Robert Gower
Hyperion
Dan Simmons
Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories - Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Delia Sherman, Shawn Cheng, Elizabeth Knox, Dylan Horrocks, Kathleen Jennings, Ysabeau S. Wilce, Gavin J. Grant, Cory Doctorow, Kelly Link, M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Garth Nix, Christopher Rowe Short story anthologies are tough. This one is a strong three stars. Even though there were no lost causes, as I read I never thought I'd give it four. Some stories soared, but I guess not high enough or long enough.

Another thing, and it is a Catch-22, but I found myself impatiently flipping pages at times, wondering how many remained. I longed for novels, I think. I wanted the stories to draw me in faster and deep, some did, yet I was still impatient, wondering when it would end.

One last thing. Steampunk? This was a good introduction. Turns out I've read some steampunk (Philip Pullman). Even though I will read more steampunk, including some of these authors, I did tire, at times, of reading this all at once. I appreciate the effort to develop speculative fiction, fantasy, and not emulate Tolkien. I like the machines and the respect for mechanical skills, but am not entirely convinced including those things alone makes a distinct genre. Some of the stories contained more of those elements than others.

Brief, perhaps idiosyncratic and unhelpful, responses to each story:

"Some Fortunate Future Day" by Cassandra Clare: Included dirigibles. Wartime. Abandoned female lead who may amuse and/or appall. Ambiguous ending? Mostly enjoyed.

"The Last Ride of the Glory Girls" by Libba Bray: Interesting world. Strong female leads. Orphans. Rebellion. Ambiguous ending that may satisfy. Mostly enjoyed.

"Clockwork Fagin" by Cory Doctorow: Read one of his novels. Orphans. Rebellion. Murder. Mostly enjoyed.

"Seven Days Beset by Demons" by Shawn Cheng: Comic. Deadly Sins. Enjoyed.

"Hand in Glove" by Ysabeau S. Wilce: Still plan to read one of her novels. Murder. Horror. Female detective lead, mostly strong. Mostly enjoyed.

"The Ghost of Cwmlech Manor" by Delia Sherman: Mystery. Admiration for rank. Strong female lead. Mostly enjoyed.

"Gethsemane" by Elizabeth Knox: Less steampunk perhaps. Dirigibles. Technology goes very wrong. Female lead who perhaps sells out. Ambiguous ending. Witchcraft. Googled the author. Enjoyed.

"The Summer People" by Kelly Link: Also one of the editors. Less steampunk perhaps. Female lead who may be evil. Sinister. Mostly enjoyed.

"Peace in Our Time" by Garth Nix: May be too cute. Selfish old man. Okay.

"Nowhere Fast" by Christopher Rowe: Googled the author. Bicycles. Enjoyable female lead. Community. Memory. Longing. Enjoyed.

"Finishing School" by Kathleen Jennings: Comic. Harder to draw me in. Somewhat strong female leads. Less developed but it may just be me and comics.

"Steam Girl" by Dylan Horrocks: Googled the author. Setting seems to be our world. Steampunk elements are mainly in the a story within the story. Sensitive "loser" boy saved by "loser" girl and her story. Mostly enjoyed.

"Everything Amiable and Obliging" by Holly Black: Read a novel by this author. Strong female lead. Technology goes wrong. Slightly disturbing topic of machines and love. Enjoyed.

"The Oracle Engine" by M.T.Anderson: Strong narrative voice. Flying machines. War. Men. Revenge. Twists. Enjoyed.

I enjoyed the stories. I guess something about their execution kept me from being completely drawn in? This could easily be four stars for some/many people, I suspect. All these authors are writers to keep an eye on.