An outrageous trio of novellas that bizarrely and brilliantly twists the Victorian era out of shape, by a master of steampunk alternate history
Welcome to the world of steampunk, a nineteenth century outrageously reconfigured through weird science. With his magnificent trilogy, acclaimed author Paul Di Filippo demonstrates how this unique subgenre of science fiction is done to perfection—reinventing a mannered age of corsets and industrial revolution with odd technologies born of a truly twisted imagination.
In “Victoria,” the inexplicable disappearance of the British monarch-to-be prompts a scientist to place a human-lizard hybrid clone on the throne during the search for the missing royal. But the doppelgänger queen comes with a most troubling flaw: an insatiable sexual appetite. The somewhat Lovecraftian “Hottentots” chronicles the very unusual adventure of Swiss naturalist and confirmed bigot Louis Agassiz as his determined search for a rather grisly fetish plunges him into a world of black magic and monsters. Finally, in “Walt and Emily,” the hitherto secret and quite steamy love affair between Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman is revealed in all its sensuous glory—as are their subsequent interdimensional travels aboard a singular ship that transcends the boundaries of time and reality.
Ingenious, hilarious, ribald, and utterly remarkable, Di Filippo’s The Steampunk Trilogy is a one-of-a-kind literary journey to destinations at once strangely familiar and profoundly strange.
I actually read this anthology several years ago and found it to be funny deconstruction of our beliefs regarding the Victorian Age. Since I still have a rather large pile of reviews still to get through, I handed this off to Kieran who will be posting a review after he finishes with Flashing Steel, Flashing Fire.
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Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update and a blogger on Amazing Stories. Check out his short fiction. When not writing he works as an attorney, enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.