I’ll be doing an actual review of the Steampunk Trails 2 in the future, so I thought I might as well put up this Retro Review.
From 2014 …
Retro Review: Steampunk Trails 1, ed. J. A. Campbell, 2013.
“From the Editor”, J. A. Campbell — Brief statement by the editor stating how much she likes steampunk and the magazine’s commitment to articles and stories that capture the artistry and diversity of steampunk.
“From the Publisher”, David B. Riley — Publisher Riley’s brief statement that he had long seen steampunk stories of the western variety as editor and publisher of Science Fiction Trails and that he wanted to focus more on steampunk.
“What We Talk About When We Talk About Steampunk Fashion”, Carrie Vaughn — An article by Vaughn about steampunk fashion in which she argues that, unlike most clothing we now wear, it is individualized and makes a statement about the character/persona of the wearer. I had no idea Vaughn was the author of a bestselling series until I looked her up. I’ve only read one thing by her.
“Karl’s Korner, by Karl, the dinosaur sheriff”, David B. Riley — Karl, the dinosaur sheriff, is a running gag in Science Fiction Trails edited by Riley. Karl ruminates on their energy needs and fragile bodies relative to the pterosaurs he knew. Continue reading →
Review: Six-Guns Straight From Hell 2, ed. David B. Riley, 2014.
This weird western anthology isn’t as good as its predecessor, but it’s full of acceptably entertaining stories.
I didn’t say I remember the stories as being good.
I finished this book in November, and, when I went back to make my notes on them, I found only three that I remembered.
But I had a lot going on in my life then, so that may account for my memory deficiency. I do remember the book being acceptably diverting at the time.
So, let’s start with the ones that didn’t stick in my brain after five months.
Vivian Caethe’s “The Feast of Hungry Ghosts” features Pinkerton agent Beatrice Jones dispatched to Rock Springs, Wyoming in 1885. (Yes, Rock Springs is a real place, but I have no idea how much of the background is based in history.) Like a lot of Pinkerton work, there’s labor problems involved. To bust a strike of railroad workers, Chinese laborers are brought in, and the workers kill them. That’s where the hungry ghosts come in. The story is a bit predictable in stereotypes. Displaced union members, evidently, get no sympathy when replaced by foreign scabs. And Jones is helped by a local Taoist priestess. The story is a bit too long though Caethe does some interesting things with the ghosts at the end. Continue reading →