Steampunk Reloaded is the second of three anthology volumes edited by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer. As I have not read the other two installments, I can’t compare this book to them but after reading, I would definitely be interested in checking them out.
The anthology begins with an introduction by the two editors and is followed by the main body of the book – a collection of different stories written by various authors. Overall there are twenty-three short stories, each one written by a different author. And a short non-fiction section covers the last section of the book. A personal favorite of my mine would be the second story, Great Breakthroughs in Darkness by Marc Laidlaw, which I thought was both funny and disturbing. It really goes to show how far a mad scientist can go when he’s completely blind to the consequences of his own actions.
Of course, as this is an anthology the book, it will most likely feature stories of various interests. So while some stories may grab your attention, you may find yourself skipping over others. It will depend on what type of stories you enjoy reading. Fortunately, the book contains a nice variety of story types ranging from erotic, to mad science, western, and more.
I also wanted to point out on the really fantastic graphic art by Ramona Szczerba. Her pieces really capture that weird and bizarre side of steampunk visuals. One particular piece I was really impressed with was the portrait of Obadiah Theremin early in the book. There are also some art pieces by Eric Orchard, Ivica Stevanvoic, and John Coulthat, which are equally intriguing.
Overall, Steampunk II is an interesting compilation that I would recommend checking out to find the steampunk-themed story that interests you most!
Editors: Ann & Jeff Vandermeer