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"Chockful of gear-driven automatons, looming dirigibles, and wildly unbelievable time machines . . . may still please steampunks of all ages." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Imagine an alternative universe the place tinkerers and dreamers craft and re-craft a global of automatons, clockworks, calculating machines, and different marvels that by no means have been. Visionaries Kelly hyperlink and Gavin J. provide have taken a style already wealthy, unusual, and artistic and challenged fourteen masters of speculative fiction, together with photograph storytellers, to embody its proven issues and refashion them in amazing methods and settings. the result's an anthology that defies its style while it defines it.

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Becoming the pipe among my lips, I blew softly. similar to a recorder it used to be to play, with a pleasant, vivid tone. i attempted a scale in C, up and down, after which the 1st word of “The Ash Grove. ” Betty whirred, swiveled her head, waved her hands aimlessly, and jerked ahead. I dropped the pipe simply as she was once near to crushing the hens lower than her treads. and that's how Mam came upon us: me with my fingers over my mouth and the pipe at the ground and Betty frozen and the hens squawking healthy to move your eyes. Mam closed her lips like a seam, picked up the hens, and carried them outdoor. whilst she obtained again, there has been a observe or she needed to say approximately accountability and God’s creatures and dashing into issues willy-nilly. yet Mam’s scolds by no means lasted lengthy, and shortly we have been cooking companionably facet via aspect, simply as we did at domestic. “And what’s the use,” she requested, “of that fab clumsy desktop by way of there? ” “That is the kitchen maid,” I acknowledged. “Betty. there's every type of items she will be able to do — as soon as I easy methods to use that appropriately. ” I cocked my chin on the pipe, which I’d caught at the mantel. “Kitchen maid, is it? ” Mam spluttered — disgust or laughter, i couldn't inform — and fetched flour for the crust of a savory pie. whilst it was once combined and rolled out, she laid down the pin, wiped her fingers on her apron, went to the wardrobe, acquired out one in all Mrs. Bando’s plentiful blue pinafores and a ruffed white cap. She set the cap on Betty’s polished steel head and tied the pinafore round her physique with the strings crossed all tidy, then gave a nod. “Not so bad,” she acknowledged. “With outfits on. yet a godless monster still. an excellent factor Susan Bando isn't right here to determine any such factor in her kitchen. i'm hoping and pray, Tacy, my toddler, that you're going to now not remorse this selection. ” “Do you cross me these carrots, Mam,” I acknowledged, “and cease your fretting. ” whilst Da got here in and observed Betty, he laughed till i assumed he’d choke. Then he pulled a pipe from his personal pocket and despatched Betty rolling again into her pantry with an uncouth flight of notes. “This pipe is Sir Arthur’s personal invention, glance you,” he stated, proud as a cock robin. “A nice develop at the outdated box-and-button method it really is, all performed with sound waves. hard to take advantage of, glance you — all morning I’ve been studying to cause them to come and pass. yet smart. ” i wished a lesson correct then and there, yet Da acknowledged Sir Arthur will be in need of his dinner, and that i needs to discover a fresh desk for him to devour it on. Mam learn me a lecture on holding my eyes decreased and my tongue among my the teeth, after which they have been off and that i used to be on my own, with a savory pie within the oven perfuming the air, able to start my lifestyles because the housekeeper of Cwmlech Manor. A ruined manor is gorgeous to examine and whole of poser and goals to wander in. yet to make healthy for human habitation a home the place foxes have denned and mice bred their generations is one other pair of trainers. Had I a proposal of being mistress of a fleet of mechanicals, with not anything to do yet stand via enjoying a pipe whereas they labored, I quickly discovered greater.

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