Review of Kimberly Richardson's Dreams of Steam
Created by professor on 3/15/2011 2:28:22 PM

The Professor takes on a review of Steampunk anthology "Dreams of Steam" edited by Kimberly Richardson


The steampunk genre was birthed by the likes of Jules Verne and  H.G. Wells and christened by K.W. Jeter.  It is therefore to be expected that some of the best there is to offer in steampunk can be found in the written word. “Dreams of Steam” printed by Kerlak Publishing gives you a wonderful cross-section of the entire steampunk genre in one convenient place. Kimberly Richardson, award winning author of Tales from a Goth Librarian, serves as editor of this anthology. She dons her Victorian persona of  Lady Agnes Viridian and treats us to a diverse yet thorough collection of tales full of adventure, romance, mystery and invention all drenched in the savory flavor of steampunk.

                Technology takes center stage in “Dead Man’s Hand” by Jared Millet where he slowly unravels the secrets of an automated house.  Likewise, technology serves the basis of a friendship in “Phoenix” by David Blaloc. “Artificial Love” by Dwayne DeBardelaben is a tale about engineering true love with a delightful twist that is sure to delight.  “Five Copper Bowls” by Dale Carothers delves into the mind of a killer and makes the reader ponder the cost of second chances.  Allan Gilbreath’s “An Odd Demise” pays very excellent homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s well known detective.

                Both “In the Mountain Skies” by Stephen Zimmer and “Endeavor of the Rose” by Sidney Rose have a supernatural bent to them that is seamlessly blended with the steampunk setting. Both also leave you yearning for more tales of their heroes and villains. The good Lady Agnes herself offers up the poem “Blood and Brass” which gives insight into a world where a young lady can help change the course of history and along the way find contentment in her own life as well.

Some of the stories seem a bit unpolished.  Nevertheless, the overall impression is favorable and even the novice writers show promise. Several of the tales are simply gems and you quickly find yourself turning pages as you devour the story. All in all, this anthology runs the full gamut of steampunk and is both a great introduction and summary of what the genre has to offer in a literary context. 

 Kerlak Publishing has already announced a call for stories for “Dreams of Steam II”. And you can find more information on how to contribute to it at 


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