Kisses By Clockwork: Stories Of Steampunk And Romance, A Penny Dreadful Review
When I opened the book Kisses By Clockwork, I expected a collection of stories set in Australia. This is not what I found. Editor Liz Grzyb instead brought me an anthology of the world. This excellent stories take the reader from Italy to London to snowy villages in the Alps to kingdoms that have never existed in alternate Africas. And yes, at last, I got to read Steampunk stories set in Australia. What’s more, these were brilliant!
Several stories deserve special mention, such as “Siri and the Chaos Maker” by Carol Ryles, a beautiful melody of a fable, and “Love In The Time Of Clockwork Horses” by Rebecca Harwell, which featured lesbians, clockwork horses, and first love. Some stories stretched the definition of romance a bit far for me, and I felt that one story was a bit of a muddled mess. I won’t tell you which one I disliked, because it could turn out to be your favorite! Love is different for everyone.
I could not end this review without telling you of “A Clockwork Heart” by Amanda Pillar, a story of magical abilities and a pairing of necessity transforming into true love. It also features the most adorable conclusion!
My second favorite tale was “South, To Glory!” by D. C. White. It’s the hilarious tale of the All-England Monocle-Polishing Champion, Preston Featherstone, and his fiancé, who turns out to be a spy. And who could forget his man Bunny, a stolid, indispensible person who can steer a rocket-powered zeppelin bike. It’s goofy, implausible, and thoroughly enjoyable.
My absolute favorite tale in this tome would certainly have to be “Lady Presto Magnifico and the Disappearing Glass Ceiling” by Katrina Nicholson. It is a sweet story of espionage, inventions, and just desserts. There’s a lady magician, an automaton, and strides toward gender equality. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert even make an appearance!
I give this anthology three and a half gears out of five. The stories inside are varied and brilliant. I utterly enjoyed reading this book. I highly recommend Kisses By Clockwork!
Your Correspondent From The Bookstore,
Penny J. Merriweather