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Clockwork Fagin (Free Preview of a story from Steampunk!)

Clockwork Fagin (Free Preview of a story from Steampunk!) - Cory Doctorow My town is preparing for its very first steampunk festival hootenanny this weekend, the Brass Screw Confederacy, so when I saw this was available at the Great Library of teh Intarwebs, I thought it opportune to check it out and download it to my target-funded reader surveillance device.It's uneven—what anthology isn't?—but when it's good, it's very good, and very good fun. I know almost nothing of these authors nor of the genre, so I'm going strictly by the stories in this book.Some fortunate future day / Cassandra Clare: Nicely told, with a fairly realistic girl heroine whose emerging personality takes precedence over the technology.The last ride of the Glory Girls / Libba Bray: A good twist on Old West outlaw adventures.Clockwork Fagin / Cory Doctorow: Not at the Dickens level its title implies, but an engaging and satisfying rags-to-riches tale.Seven days beset by demons / Shawn Cheng: A simple graphic tale, well-enough told.Hand in glove / Ysabeau Wilce: The first real disappointment, a flatly told and contrived detective tale.The ghost of Cwmlech Manor / Delia Sherman: I'm much more prepared to accept sentient mechanisms than ghosts, but this was a pretty good tale of the servant-girl/dissolute-nobleman genre. "Reader, I became his engineer."Gethsemane / Elizabeth Knox: Some very complex characters, a bit ill-served by the adventure leanings of the plot which take over the story; it could work just fine without any steampunk trappings at all.The summer people / Kelly Link: Really more of a fantasy story, but gorgeously written, with an engaging protagonist.Peace in our time / Garth Nix: Disappointingly programmatic.Nowhere fast / Christopher Rowe: (No, he's not related, far as I know.) OK; an unusual setting but simplistic plot and fairly transparent moralizing.Finishing school / Kathleen Jennings: Ugh, didn't like this graphic piece at all: flat and simplistic.Steam girl / Dylan Horrocks: Wow, this was great! First love among the socially awkward (i.e. those who enjoy steampunk tales).Everything amiable and obliging / Holly Black: A tale of upper-class romance, where the unwelcome suitor is mechanical; otherwise follows the genre rules.The oracle engine / M. T. Anderson: Surprisingly satisfying version of Roman history, with calculating engines and flying machines added.