I’ve been hearing quite a bit about the new book from Broken Eye Books, Ghost in the Cogs, an anthology of steam-powered ghost stories, and not just because it has a story by our very own Howard Andrew Jones. Here’s what Howard had to say about it:
It’s the first time in years I’ve had a story published that didn’t feature Dabir and Asim or one of my Pathfinder characters. In this instance, it’s an alternate steampunk world with zeppelins and haunted temples and a sort of Robin Hood, Gentleman Jim, who adventures with his trusty second story gal Big Jane. They get into a scrape when they’re hired to steal a fabulous treasure that turns out to come with a few drawbacks. I had a blast writing it and I might draft more in the same world with the same characters.
The book contains no less than 22 stories, from such talented writers as Siobhan Carroll, Howard Andrew Jones, Eddy Webb, Nayad Monroe, Christopher Paul Carey, Scott Fitzgerald Gray, Richard Dansky, Nick Mamatas, Liane Merciel, James Lowder, and many others.
The always reliable Keith West saw fit to give the book a feature review at his excellent blog, Adventures Fantastic. Here’s part of his review.
This is one of the more enjoyable anthologies I’ve picked up in a while… Steampunk often has a formality to it as well as a gentle humor other subgenres lack, which I think is part of the reason I enjoyed this anthology.
Second, the first thing that comes to (my) mind when you mention ghosts and steampunk is putting a ghost in some type of mechanical contraption. There were some stories that played with that idea. But by and large, I found the strongest stories to be the ones that went in a different direction. There’s quite a wide variety here, including two (count ’em, two) stories featuring William Hope Hodgson’s ghost hunter Carnacki…
“Asmodeus Flight” by Siobhan Carroll concerns a young woman whose airship engine has been stolen. In this story, airship engines contain ghosts. No one thinks they’re actually sentient. What Effie discovers is going to turn her world upside down. There were a lot of hints in this one about a wider world that draws on the science fantasy of the Victorian era I’d like to see more of…
Eddy Webb gives us the first Carnacki story with “The Blood on the Walls.” It’s a top notch tale in which a recently widowed army officer asks Carnacki to investigate the strange goings-on in his new estate…
Liane Merciel‘s “The Lady in the Ghastlight” concerns a man of reason who pays a high price to understand what animates a dancing woman in a carnival sideshow. He doesn’t realize just what price he’s going to be asked to pay. This one was one of the creepiest stories in the book and doesn’t take the easy ending.
Read Keith’s complete review here.
You can read the back cover text by clicking on the back cover above. But here’s the more complete version, from the website:
Ghosts. Gaslight. Gears. And incredible authors: Siobhan Carroll, Folly Blaine & Randy Henderson, Jessica Corra, Howard Andrew Jones, Emily C. Skaftun, Elsa S. Henry, Eddy Webb, Nayad Monroe, Jonah Buck, Erika Holt, Wendy Nikel, Parker Goodreau, Christopher Paul Carey, T. Mike McCurley, Scott Fitzgerald Gray, Richard Dansky, Nick Mamatas, Spencer Ellsworth, Liane Merciel, Richard Pett, James Lowder, Cat Hellisen.
Welcome to a wondrous age of steam where pirates, rust, and syphilis aren’t all you need to worry about. Ghosts abound!
In this hissing and clanking steampunk anthology, there are moments that science just can’t explain. All the mechanical geniuses scratch their heads and whisper words of ghosts and powers, of spirits and demons. Possessed automatons take on lives of their own. Superstitious pilots take all necessary precautions. Avant-garde machinists harness the spirits to power their creations. Revenge-minded ghosts stalk haunted gasworks. This is a mechanized playground for the souls of the dead.
Again and again, the spirit world proves itself inspiring and dangerous, useful and annoying. In rich steampunk worlds, chock full of gizmos and gadgets aplenty, these are the stories that go bump, clatter, boom in the night.
Broken Eye Books has an impressive line up of titles, including:
By Faerie Light, an anthology of dark faerie tales edited by Scott Gable, C. Dombrowski, and Dora Wang
Crooked, a steampunk horror murder mystery by Richard Pett
Scourge of the Realm, revenge tale of sword and sorcery and sex by Erik Scott de Bie
The Hole Behind Midnight, unapologetically foul-mouthed and irreverent urban fantasy by Clinton J. Boomer
Tomorrow’s Cthulhu, an anthology at the dawn of posthumanity, edited by Scott Gable & C. Dombrowski (12/21/15)
See all the details at their website.
Ghost in the Cogs: Steam-Powered Ghost Stories was published by Broken Eye Books on October 31, 2015. It is 250 pages, priced at $24.99 in hardcover, $14.99 in paperback, and $6.99 for the digital edition.
See all of our recent New Releases here.