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altheaann

altheaann

Currently reading

A Creature of Moonlight
Rebecca Hahn
Saffron And Brimstone: Strange Stories
Elizabeth Hand
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance
Lois McMaster Bujold
Snow in May: Stories
Kseniya Melnik
Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories - 'Mike Allen',  'N.K. Jemisin',  'Matthew Kressel',  'Shira Lipkin',  'Rachel Manija Brown',  'Sara M. Harvey',  'Meredith Holmes',  'Georgina Bruce',  'Beth Wodzinski' OK, I got this book pretty much expecting a good N.K. Jemisin story and some cheesy-but-hopefully-fun erotica.
It significantly exceeded my expectations. Although only a couple of the stories are sexually explicit, all but a couple of them are well above the literary quality I would expect from an anthology from a romance/erotica publisher featuring several lesser-known and new writers. I'm definitely going to look up more work from some of these authors - I very much enjoyed the stories from Georgina Bruce, Rachel Manija Brown, Teresa Wymore (even if it's derivative of Mieville!), Amal el-Mohtar & Tara Sommers.
Only a few minor points:
The prologue is really annoying. Good job on the story selection, could have skipped the prologue. People patting themselves on the back for being wonderful, diverse and blah blah really gets to me. Just Do It.
N.K. Jemisin's story: I loved it. Wonderful settings and characterization. But it ends with That Ending. The one I hate. The one where the brilliant, competent woman who is good at what she does acquires a rich lover and the lover says: "I'm not fond of you keeping up this dangerous line of work... I can keep you in comfort for the rest of your days." And the woman instantly gives up everything, and says that sounds great. It doesn't matter if it's a woman lover; it's still aggravating. I'm trying to find some irony in it, but if it's supposed to be there, it's not coming through for me.
Mikki Kendall's story: I completely fail to be convinced that any woman would or should feel guilty for calling on her deity to violently destroy the invaders who enslaved her people and repeatedly raped their children. Not even one from an unusually pacifist culture.
Other than those quibbles - I'd highly recommend this book to anyone; I feel that its appeal transcends both the steampunk and lesbian-erotica niche markets.