Saturday, June 2, 2012

Another Look at Steampunk Tales #1

Artist Melita "missmonster" Curphy
The Speculative Society Book Club’s first selection is Steampunk Tales #1, an anthology of ten stories published by Steampulp Publishing LLC.  I must admit if this wasn’t our book club choice, I doubt if I would have bothered with it. 
When confronted with an unknown book, I usually look at three things to decide whether to read or not to read.  I mean if I’m going get cozy on the sofa with a stranger, the unknown book, I want to be darn sure it’s going to be a worth the time. 
So, first thing I look at is the cover.  Okay, bad me.  I do judge a book by it’s cover.  For the cover of Steampunk Tales #1, I give it a five out of a ten.  The artwork is good but the concept screams, predictable.  Girl, googles, gloves, scarf, gun, and dirigibles. 
Second, I look at the blurp.  This is the description on Amazon.  Emulating the style of the pulp adventure magazines of the 1920s and '30s, Steampunk Tales contains first-run, original fiction written by an A+ list of award-winning authors. Issue #1 contains 10 stories, each running between 4,300 to 11,000 words, for an unbelievable price. Authors contributing to issue #1 include Jay Lake, Catherynne M. Valente, SatyrPhil Brucato and G.D. Falksen. The cover art was painted by popular artist Melita "missmonster" Curphy.”   Nothing in that pushed any of my buttons and enticed me to read on.    
But I did.  I read the first tale called Project Mobius-5 by K. E. Kendall.  How many times have you heard how important the first paragraph, the first five pages, the first chapter are to keep the reader reading?   I think this bit of advice was lost somewhere in the time continuum and I stopped reading.  
There might have been better stories to read in the anthology but not by me.  After all, time is precious, so when I spend time with a book I want to feel like I’m walking with a friend down an unfamiliar road.  
Till next time,


Ella Gray said...

I think everyone agrees with you on that first story, Elizabeth. Such a shame that it was chosen to start the anthology because it really was the least successful short. Bad luck, heh.

EW Gibson said...

So true!

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