The Faraday Cage edited by Steve Turnbull
Published in May 2016.
Stories written by Peter A Smalley, Katy O'Dowd, Robert Harkess and Virginia Marybury.
Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
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How I got this book:
Received an advanced review copy from the editor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Faraday Cage is a collection of five short stories all set in Turnbull's Voidships steampunk universe and each written by a different author. I believe Turnbull originally envisaged his creation as a place for collaborative writing, but I think The Faraday Cage is the first publication with multiple authors. I am already familiar with the setting having read Turnbull's first two Maliha Anderson mysteries, Murder Out Of The Blue and Blood Sky At Night, however previous knowledge isn't needed in order to understand and enjoy The Faraday Cage so starting with this collection would be just as good an introduction to the Voidships world.
The five stories are The Haemophage by Robert Harkness, Taking The Cure by Peter A Smalley, The Iron Curtain by Virginia Marybury, Dear Prudence Katy O'Dowd with Steve Turnbull, and The Computationer by Steve Turnbull. I loved that they cover such a wide range of situations and locations, each interestingly described and well-evoked within short story limitations. Harkness's mining voidship in outer space is a claustrophobic and intimidating murder mystery whereas The Iron Curtain shows us extravagant luxury in pre-Revolutionary Russia. Taking The Cure flies us to the moon and back - well, hopefully we will get back! - then romance Dear Prudence pits a newspaper agony aunt against the family of her beloved, a wealthy heir met by pure chance, before we see then-small town Perth, Australia through the eyes of The Computationer. This is a well-balanced collection which I think has something rewarding to offer most readers. The stories are nicely observed, atmospheric and entertaining and I appreciated the title page illustrations, drawn by Maria Oglesby, which beautifully set the scene for each tale.
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Short stories / Steampunk / Books from England