I love steampunk, and Christmas. A Clockwork Christmas puts the two together in a thoroughly satisfying way.
Steampunk, for those who may not know, is a genre which posits an alternative Victorian age in which many futuristic elements abound that did not actually exist in that time. Airships and steam tend to figure heavily in steampunk fiction, and mechanical objects as well. In two of the stories in this anthology, PG Forte’s “This Winter Heart” and JK Coi’s “Far From Broken,” biomechanics play a very big role.
All of the stories are interesting and very well done. The steampunk elements are handled deftly and believably in each case.
“Crime Wave in a Corset” pits a daring thief against a man she robbed on his most precious possession. Will she steal his heart as well?
Jenny Schwartz’s contribution, “Wanted: One Scoundrel” is also a light-hearted romp which takes place in Australia, in which an American inventor poses as a scoundrel to win a woman who is determined to be the equal of any man.
The other two novelettes in this collection are more serious. “This Winter Heart” actually touches on a serious question: what makes us human? A woman who is not what she appears to be must try to save her marriage for the sake of her son. But can her husband love a lady who is, in fact, more than just flesh and blood?
Of the four stories, JK Coi’s “Far From Broken” is the most intense. Can a couple find their way back to love after a terrible event changes them forever?
A small quibble is that none of these stories really have much to do with Christmas. All of them could have been written without the Christmas element, but it serves as a thread to bind them together, and the book is so enjoyable that that is a very small matter indeed.
A Clockwork Christmas is a very satisfying collection of stories for fans of steampunk and of romance.