Title: The Steampunk Trilogy.
Author: Paul Di Filippo.
Published: 1995.
Publisher: Four Walls Eight Windows.
ISBN: 1-56858-028-2.

A marvellous book by American author Paul Di Filippo, who the book jacket claims is an open secret in the science fiction world (translation: he mostly writes short stories). As the cannier observers amongst us may have guessed from the title of the book, the book is composed of three mostly unrelated novellas in the steampunk genre: Victoria (originally published in the magazine Amazing Stories in 1991), Hottentots and Walt and Emily (originally published in the magazine Interzone in 1993).

To describe the three stories:

Di Filippo's imaginative, surreal sense of humour permeates all three stories. The main characters in each book have hilariously quaint and offensive 19th century beliefs, the subtext (the subtext of the entire genre of steampunk, really) being that, in 200 years people will find our beliefs just as quaint.

An excerpt from Hottentots, as Dagon (who has the shape of an Ichthyosaurus) has just awoken (page 234):

Now Maurice stepped forward, out of the crowd.
"All you imperialists know is force. Let me attempt to reason with the creature. Ahoy, creature! I represent the proletariat-"
Seeming attracted by the whiney voice of the socialist, the Ichthyosaurus dropped its head down to peer at him.
"You see-"
In the blink of an eye, the horrid beast swallowed Maurice Desor.

The only thing wrong with The Steampunk Trilogy is that it is at it's funniest when you are familiar with the historical personages (and so on) described in the stories. It's probably worth reading a few of the nodes I've linked to if you intend on reading the book.

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