Review: Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs Aliens edited by Patricia Bray & Joshua Palmatier

Clockwork UniverseThis was a fun anthology that I easily read over the course of a weekend of airplane flights. The stories were dissimilar enough that they were easily distinguishable, despite the thematic elements that tied them all together. I especially enjoyed that the stories did not all take place in England or even Europe, and that elements of character diversity were also present.

Favorite story: The final story in an anthology should always end with a bang, and in this case, Seanan McGuire’s “Lady Antheia’s Guide to Horticultural Warfare” was an absolute delight. The main character was charming and vicious, and the narrative upended my expectations of the story in surprising and clever ways.

Story I wish was a novel: There is incredible potential for expansion with C.B. Pratt’s “The Red Queen and the White.” I was instantly drawn to the depth of the main and secondary characters, and the world-building was solid enough for the purposes of the story while leaving me wanting so much more. I’d happily read a longer form narrative of the events in this story, because there was so much more to be explored therein, for both Earth and the mysterious aliens who arrive. 

Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Published by steelvictory

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Her debut novel, STEEL VICTORY, was her thesis novel for Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Previously, she was one of the co-editors for FAR WORLDS, a speculative fiction anthology. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (, on Facebook (, and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.

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