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According to Amazon, Gaslamp fantasy is "historical fantasy set in a magical version of the Nineteenth Century." While its first cousin Steampunk emphasizes mechanics, science and steam power, Gaslamp plays with magical possibilities.
This anthology includes spinoffs of Dickens and references to real people of the Victorian era. Queen Vicki herself gets a cameo in at least two stories. One of her prime ministers, Benjamin Disraeli, stars in The Jewel in the Toad Queen's Crown while William Morris, textile designer, poet, translator and social activist, takes the stage in the story For the Briar Rose. This is definitely one of those books that whets your thirst for more information. I have a brand new fascination with both Morris and Disraeli and can't wait to see where these rabbit holes lead me!
I listened to the audio version of this book. It's one I wish I had read instead. Three of the stories are epistolary, which sometimes doesn't lend itself to audio. The performance by narrator Kelly Lintz was fine, but it's a book to dip into again and again. I will probably end up buying a physical copy for my shelves.
The list below includes what I felt were the standout stories:
Queen Victoria's Book of Spells by Delia Sherman (Epistolary - entries in a young Victoria's diaries as she learns magic)
Phosphorous by Veronica Schanoes (Some very interesting social history here.)
The Vital Importance of the Superficial by Ellen Kushner and Caroline Stervener (Epistolary, and superbly done.)
A Few Twigs He Left Behind by Gregory Maguire (A fascinating epilogue of Scrooge)
Maguire's offering in particular left me hankering for more of his writing (which surprised me because Wicked (the book) was not a big winner with me). I will also seek out works by Delia Sherman and Ellen Kushner. Book one of the Tremontaine series (Kushner) has been ordered…
I could listen repeatedly this is a exciting creation. Well worth the time money memories.
Although the stories are intriguing if verging a bit on anglomania fan fiction, and the narrator has several serviceable British accents. They do slip a bit and more practice with place names would be required to not jar a native British listener.
My two favourite examples are the Hebrides islands pronounced hee-brides, and Queen Victoria becoming Scottish when she gets angry.