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Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy

By Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, editors

Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy

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Started reading:
1 June 2013
Finished reading:
8 June 2013

Review

In this day and age, fantasy plus Victorian presumably defaults to steampunk. This umpteenth Datlow/Windling anthology takes a couple of steps toward hardware, but the eighteen stories are, by and large, about people, and how they deal with the strictures of the culture in the Victorian age. One of the best — “Phosphorus” by Veronica Schanoes — indicts the industrial exploitation too often typical of the period. In Delia Sherman’s titular story, set in the present day, we discover that Her Majesty’s diaries are protected by an enchantment, which turns out to have been cast by Victoria herself. The collection is easier taken one story at a time, since each of them will leave you with something to contemplate for the moment.