Macina Mortis: Steampunk Tales of Terror edited by Sam Gafford (book review).

Steampunk needs no introduction especially if you follow the works of Stephen Hunt, the guy behind this website, and here we have a collection of stories all with a theme of horror set within this genre. It’s available as an e-book and paperback. Enigmatic stories such as ‘Last Flight Of The Bismarck’ and ‘The Black Banshee’ will jump out at you, some whimsical like Jeeves and Wooster and others dark and sinister like Edgar Alan Poe.

Machina Mortis cover

A dozen stories in total, they are a mixed bag with a wide variety of subjects. Beginning the collection with the ‘Last Flight Of The Bismarck’ story by Scott Baker, a large airship from Germany is on a secret mission to wreck havoc on America by first of all, releasing plague infected rats and then an army of steam-powered zombies. A couple of brave young people stand between them and disaster. Of the others, we’ve got ‘The Thumping In The Basement’ by Tonia Brown, a rather creepy tale about organ replacement and the terror that ensues when morality goes out the window and also Theresa Derwin’s journey to the Victorian era with ‘Whitechapel Transfer’ where the Ripper makes an appearance.

Although the stories are horror based, they are not generally terrifying because they are set in different realities from our own. Overall, this represents readable entertainment, an escape from the conflicts of our own world. It’s good stuff which is well worth reading.

Rod MacDonald

(pub: KnightWatch Press/Fringeworks Ltd. 266 page paperback. Price: £ 8.49 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-90957-302-4. Also available as an e-book imprint)
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