Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Review - the Questionable Tails

I was searching Barnes and Noble for steampunk books and found The Questionable Tails: A Steampunk Trio by Michael Seeley. It was free so I figured, why not?

The answer is that it is not a very good book. It is a collection of three stories linked by the airship "Questionable". In fact, the airship is the only claim that the stories have to being steampunk. Give me five minutes with a word processor and I could remove all of the steampunk elements.

So what it left? Three short stories in order from shortest to longest. None of them are very good.

The first is a very short build-up to a twist ending. A man is challenged to a duel by his beloved's long-lost brother. It reminded me of the type of story I wrote in the 8th grade.

The second story also has a twist. A poor man obsesses over a painting. It eventually turns out that he does not want to buy it. He wants to steal it to sell.

The third story is an abomination to my sensibilities. The main character is Karl Marx (yes, that Marx). In the story he goes to India (on an airship) and pours his heart out to the first man he meets. This man takes him to some elders who are easily sold on Marxism. The next thing we know, factory workers are rising to arrest foremen and execute the factory owners. In our world, Marxism lead to the deaths of 80 million to 100 million but in this world we are told that the revolution leads to a century and a half of peaceful communism in India.

Seriously, I thought that people gave up on Marxist fantasies after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

So, even for free the book is not worth the effort to read.

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