Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris,
Magical Mechanications
(Imagine That, 2016)

Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris are a writing team that quickly stamped their identity on the growing steampunk movement. With Magical Mechanications, they merge steampunk with the world of fairy tales -- and it's a happy marriage between them.

The short book contains four stories, each playing off a familiar tale. Here, you'll find shades of "The Little Mermaid," "Aladdin," "The Wild Swans" and, my favorite here, "Little Red Riding Hood."

The latter, penned by Morris, transposes the story neatly into a world of World War I dogfights. Scarlett, aka Little Red, is an ace pilot who fights, quite successfully, from a hidden airfield behind enemy lines. The Big Bad Wolf is the callsign for her Red Baron, another female pilot who flies for the Germans and who has a mechanical marvel of a plane at her disposal. Little Red must sneak through the forest to find a spy, codename "Grandmother," who has snatched the plans for the Allies. But the Wolf is lurking with murderous intent to foil Red's plan.

The other three stories are also well-told tales, taking the reader under the sea, into the desert and up to vast cities in the sky. All are enjoyable, and each should appeal to readers of both the steampunk and fairy-tale genres.

Meanwhile, where is the next collection? I suggest steampunk versions of "Three Bears" and "Beauty & the Beast," at the very least.

book review by
Tom Knapp

10 December 2016

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new