Collections of stories by different authors can be difficult to appraise. Do I count the stronger stories more heavily, like the very funny and lighthearted Paul Di Filippo tale about a newt posing as Queen Victoria? Or do I put more weight behind the story written by some sort of ass impalement fetishist that had something to do with Wells' Time Machine? (Behind, get it? Har har. This is seriously why I hate reading this kind of thing, as I'm immature and can't help making really bad jokes.)
The scholarly introduction that opens this collection was really insightful, drawing comparisons between first generation steampunk and the Victorian Edisonade. It was provocative enough for my husband and I to get into a big argument about what defines steampunk, blah blah blah. I'll just say that I won, but then, when what I fight about with my husband is the definition of steampunk, haven't I already lost?