Jean-Paul’s rating: 2/5 stars
I do not know who to blame for the piss poor editing in this collection of short stories. It’s either the Womacks or whatever hack digitizer that was used to make the ebook version of the collection. There are typos on just about every page. Some are inconvenient like changing ‘he’ to ‘the’ and requiring a rereading of the sentence to make sense of the story, while others take multiple rereads to try to suss the original meaning. In an original English manuscript, this would all be difficult enough, but the stories contained herein were translated from Spanish, also by the Womacks, and while they did a pretty good job, there are more than a few translational weirdnesses that make digestion even more difficult.
Another big minus to this collection is that it’s only nominally steampunk. It’s steampunk in the same way that dude at the Renaissance Faire on Steampunk Day that is wearing a top hat with goggles attached to it is steampunk. Most have just an amuse bouche of steampunk, a flying ship here, a gear there, a ridiculously complicated contraption tertiarily related to the plot. That sort of thing. None of this really bothers me, mind you, as I don’t really fall into the steampunk fiction wheelhouse, but it would certainly piss aficionados of the genre off to find out it’s more “waterpunk” than “steampunk”.
The biggest strike against the collection is the misuse of the superlative “best”. If this is the best that Spanish steampunk has to offer and the definition of “steampunk” was stretched this thin to make up the collection, then Spanish steampunk doesn’t have much to offer. That isn’t to say that there aren’t good stories contained therein. There are. But there are also no excellent stories and plenty of dullish stories.
All of the above make it very difficult to recommend this book. The biggest frustration was definitely the crappy editing, though. Maybe the print version is cleaner and would lead to slightly better enjoyment. If you do decide to get this collection, definitely stay away from the ebook version.