A few of the incredible contributors: Holly Black, Ted Chiang, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Jay Lake, China Miéville, Naomi Novik, Eric Orchard, Cherie Priest, Tad Williams and so many more!
Art + Eccentric Short Stories = The perfect book for me.
Reading The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities was like finding a chest your grandparents kept hidden in the attic and discovering it full of wondrous treasures and secrets. For me, it was my great uncles–obsessive readers, war veterans, and I’ll be honest–hoarders. When they passed away in the ’90s the family came together in Virginia to clean house. The house, over 100 years old, was like a museum. The experience thrilled me, like a child in a candy shop. The Cabinet of Curiosities did the same, it is the attic full (or basement in Lambshead’s case) of treasures. I’ll admit, I became so enthralled with the book’s art and stories I almost forgot I was reading fiction. Or was I?
The Cabinet of Curiosities is divided into several sections. Some contain short stories inspired by objects in Dr. Lambshead’s collection, others are portrayed as documentation or research on a particular item. There are even first person accounts later in the book from individuals who had the opportunity to see the cabinet. The remainder of the book reads like a museum catalog.
Ann & Jeff VanderMeer have sculpted a rich masterpiece of Steampunk and Fantasy, with eccentric characters and marvelous artifacts and devices. This is one of the best collections of art/fiction, under the guise of non-fiction, that I’ve read this year. I gave it five stars on Goodreads!
A few of my favorites:
Dacey’s Patent Automatic Nanny Documented by Ted Chiang
Weird. Very weird, but in a good way.
Threads by Carrie Vaughn
The first story in the volume is a bit of a puzzle. But wait for it… Wait for it…
Lot 558: Shadow of my Nephew by Wells, Charlotte by Holly Black
I loved this short story and the accompany illustration by Eric Orchard. This one tugged at my heart.
A Short History of Dunkelblau’s Meistergarten by Tad Williams
This was the most disturbing piece in the volume, but I couldn’t stop reading. An alternative title could have been: The Horror of Dunkelblau’s Meistergarten.
Addision Howell and the Clockroach Documented by Cherie Priest
As incredible as it may sound (a Clockroach?!) this story was one of the most believable. It was also a reminder that I must read more of Cherie Priest’s works.