Friday, November 2, 2012

SP1: Fixing Hanover by Jeff VanderMeer

And so we begin with Steampunk November.

"Fixing Hanover" by Jeff VanderMeer

Okay, the lone engineer in a beach village finds a robot in the ocean, and works to repair it and bring it back to life. Simple enough, right? NOPE. Right from the get go, there's a love triangle between our engineer Deniker, Rebecca the Lady Salt (some kind of hot blonde pirate?), and the village's 'leader' Blake. Blake used to sleep with the Lady Salt, who's now sleeping with Deniker. Blake married, but his wife and child died in childbirth. Now he hates Deniker for taking the Lady Salt from him. Soap opera drama.

But, all is not as it seems; the engineer is an escapee from Empire, which strikes me as any world empire from ancient or modern times. He designed airships, which were then used to destroy or take over cities, countries, and basically everything else to continue expanding the Empire. Deniker fled to this beachy town, and all is well until he finds a robot that he decides to fix in an effort to sell to the hill people in order to get money and supplies for the town. I sure hope nothing bad happens..

All in all, I enjoyed this story. I'm looking forward to the genre, because steampunk is so narrow and yet so broad at the same time. "Fixing Hanover" struck me because of the similarities between the Empire's takeover of the world, and England's takeover of the new world, America. Intimidating Native Americans with our technological advances, and destroying them in order to colonize the continent? Yeah, VanderMeer isn't far off the mark with his story. I liked it, and this story makes me more enthusiastic for my month of steampunk.

- Justin

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