Following the death of Dr. Thackery Lambshead, the remnants of a mysterious cabinet was uncovered. Within, investigators discovered a collection of strange and unusual objects. With that premises, several well-known writers–including China Mieville, Alan Moore, Holly Black, and Garth Nix–attempt to document and write accounts for these unusual objects.
I came across this collection during one of my many Internet browsing sessions, and I picked it up. It was not quite what I expected; I thought there would be more traditional short stories, but, nevertheless, I was quite pleased that I checked out this volume. I enjoyed the research report format of many of the stories and the illustrations that accompanied many of the stories. The design of the book really emphasized the premises and further engaged me in the stories. I also loved some of the concepts of the stories; Ted Chiang’s “Dacey Patent Automatic Nanny” , Tad William’s “A Short History of Dunkelblau’s Meistergarten”, and Charles Yu’s “The Book of Categories” were among my favorites. These stories mix science, faith, and human nature in ways that are captivating. Appealing to readers of science fiction and steampunk in particular, this collection should be enjoyed at a comfortable pace, with perhaps a mug of tea in hand.