Peace in Our Time single work   short story   fantasy  
Issue Details: First known date: 2011... 2011 Peace in Our Time
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

In a post-apocalyptic world, a formerly high-ranking official tells the story of the destruction of his 'clockwerk' civilisation.


  • Steampunk note: This story is anthologised in multiple collections of steampunk stories. A review by Eugene Reynolds in the New York Review of Books notes that the story does not meet the more common definition of steampunk:

    But here I think we go too far. Yes, it involves the collapse of a civilization, one built on “clockwerk,” geared mechanisms, destroyed by “sandgrain” tech (replicating nanoparticles of grit that foul up those gears). Humans augmented with clockwerk are killed en masse; only the Grand Technomancer survives, he alone sans clockwerk to tell the tale to an investigator from off-Earth. There is much here over which to marvel (the Grand Technomancer served in the Mechanodromedary Cavalry in the desert—how cool is that?—during the war against the investigator’s ancestors). But, M. Nix, il invente! His clockwerk civilization is not salvaged from the past or a past, real or imagined. Gears (or airships) themselves do not make steampunk, if they are new gears, never-before-seen airships. There is a newness of creativity here, which is no bad trait for a speculative fiction, and Nix has a worthy model on which to draw, with his clockwerk Mechanists fighting bio-tech Shapers, à la Bruce Sterling (whose own turn will come, alas and alack). In terms of steampunk, though? J’accuse Nix!


    Eugene Reynolds, [Review of] Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution. New York Review of Science Fiction, September 2014. (

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories Gavin J. Grant (editor), Kelly Link (editor), Somerville : Candlewick Press , 2011 7057361 2011 anthology short story

    'Imagine an alternate universe where tinkerers and dreamers craft and re-craft a world of automatons, clockworks, calculating machines, and other marvels that never were. Visionaries Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant have taken a genre already rich, strange, and inventive and challenged fourteen masters of speculative fiction, including two graphic storytellers, to embrace its established themes and refashion them in surprising ways and settings. The result is an anthology that defies its genre even as it defines it.'

    Source: Publisher's blurb.

    Somerville : Candlewick Press , 2011
    pg. 253-266
  • Appears in:
    y Steampunk III : Steampunk Revolution Jeff VanderMeer (editor), Ann VanderMeer (editor), San Francisco : Tachyon Publications , 2012 10482794 2012 anthology short story San Francisco : Tachyon Publications , 2012 pg. 367-376
  • Appears in:
    y To Hold the Bridge : Tales from the Old Kingdom and Beyond Garth Nix , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2015 8348626 2015 selected work short story

    'This is a masterful short story collection including a rarely seen Old Kingdom novella. Garth Nix proves he is a master of the short story with this intriguing collection of tales. Leading with the novella to hold the bridge, fans of Garth Nix will be more than satisfied with the richly detailed and thrilling tale of Charter Magic and a deathly duel. Fans new and old will delight in the subsequent tales, including fantasy and science fiction, with witches, vampires, strange worlds and stranger creatures making their appearance.' (Publication summary)

    Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2015
    pg. 371-383
Last amended 12 Jan 2017 16:47:23
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