Dead Steam is a dreadpunk short story collection. What is dreadpunk? Dreadpunk is Gothic-inspired horror and dark fantasy. It is not the same as steampunk, which is usually a reimagining of history with fantastical machines that run on steam. Dreadpunk is a reimagining of history with a horrifying collection of terrible monsters and gory deaths. It is not too far off from actual history to be honest, but instead of the monsters being crazily powerful men with tools of war, the monsters are vampires and zombies.
This book had some stories that truly made me cringe from the gore, some that made me say “ooh that was a good one” and a few that made me think “what did I just read?” To be honest, for a person that doesn’t typically enjoy horror, these were not so scary that I stopped reading at any point. A few were gross, yes. A few were suspenseful, yes. But I feel that a true horror fan would not be scared by these stories. If I read a scary story, I will usually have dreams about that story. I read some of these at like 11 PM in bed with all the lights off, and I still wasn’t scared! If you are looking to be scared, this may not be the collection for you.
The one short story that really stuck out to me was “The Hunger” by Ross Smeltzer. This short story tells their tale of an Inspector who goes through a horrible attack and wakes up to find that he is no longer his normal self. This story is probably one of the goriest and it was probably one of the only ones that shocked or scared me in the collection. I would recommend checking out this collection just to see this short story, and to see a few of the really good others.
I would say that this is a good short story collection. Most are well-written and tell a complete story. I wouldn’t necessarily say that this is the best horror short story collection, as a true fan of horror might not feel this as being scary enough. Therefore, I would only recommend this book to anyone looking for a gorier and less scary horror short story collection.
I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books