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Read the book with an open eye for all the ways the human protagonists are empowered by the latest in contemporary high tech. They are only winning because of cutting edge (at the time) information technology: shorthand, the telegraph network, wax cylinder audio recordings, expert application of knowledge about train schedules. (And souped up steamboats)

It already has everything that steampunk can be, except for the subtext of condescending mockery that often happens when current writers look at the historical technology.

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