Carnal Machines

Book by Cleis Press Inc.

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Steamy, But Not Exactly Steampunk

For those who love reading about Victorian lovers, “Carnal Machines” provides fourteen stories set in the suppressed sensuality of that “steamy” era. The stories cover a variety of sexual scenarios from hetero to homo to BDSM, though there is a little too much emphasis on steam powered sex machines and not enough elements of actual steampunk. Not all of the stories are equally good, but overall, it is a very satisfying read.
Published:
Pros:
Mostly well written stories, variety of scenarios, fairly discreet cover
Cons:
Steam powered sex toy theme overdone, one really bad story
Rating by reviewer:
3
extremely useful review
Experience
Although, most of the stories in “Carnal Machines” do not fit my definition of steampunk, they are, nevertheless, fun and arousing erotic stories. If you like erotica, you will probably like this book. If you like Victoriana, you will probably like this book. If you like steampunk, you may or may not be disappointed with most of the stories, depending on how flexible your expectations are when it comes to steampunk.

This is an off-site review, so make sure to click on the link above to read the entire review.
Follow-up commentary
After waiting a while and looking through these stories again, I've decided that I was a little harsh in my original review. It was probably bad timing to read this anthology immediately after re-reading my favorite steampunk trilogy. The stories can't really live up to that standard, but all except one are still pretty good stories. I still think that one story is completely awful though.
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Comments
  • Airen Wolf
    Airen Wolf  
    Yet another excellent review!!
  • Ivy Wilde
    Ivy Wilde  
    @ Airen Wolf -- Thank you so much to my excellent mentor!
  • Ansley
    Ansley  
    I don't understand...I thought steampunk is about steam-driven machines and the era in which they would have been invented.
  • Ansley
    Ansley  
    Ignore me, I completely missed the paragraph where you explained that. D'oh!
  • Ivy Wilde
    Ivy Wilde  
    @ Sapphire Storm -- That's okay, a lot of people are confused about steampunk. I think the descriptions tend to change depending on if the writer is aiming at a sci fi/fantasy audience or trying to sound more literary. When the people describing steampunk are trying to sound more literary and sophisticated, they tend to focus on the historical/Victorian elements and ignore the alchemical/magical elements. Since I have no pretension to literary-ness, I freely admit to liking the alchemical/magical elements.
  • Ansley
    Ansley  
    Ah...I see. So just like everything else, you can take what you want from it nad discard waht you don't. It's not something I've explored, but it does seem to be extremely popular these days. I suspect in most cases where the alchemy and magic isn't included is because the aithor has no idea how to make it work in their writing. It's not like --- let's say Harry Potter where every detail has to mesh with the big picture.
  • Lavender420
    Lavender420  
    Great!
  • WildeKnight
    WildeKnight  
    Great review.
  • darkkitty
    darkkitty  
    Thank you!
  • pinkzombie
    pinkzombie  
    Great review!
  • KrissyNovacaine
    KrissyNovacaine  
    There are different anthologies in this vein. Carnal machines focuses on machines. This item: [http://www.edenfantasys.com/books-video-audio/erotic-books/steamlust] doesn't as much.
  • Aydios
    Aydios  
    thanks
  • Ivy Wilde
    Ivy Wilde  
    Thanks for the suggestion KrissyNovacaine.
  • maddameheather
    maddameheather  
    ty great review
  • limitless
    limitless  
    Thanks for the great review!
  • Ivy Wilde
    Ivy Wilde  
    Thanks maddameheather and Karielle!
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