Hot With A Dash of Steam

What would you do without batteries? If you wanted a little extra fun and didn’t have a flesh and blood partner, your options before electricity and batteries (rechargeable or not) were pretty limited. But what if, in the Steam age, energy was being harnessed to power sexual devices and fuel carnal dreams? Such is the premise of Carnal Machines, one of the July selections of the Naked Reader Book Club.

Carnal Machines was published by Cleis Press in 2011. This is an oversized paperback with a glossy cover, and the front has a cool picture of a woman/machine.  It’s 202 pages long, and includes an introduction by the editor, D. L. King, about the authors and editor sections, and 14 stories of erotic dalliance before batteries and electricity were the norm.

D.L. King is a writer and editor, and Carnal Machines is her third book from Cleis Press. She’s the author numerous short stories as well as two novels of female domination and male submission. She was also featured in a fantastic interview by EdenFantasys in October 2010.

In the introduction, D. L. King talks about how the Victorians wrote some fantastic erotica, especially considering what a rigid and uptight society it was. Other writers during the time wrote their visions of the future and the possibilities the steam age held.  Steampunk, a modern coinage, refers to going back to such a simpler time, recreating the technical wonders of the modern day as they might have been made in that time not so long ago, and in this collection of Carnal Machines, she has pulled together 14 stories that exhibit the wonderous machines that could run on steam and provide the kind of pleasure their creator and others craved.

The stories in this collection are all quite interesting, and make you wonder if the Victorians weren’t actually crafting steam powered pleasure devices. Most of the stories feature heterosexual couples, while a few feature same sex encounters. Many deal with robots and vibrators of a most extraordinary sort, and some give you the feel of watching the Wild, Wild West with the traditional world yet the most awesome of gadgets. Scientists, thieves and their capturers, maids and salesmen, ship captains and their mates, doctors and nurses, even Dr. Watson (of Sherlock Holmes fame) finds a bit of lascivious fun amongst these pages.

I really enjoyed all but one or two of the stories, and found them all, for the most part, to be great erotic reading before bed and playtime. A few of my favorites:

“Human Powered” by Teresa Noelle Roberts Dr. Lowell is impressed by his dead friend Percy’s widow, Claire, and also by her prototype which will create electricity. She’s only vaguely told him what it does, but when Claire reveals that it converts sexual frustration to electricity, she must convince him that he should help her and also give in to his carnal urges with her in the lab.  Will the two discover how Claire’s device actually works and will he assist her research?

“The Servant Question” by Janine Ashbless Mr. Tulliver creates mechanical servants, and Mrs. Petherton as just ordered a maid.  He comes to the house on several occasions to provide the robotic maid with particular movements to complete chores. Will he be surprised when he must come for a new series of adjustments, to see just what household activities Mrs.. Petherton has given the maid?

“Lucifer Einstein and the Curious Case of the Carnal Contraption” by Tracy Shellito Luci travels with her faithful companion Earnshaw and her mother to try and cajole her contemporary, Cressida Waltham, into marrying Sir Douglas after she’s had a hysteria treatment like no other. She finds at the estate that a strange visitor is leaving his “Mark” with carnal contraptions most clever and compelling.  Will she discover the culprit in time, or will one of the devices contrive to confound her?

This is a great collection of stories, even if you’re not a huge fan of the Victorian era. The passion, sex, and contraptions are sure to intrigue and arouse you. This book has what I want in a collection of erotica – steamy stories that I can get off to.

Thank you to EdenFantasys for sending this to me for free tor review as a member of the Naked Reader Book Club! The Book Club meets every other Tuesday on the EdenFantasys forum – you’re welcome to attend! If you’d like to read Carnal Machines, you can get your copy at EdenFantasys by clicking the widget below.

product picture
Book by Collection of Stories by Various Authors
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Cleis Press Inc.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer.

This product was provided to me for free in exchange for an unbiased review. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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