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Carnal Machines: Steampunk Erotica Paperback – Apr 12 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Cleis Press (April 12 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573446548
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573446549
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #442,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Madeline Moore on May 29 2011
Format: Paperback
Carnal Machines ' Steam Punk Erotica

Oh how I love the cover of this anthology from Cleis, edited by D.L. King.
The absolutely ridiculous goggles with little puffs of steam and a leather strap across one eye piece and the short leather top offering a glimpse of breast: a total turn-on cover.

I confess, although the words "Steam Punk" make me want to devote my life to writing in the genre, I didn't actually understand what the genre was. A good way to find out is to read an anthology on the topic, featuring many of my favourite authors. That anthology, Carnal Machines, Steam Punk erotica, is the one.

Steam Punk involves a "What if . . . " scenario. A fellow named Babbage actually created the plans for a steam powered computer, but the computer was never built. Apparently the Victorian era just wasn't all that interested in steam powered machines.

The first complete Babbage Engine was completed in London in 2002, 153 years after it was designed. Difference Engine No. 2, built faithfully to the original drawings, consists of 8,000 parts, weighs five tons, and measures 11 feet long. (Wikipedia.)

Steam Punk stories are based in Victorian times so the language is wonderfully correct and everyone has servants. All the women wear corsets and most of the men have moustaches. However, unlike true Victorian times, in Steam Punk stories there is great interest in steam powered machines. In this antho, the machines are carnal by nature.

Consequently the vast majority of stories feature steam powered dildos. All the authors do a terrific job of capturing the language of the times. The first story, "Human Powered" by Teresa Noelle Roberts, is delightfully imaginative and as much a love story as a story of lust.
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By psg1 on Nov. 22 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Carnal Machines: Steampunk Erotica This book was just more of the same chapter after chapter. Would not recommend for purchase.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 23 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Carnal Machines-popping my steampunk cherry July 5 2011
By Beth Wylde - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Carnal Machines-edited by DL King (review by Beth)Steampunk is gaining a lot of visibility lately. It's a hot genre right now and seems to be popping up in a lot of places, as both book releases and calls for submissions. I have to admit a bit of ignorance on this front though because I have never read nor written any Steampunk. I think one of the main reasons for that is because I rarely, if ever, write straight m/f pairings, and though the idea of combining Victorian technology with somewhat contemporary settings, a dash of sci-fi flare and scalding hot sex intrigues me, most of what I have seen is strictly in the male/female realm or lacks any real spice and alternative lifestyle content. So up until now I have bypassed the Steampunk phenomenon completely. Not anymore though.

When I saw the release info for Carnal Machines I knew I'd find at least one or two stories that would tantalize my kinky taste buds. DL King is known for putting together high quality anthologies and her willingness to include alternative pairings and content is one of the reasons I follow her work. I wasn't disappointed. So join me on my virgin journey into the world of Steampunk and a book filled with diversity in every way imaginable.

As with most anthologies some stories will really grab you and others may not. I'm going to highlight just a bit of each story and then urge you to pick up the book and find your own favorites.

The first story in the book really caught my attention. Human Powered, by Teresa Noelle Roberts. I love a strong female character that knows what she wants and isn't afraid to go after it. It's a storyline we don't normally see in m/f stories, but Teresa definitely delivered it in this one. I laughed out loud at some of the one liners in this piece. Teresa has a wonderful sense of humor and isn't afraid to use it to get her character's points across. Her main female character Claire is witty and strong-willed and determined to make her invention a success. She isn't afraid to ask for help but she definitely isn't the type to stand back and let a man take over either. The sex in the end is hotter than hell too. DL King picked a perfect story to kick things off. If the wedding package the two scientific geniuses plan to create ever becomes available in real life I will be first in line at the justice of the peace just to get one.

In The Servant Question, Janine Ashbless gives us a wonderfully sordid tale of a inventor who is willing to do anything to please his clients in order to achieve higher social status. He gets quite a surprise when he answers a desperate plea for help and discovers what type of chores his tireless housemaid is really being used for.

Renee Michaels presents, Sleight of Hand. A criminal reuniting of two wayward scientists in love and in lust.

For the Femdom enthusiasts we get Poe Von Page's, Mutiny on the Danika Blue.

For those of us with decidedly kinkier tastes Kannan Feng gives us a wicked little tale of bisexuality and voyeurism in Deviant Devices.

Jay Lawrence shows us that The Perfect Girl isn't always so perfect.

The medical fetishists among us will thoroughly enjoy Delilah Devlin's, Dr. Mullaley's Cure. If visiting the doctor was that enjoyable none of us would complain about the bills. I also find virgin stories especially delightful and Delilah's Nurse Percy is an adorable mix of curious and naive mixed together.

The surprising, somewhat trans slant Lisabet Sarai entertains us with in, Her Own Devices, was definitely a highlight of the book.

As always Kathleen Bradean delivers high quality smut and some kick ass female domination in Lair of the Red Countess. I'm not normally a femdom fan but this one got me hot and bothered.

The Infernal Machine by Elias A. St. James captured my attention from the beginning with the sexual innuendo of the opening paragraph.
It is also the only m/m story in the book and i love well written gay erotica. If one sexy man is good then two together is most definitely better!

Doctor Watson Makes a House Call for Essemoh Teepee and this time Sherlock Holmes is neither wanted nor needed. Dr. Watson performs just fine on his own.

The Treatment by DL King is a naughty little story of two gentlemen and their tea time encounter with the domineering Miss Li. Electrical engineering takes on a whole new meaning. Now I know how i want to light up my own house. Screw the electric company.

Lucifer Einstein and the Curious Case of the Carnal Contraption by Tracey Shellito is a title reminiscent of a Nancy Drew mystery only, to my knowledge, Nancy never went in search of suddenly appearing sex toys. The interviews Luci and her partner engage in are both entertaining and arousing and laced with an underlying humor only a great author can pull off. Every morning I check my front porch in hopes of receiving my own mystery package.

The final tale in the book is Elizabeth Schechter's, The Succubus. A wonderful way to end an action packed anthology full of carnal delight. The combination of Victorian debauchery with a decidedly BDSM slant topped things off nicely. ^_^

For steampunk fans both new and old this is one book you should add to your TBR pile asap.

Beth
[...]
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Steam Heat! May 30 2011
By Nan A - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The gleam of brass, the fragrant warmth of leather, the hiss of steam. "Carnal Machines," a new anthology of steam-punk erotica edited by D.L. King, offers many delights in the genre, along with some surprises. The stories in this collection delve beneath the staid Victorian manners and binding corsets that are a staple of the genre to explore machinery that is bent on pleasure with scientific fervor.

A sense of mystery pervades many of these stories. A robot in hiding in women's clothing, a woman disguised in men's attire, a scientist who prefers to observe his subjects from a distance, a complicated machine whose mechanism waits to be discovered. I really enjoyed following the dual levels of the story: both as a mystery and as an arousing experience. There are many different discoveries here, as well as a variety of pairings to suit any taste. The stories are hot enough to make the reader squirm; I discovered that I needed to read it in private, rather than out by the pool.

The fine storytelling of Lisabet Sarai ("Her Own Devices") and Kathleen Bradean ("Lair of the Red Countess") are always a delight. I find myself falling into the details of the story and wanting it to continue. The final piece, "The Succubus" by Elizabeth Schechter, puts the whole concept in the perspective of the machine, which is very compelling.

D.L. King has put together yet another fine collection, one that continues to engage the reader and arouse on many levels. I enjoyed savoring each of the stories.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Stoke the Steam for Sex April 21 2011
By o-gal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Wow, "Carnal Machines'" cover is so seductive! People always say you can't judge a book by its cover, and I agree. But when the cover is supremely awesome, it can make you want to pick up the book. And I certainly did--I was drawn right in.

I have no background with steampunk, and in fact, I apparently had no idea what that meant. I have never seen an actual steampunk machine (to my knowledge) so I learned a lot from this anthology. The book takes you to the Victorian era with its mixed-message prudery and sexual focus and exploration. The idea of a steam-powered sex machine is intriguing, especially to someone who grew up in the era of solar-powered vibrators.

I have always been fascinated with the idea of the treatment of so-called female hysteria, and this collection delves deeply. Corsets, vapors, chemises, and endless skirts area featured in various settings, such as the home of an adventurer and brothel owner in Lisabet Sarai's excellent "Her Own Devices," which features a pleasant surprise ending and plenty of mechanized devices. Another adventurer's club promises sexual delights and machinery in Kathleen Bradean's "Lair of the Red Countess."

A trip back in time, this collection isn't for everyone, but those who do plumb its depths will be rewarded with D.L. King's well-edited selections. There are flying machines, sex machines, and famed people in erotic situations, all with puffs of sexy steam.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Carnal Machines : Steam Punk Erotica May 29 2011
By Madeline Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Oh how I love the cover of this anthology from Cleis, edited by D.L. King.
The absolutely ridiculous goggles with little puffs of steam and a leather strap across one eye piece and the short leather top offering a glimpse of breast: a total turn-on cover.

I confess, although the words "Steam Punk" make me want to devote my life to writing in the genre, I didn't actually understand what the genre was. A good way to find out is to read an anthology on the topic, featuring many of my favourite authors. That anthology, Carnal Machines, Steam Punk erotica, is the one.

Steam Punk involves a "What if . . . " scenario. A fellow named Babbage actually created the plans for a steam powered computer, but the computer was never built. Apparently the Victorian era just wasn't all that interested in steam powered machines.

The first complete Babbage Engine was completed in London in 2002, 153 years after it was designed. Difference Engine No. 2, built faithfully to the original drawings, consists of 8,000 parts, weighs five tons, and measures 11 feet long. (Wikipedia.)

Steam Punk stories are based in Victorian times so the language is wonderfully correct and everyone has servants. All the women wear corsets and most of the men have moustaches. However, unlike true Victorian times, in Steam Punk stories there is great interest in steam powered machines. In this antho, the machines are carnal by nature.

Consequently the vast majority of stories feature steam powered dildos. All the authors do a terrific job of capturing the language of the times. The first story, "Human Powered" by Teresa Noelle Roberts, is delightfully imaginative and as much a love story as a story of lust.

My favourite in the collection, "The Servant Question" by Janine Ashbless, has it all. The language: Her magnificent bosom heaved under its white lawn blouson, and she dabbed at her upper lip with a lace handkerchief.
The conflict: Tulliver's Mechanical Servants is asked by a certain Mrs. Petherton to make adjustments to her servant that he does not, immediately, comprehend. Not until he arrives at the Petherton household to find the Missus in a lather and much in need of his immediate assistance.
"I cannot reach the climactic state I desire!" she wailed. "Act swiftly, I implore you."
And so he does. Sexy and funny and very imaginative. Can Ashbless write a bad story?
I doubt it.

While I liked all the stories there were some that truly stood out for me. I found "Mutiny on the Danika Blue" by Poe Von Page, different (female Domme) but not particularly steam punk. The Danika Blue travels through space but it could just as easily travel the seas.

"Her Own Devices" by Lisabet Sarai was delightfully different. Lin Xiao Chung is on a mission: A sliver of moon glimmered overhead . . . One gloved hand strayed to the blade belted under her tablier overskirt. It was always advisable to be prepared. There's a marvellous twist at the end of the tale that makes it well worth reading.

"Doctor Watson Makes a Housecall" a promising title if ever there was one, is a fine example of economical writing. "The noise of the Steam Steed hissing and clanking away brought the butler to the big oak doors."

D.L. King's contribution to her anthology is called "The Treatment." Once Mei has Harold and Rufus in their pods with smoked goggles over their eyes, it's only a matter of time before anal rods and rubber tubing, wires and straps are in place and pulsing suction begins. Bring it on, Mei! These big boys can take it.

"The Succubus" by Elizabeth Schechter, is the only entry with supernatural overtones (except for the incubus in "Human Powered.") It's the strangest story in the anthology and lingers, so placing it at the end, as D.L.King did, was good thinking.

Carnal Machines: Steampunk Erotica Steam Punk Erotica, edited by D.L. King and published by Cleis Press is wonderfully written, true to the anthology's theme, sometimes playful, intensely imaginative and boiling over with steamy sex.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Book Snob Recomends - Carnal Machines Sept. 17 2012
By Pavarti - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I received a free copy of Carnal Machines while at the Book Expo America. No promise of a review was made, let alone a positive one.

As many of you know, I'm hard on erotica (hehe, I said hard). I expect it to have some literary value in addition to titillation and I'm thrilled to say that Carnal Machines didn't let me down. It is of consistently high quality, which is rare in most anthologies, and follows the standard of the steampunk genre perfectly.

If you aren't familiar with steampunk I'd recommend reading something more mainstream before delving into this collection of perversion. Not because this isn't a good sampling, but because these short tales jump right in to the world, assuming a certain familiarity with steampunk's particular take on the Victorian Era.

From a Russian dominatrix with a penchant for domination and Tesla to devices designed to probe and exploit the baser desires of both men and women, Carnal Machines really has it all. A surprising amount of characterization and world building went into this collection and while each piece is by a different author, the through-line of style and quality connected the pieces enough that I enjoyed reading straight through.

Carnal Machines is a must have for connoisseurs of erotica, both because of its quality but also because of the innovation within the pages. The idea of an entire book about sex toys/devices, let alone ones powered via Victorian technology is as thrilling for the mind as it is the loins.


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