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Carnal Machines: Steampunk Erotica Paperback – Apr 12 2011

3 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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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 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #502,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"This captivating collection has everything I look for in outstanding erotica; rich atmospheric settings, interesting, intelligent characters, well-crafted storylines, and the playful but always cerebrally surprising use of language." --Erotica for the Big Brain "An inventive, sexy twist on an up-and-coming genre." "Hot, Victorian repression being let loose on every page." "Harnessing a young man's libido to power the house--brilliant." --Independent Publisher Awards Judges, 2012 "It is hard to review an anthology, because you might not like all the stories equally or all the authors equally enough to give a rating. However, I loved all the stories in this book, which uses modern technology in some form or other in each story. It may not be modern as we know it, but with the machines built for pleasure seeking Victorian era prudishness, we see Queen Victoria couldn't hold back sensuality and sexuality as much as most people might have wished or believed. Carnal Machines is a great collection of stories, with widely varied ideas from widely varied authors. I think you will enjoy it." --Manic Readers "It's a really good fun, well written anthology which is completely different to anything I've ever read before. [...] if you're looking for something sexy and very different, look no further. Carnal Machines is a decadent and unique read that's well worth adding to your to be read list." --Lucy Felthouse for Erotica for "So, if you're looking something sexy and very different, look no further. Carnal Machines is a decadent and unique read that's well worth adding to your to be read list." --Blogcritics "Carnal Machines is a wonderful exploration of erotica in the Steampunk genre. I've read a fair amount of Steampunk erotica and this book, edited by D L King, is one of the best out there. The stories all embody the genre perfectly. Each one shines as a glimpse into a Victorian world that might have been if things had gone just a wee bit differently and in some cases magically. The characters and worlds of the various authors pull you in so well it's a shock when the story ends. You don't want to let go, you want to continue on and find out what else happens in these worlds. As I mentioned, I've read a lot of Steampunk erotica and most fail to catch the feel or the atmosphere of the genre. Carnal Machines nails it, this is what Steampunk erotica should be. This is definitely a book for the keeper shelf and one to read over and over with your favorite Airship Pirate or Mad Scientist. This one gets a 5 and a recommended read." --Night Owl Reviews "It would be easy to get lost in the devices of this ersatz era -- they could so easily steal the show -- but it is that the tales don't do this that makes the collection shine. I'm a firm believer in the strength of narrative in erotica, and it's obvious the authors in this anthology are cut from similar cloth. The devices are indeed carnal, but it's the characters who take you there." --Erotica Revealed "The possibilities for this time were limitless and I think the collaborator collected the best of the best. These stories are as varied in their subjects as they are arousing!" --Hedo Vibes

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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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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 (beta) HASH(0xa3bc27a4) out of 5 stars 25 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1c5933c) out of 5 stars Carnal Machines-popping my steampunk cherry July 5 2011
By Beth Wylde - Published on
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.

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1c59390) out of 5 stars Steam Heat! May 30 2011
By Nan A - Published on
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
HASH(0xa1c597c8) out of 5 stars Stoke the Steam for Sex April 21 2011
By wetfood - Published on
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
HASH(0xa1c59b94) out of 5 stars Worth the read but maybe not the price Dec 12 2014
By Crazie Betty - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This collection was only ok. There were a few stories I liked more than others and those will be the ones I touch on below. Unfortunately, a lot of this anthology felt more smutty that steampunk. Not that I mind smutty, but it's not what I was looking for given the collection is marketed as Steampunk Erotica. I expected more steampunk elements.

*Human Powered by Teresa Noelle Roberts: I enjoyed this story for the true steampunk elements to it along with the utilizing a person's sexual energy to power it. We could run the world off that kind of power!

*Dr. Mullaley’s Cure by Delilah Devlin: There were some definite coy elements to this story and I appreciated that. The Dr. is ever the gentleman through the story and I actually really liked dry and scientifically everything was approached.

*Infernal Machine by Elias A. St.James: This story actually had me laughing out load a couple of times. Just because circumstances and fate can be hell of a Bitch! Exasperated with not being able to figure out the purpose of a chair, the MC unwittingly brings it to life but not till after his lover has left and unwittingly leaves him to the carnal services of said chair. Only M/M story in the collection and I really liked it!

*Lucifer Einstein and the Curious Case of the Carnal Contraption by Tracey Shellito: This was my favorite story in the collection. I loved the kind of sordid aristocracy issues that were played around with and I love the idea of someone breaking into rooms to show the occupants pleasure but then leave them unhurt AND with the lovely contraptions they've come to enjoy. The ending was quite a delight as well.

*The Succubus by Elizabeth Schechter: This story made me kind of sad and melancholy. It was a great read with some good sex in it but the poor Succubus made my heart hurt for her. I finished reading the story hoping that she would finally find someone that could give her what she needed.

All in all a well done anthology but not with as many steampunk elements as I would've liked. However, the few stories that I really liked in this anthology made it worth the read
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1c59b40) out of 5 stars Who knew Steampunk could be so sexy? Nov. 18 2013
By Terrance Aldon Shaw - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
What if H.G. Wells, Jules Verne or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had been free to write the kind of erotica reflective of their own technologically-obsessed times? If the insatiable scientific curiosity of the Victorian era could have been focused on the myriad questions surrounding human sexuality, what strange and wonderful inventions might well have been wrought? In “Carnal Machines”, editor D.L. King has dared to ask “what if”, and in so doing, has raised another fascinating question; who knew steampunk could be so sexy?

“Carnal Machines” has everything I look for in outstanding erotica; rich atmospheric settings, interesting, intelligent characters, well-crafted storylines, and the playful but always cerebrally surprising use of language. These stories also make for a ripping good time. (Or would that be bodice-ripping good time?) There’s not a single clinker in the lot of fourteen, a credit to King and the dazzling cadre of talent she brings together for this anthology. Having once entered this oddly ahistorical world of clockwork marital aids, tireless sex-slave automatons, steam-powered pleasuring machines, and generators powered by pleasure itself, readers may never want to leave.

The consistent high quality of these stories is truly impressive. They have a way of lingering in the reader’s mind, bright sparks of pleasant memory. It’s difficult to cite only a few as standouts. (But, of course, I’m going to anyway, implying no offense to the other authors). The opening story, “Human Powered” by Teresa Noel Roberts, sets the tone perfectly in terms of language and mood. I was mesmerized by the darkly seductive atmosphere of “Her Own Devices” by Lisabet Sarai, set in Victorian-era Hong Kong. “Infernal Machine” by Elias A. St. James offers a refreshing same-sex take on the broader themes of the collection, and Elizabeth Schechter’s “The Succubus” rings down the curtain with just the right hints of sexual intrigue, mystery and menace.

Highly recommended!