For such a tightly laced age, Victorians spent a lot of time thinking about things carnal—proving, of course, that what is repressed will be even more exciting once the corset is unlaced. In Carnal Machines, D.L. King has curated stories by outstanding contemporary erotica writers who use the enthralling possibilities of the 19th century steam age to tease and titillate in a decadent fusing of technology and romance.
In Teresa Noelle Roberts' "Human Powered," a widowed lady engineer invents a small device that can store the energy from sexual frustration to provide total satisfaction. Poe Von Page delights with a crew sailing the solar winds of space, in unusual service to their new captain in "Mutiny on the Danika Blue."
Carnal Machines takes you to another world filled with brothels, flying machines, steam-powered sex toys, manor houses and spiritualist societies—even Doctor Watson makes a house call. Fantastic, fantasy-filled and stoked to full power, Carnal Machines is a steamy read that guarantees many happy endings.
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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.
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