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Carnal Machines

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  190 ratings  ·  32 reviews
The Victorians wrote some of the best and most enduring erotica. For such a tightly-laced age, people spent a lot of time thinking about things carnal. Jules Verne, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Shelley, H.G. Wells, et al enthralled us with their visions of new possibilities. The rich and slightly decadent visuals of the steam age lend themselves perfectly to the new carnal ...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by Cleis Press (first published April 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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 ·  190 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Lisabet Sarai
May 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This is a wry, delightfully naughty collection that blends the exotic technology and pseudo-Victorian manners of steam punk with red-hot erotic fantasy. In Teresa Noelle Roberts' "Human Powered" a female professor of "arcane engineering" from Wellesley College designs a mechanism to capture sexual energy in order to replace dirty, polluting coal - then tests it with the help of an old friend and colleague from MIT. "The Servant Question" by Janine Ashbless gives us domestic robots, Victorian-sty ...more
Nigia Stephens
Feb 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: finished
It was fun but not fabulous. The last story was a nice ending to the book and a touch spooky. I wish there was far more of that one and of about seven others. "Her Own Devices" rocked! I enjoyed it even though the last line stank. I'd love to have seen this one as the first story. "Lair of The Red Countess" was perfect! Both of these were worth the price of the book. Those stories felt like true Steampunk Erotica.
I think if Carnal Machines had fewer stories of simple smut with devices thrown i
May 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
What is it about the Victorian era that we modern readers/writers find so compelling? For me, some of its allure is that it wasn't so long ago that it seems inaccessible. Victorians lived essentially as we do, with more restrictive social customs and a less evolved understanding of technological possibilities. They had some knowledge of electricity, but homes were still lit with gaslights. They rode in horse-drawn carriages, wore crinolines and waistcoats and had to hold perfectly still for long ...more
♆ BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme
Steam powered sex toys, energy sources powered by sex, human like steam powered robots, what isn’t in this book? Carnal Machines is an anthology filled with steamy hot stories. Each story increases in intensity. The cleverly written short stories are all tightly woven to deliver the maximum pleasure in the minimum amount of pages. This allows for the reader to experience fourteen wonderful stories from different writers all in one sitting. The steampunk technology used in each story clearly show ...more
Vanessa Wu
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
In this anthology there are two stories that include smart, sexy Chinese women, and I like it for that reason alone. There are 14 stories altogether, which is quite a generous number. It's surprising, then, that they are of a consistently high quality. I did skip one of the stories, I must admit, and I suppose if I were being a conscientious reviewer I'd say which one it was, but it was no big deal, I just didn't like it. It's an anthology. It's okay to skip around.

Talking of skipping around, I
Pavarti Tyler
Sep 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: porn
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 rec
Oct 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
A collection of short stories that are all some form of steampunk erotica. There were some stories I liked more than others, but I guess that's to be expected in a collection of anything. What I LOVED about this is that it wasn't all about female submission (in fact very little of it was). A collection of EQUALITY Steampunk Erotica!! :D
Rose Caraway
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the perfect anthology for anyone curious about the "Steampunk" genre. 14 very creative authors have come together to titillate us with delightful language and contraptions geared for carnal pleasures. Loved it!
Mar 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: anthology, 2011, erotica
Love steam punk and the erotica in this anthology is dead on.
May 01, 2011 marked it as to-read
I won this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Thanks.
Jun 23, 2011 added it
So Far from the sample i've read from the Barnes and Nobles this may def have some promise.
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Imagine a time before sex was mainstream. A long time ago, before many of the inventions that allow us the convenience of having our sexuality out in the open. This book is set in the era of wonderful and scary inventions. A time when repression was the norm. This book is Steampunk, it is a specific kink that involves turn of the century sexuality.

This is a collection of 14 stories of erotic mechanisms in the 19th century. The clothing and language is of that era. The women, and men, that star i
Jul 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance-based
A collection of erotic short stories, I don't really know what I was expecting when I picked it up. I like Steampunk, I like erotica, logic theorizes that I would like this as well, and so I did. To an extent...

As it is with almost any collection of stories from different authors, there are the ones you love and the ones you don't. Some of the toys got a bit kinky in here, and not going to lie, that was one of my favorite parts. Of all of them, my favorite one was probably "Infernal Machine" by
Steampunk Pagan
Nov 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: finished-have
I have read some of the comments here at Good Reads saying this is not Steampunk. I do not think that this is true or false. Carnal Machines is just what is wrong with this genre right now. As Cyber punk/goth, goth and punk became more popular everyone got in on the act and started calling their writings that in this case throw in a time frame some gears, cogs and an air ship or two and call it Steampunk then package it and try and make some money from it. In my mind that is what we have here.

Mar 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Human Powered by Teresa Noelle Roberts
A female professor is one of the first women in America to become a professor of arcane engineering. She has developed a device that uses the energy of the human body to power itself. A little help from her dear friend Dr. Benedict Lowell will make this device work, but who would have thought sexual fulfilment and pleasure is the key.

The Servant Question by Janine Ashbless
The Tulliver’s Mechanical Servants provides households of mechanic staff, the owner and
'Nathan Burgoine
Apr 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthologies
I reviewed this for Erotica Revealed.

To me, “steampunk” has always brought to mind Victorian idealism – and repression – blended with a lovely mix of H.G. Wells or Jules Verne. It’s often a tough combination to do well and adding erotica into the mix seems like it would be quite difficult.

Happily, D. L. King gathered a group of authors up to the challenge. In the introduction, King describes this lovely contradiction of the Victorian culture – so incredibly wound up, so guarded and hidden betwee
Campbell Mcaulay
Jan 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Carnal Machines is a collection of erotic short stories with a steampunk theme. If you don't know what steampunk is, imagine science fiction as it would be written by a Victorian author (e.g. Jules Verne); it's a growing genre of popular fiction. So, given that it's erotica and given the collection's title "Carnal Machines", you'll have a fairly decent (or indecent) idea as to what the machines are that the steam-power is powering. We are presented, therefore, by a veritable cornucopia (i.e. hor ...more
Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.
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 po
Apr 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
Steampunk Erotica is a part of Steampunk fiction I have thus far only encountered on the website SteamyPunk. I did not really enjoy what I read there back then, when the site was pointed out to me.
Than I heard of Carnal Machines and purchased a copy.

The collection starts strong. Teresa Noelle Roberts Human Powered is quite a clever little tale. It is steampunk, it is lightly erotic and there is some chemistry between the characters. Quite enjoyable. It is also the only one I consider truely stea
Jane Emery
Mar 08, 2016 rated it liked it
So I like steampunk and erotica so this was a almost a must. I saw somewhere that said steampunk is already erotic, and i can agree with that. This was a bunch of good stories about sex but I will have to say the invention that takes your sexual frustration and turns it into energy. That cracked me up, if we only had such a device then we could power the world and more with all the sexual frustration in America alone. The only part that I felt was wrong was that invention is the true deal of Ste ...more
Oct 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk
Nearly all of these short stories do a good job of being steampunk w/out falling on the goggle/corset sword of shallow fashion "it's steampunk 'cause there's goggles'" trope that so many mainstream novels do.

That said, the stories are well written, but there's really only two types of stories in this book: mechanized vibrators and not mechanized vibrators. I would have liked to see a larger variety of plots.

Overall, fun read and good steampunk.
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, fiction, steampunk
I recieved this book as a part of the Goodreads First Reads book giveaway.

You had me at sex and steampunk. Erotica isn't typically my thing, but I do love me some steampunk, so I figured why not, and I'm glad that I won a copy. This little book is filled with lots of short stories, they all aimed to please. Perfect for the kinksters out there.
May 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
While generally not a fan of anthologies or steampunk, I quite enjoyed this book. There was only 1 story that was just "meh", the rest were surprisingly good. I don't think anyone will be able to look at Jude Law in the Sherlock movies without blushing after reading Doctor Watson Makes a House Call.
Aug 06, 2012 marked it as abandoned
Mildly to moderately interesting steampunk-type scenarios begin to develop, and then degenerate into characters having moistly but not especially imaginatively described sexual encounters. I suppose that's what erotica mostly IS, but as such it doesn't seem terribly erotic, or interesting.
David Schwan
Many of the stories carry a consistent theme. One that surprisingly is authentic to a book of steampunk stories. As steampunk literature this was about average. as erotica about average. The stories with Chinese ladies in them were some of the better stories.
Kyle Wendy Skultety (
Short stories with both steampunk and erotica elements. Started off really well, slowed down towards the last few stories...but a great idea to read a story before going to bed each night ;)
Odd but interesting collection of short little stories. If you're looking for romantic erotica, this isn't really for you.
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Steampunk and erotica should be together always! Love the creative fuckery in Carnal Machine.
Apr 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
a collection of erotic short stories with a steampunk word - Boring!
Mark K.Astley
Apr 21, 2013 rated it liked it
A bit crude and definitely rude.. A couple of the stories are an out and out scream.. A good laugh.
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I'm a New Yorker. I write smut. Some people call it erotica and some people call it porn. I call it a good time. Oh, yeah, I don't just write smut; I edit it too. I also publish and edit an erotica book review site called Erotica Revealed . There's more to see on my blog and on my website.

In addition to the ones shown here, you can find my short stories in a number of anthologies such as The Mamm

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