A copy of Carnal Machines fell into my possession at BEA last year, but like a good percentage of the books I acquired it got lost in the (huge) pile (of books). Then I ran into D. L. King at the Steampunk World's Faire and had a fantastic time discussing literature with her and realized that I had one of her projects sitting in a pile of unread books from a year ago (my goal this year is to bring home far fewer titles from BEA). Since I was taking the train into NYC I figured why not read it on my way to BEA where I can remark on more that I have a copy of this book to D. L. King this time. If you're raising an eyebrow at me reading erotica on the train, take a good look at romance book covers some time.
Right off the bat I want to state that is is actually Steampunk (might I even call it steamy?) fiction, the authors did not just glue some gears on it and call it steampunk. Instead we have clever and well written tales of a technology that wasn't. Not only that but the erotica is both woman positive and sex positive. Yes, I do hold that some erotica/porn is not sex positive. These creative stories are enthusiastic and uninhibited as they explore different facets of sexuality. And they are stories with character development and plot, beyond a framework for fictional fucking (though there is quite a bit of that as well). Carnal Machines delivers what it promises.