Monday, November 23, 2009

Circlet Press - Like a Corset Undone

LIKE A CORSET UNDONE, Steampunk Erotica, edited by J. Blackmore, Circlet Press,, 189 pages, $5.99, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

Circlet Press is the leader in erotic fiction with its various anthologies and has distinguished itself with the various steampunk anthologies it has published over the past few years. This volume is no exception and will only add to its reputation and to J. Blackmore’s editorial skills. She knows how to pick a story and this volume shows her at the top of her form.

In Peter Tupper’s “The Pretty Horsebreaker” Miss Ccri has an assignation with the “Hero of the Empire” and ends up helping his widow recover the 21st chapter of his translation of “The Perfumed Garden” in order to sell his papers and assure a comfortable life.

In “Adventures Underground” by Carlanime Bligh, Molly Thistle – one of Miss Mannerly’s ladies in waiting – is a rebel using the sewers to help the Aesthetic Alliance cause disruption of services. When caught, she must do whatever it takes to avoid being turned over to the authorities.

R. E. Bonds story of “The Sky Dancer” takes place after the attempted Martian Invasion and how one scientist pays the captain of a fighting airship for her rescue and passage to Hong Kong to meet her father.

“Skyway Robbery” by Angelica Sparrow & Naomi Brooks tells of a modern day Robin Hood and his Merry Men who follow the original creed to take from the rich. Each of the crew is named after the original members, some are not as they seem. I was excited to see a mention of a book on re-animation by Herbert West. It is small touches like that to add enjoyment to a story. After a successful robbery, Robin likes to celebrate with Will and Marion.

Jasmine Dale’s “The Tinkers Lady” shows that even in a progressive society, some inventors are driven underground in order to do their work. Georgiana is saved by one of these after a steamboat sinks and she finds the adventure she was looking for.

“The Zeppelin Raider” by Roxy Katt examines a young girl’s questions about zeppelins, armor and pallogynes (females with male members). She is able to satisfy her curiosity in an artistic and physical manner when comes face to face with one of them in her garden during tea.

R. Blackett’s “Submission” might be the story of the first pin-up photographer. I’ll leave that for you to decide. Our photographer wants a picture of her heart’s desire and how far she will go to get it. Then she goes for more.

The last entry is possibly the cream of the crop. Angela Caperton presents a story of the scientific search to harness sexual energy with the results to be presented during the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The results show what could happen in “The Coming Age”.

This is another delightful and well chosen collection from J. Blackmore and Circlet Press. Be sure to visit the website and pick up some of their titles and see what they have planned for the future. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

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