With a foreword by Meljean Brook and an introduction by the editor, this erotic paean to steampunk captures many aspects of the genre. Expect the unexpected, whether it is the baron’s mechanical arm in Sylvia Day’s Regency, “Iron Hard,” or Saskia Walker’s walking insect-like creation in “Heart of the Daedalus,” set after the Crimean war. Each story has its fair share of sex in addition to the invention that is out of place and time.
The owner of a dirigible seduces the pilot of a hot-air balloon in 19th-century San Francisco in Sacchi Green’s “Fog, Flight and Moonlight.” “The Undeciphered Heart” by Christine d’Abo finds two lovers in need of new hearts long before transplants were a possibility. “Mr. Hartley’s Infernal Device” allows Elspeth to act out her darkest fantasies in Charlotte Stein’s tale. Elizabeth Coldwell’s entry, “A Demonstration of Affection,” has an investor demanding presentation of a mechanical man that is human in every way. Other authors include Vida Bailey, Anna Meadows, Lisabet Sarai, Andrea Dale, Lynn Townsend, Mary Borsellino, Nikki Magennis and Anya Richards. (CLEIS, Oct., 256 pp., $14.95)