After the bad experience with Carnal Machines I was a bit weary of another collection with possibly erotic content. Then I thought I should not let one such experience detract me. After all, a sample size of one is not really statistically valid and so I got myself a copy of Hot and Steamy: Tales of Steampunk Romance, and looking back now, it was the right decision. There was a good omen right at the beginning: The first tale, Chance Corrigan and the Queen of Hearts, is by none other than Michael A. Stackpole, of Battletech and Star Wars novels fame. I have enjoyed every single one of his books I read and this little piece is no exception. A very hot story.
The collections continues strong and with quite a variety of subjects. Some stories actually tackle love on several levels. Automata Futura features love between lovers, love between husband and wife and love for humanity in general, all in one very touching tale. Doctor Von Lang’s success makes you rejoyce but you feel sad for Zoe at the same time. Just so you know: The story has a happy end.
Another strong point of this collection: I find every single story genuinely Steampunk. It is not just one element like an airship or an automaton wrenched in there somewhere as a token element. No, the Steampunk setting is an integral part of each story.
So, Hot & Steamy: Tales of Steampunk Romance is a pleasure to read. Not every piece in it is absolutely to my taste, but I did not expect that. Fortunately, even the weaker ones are still average. There is not a single one I consider badly written.
Hot and Steamy: Tales of Steampunk Romance gets eight out of ten Zeppelins.