“An exceptional series of short stories–nuanced, vivid characters; hot sex; gripping human dilemmas; and a fascinating alternate world. Perhaps the best signal of how much I enjoyed this book is that every one of the stories ended too soon for me–I wanted to learn more about each of Tupper’s characters, and see more of his world.”
Reviewed by Vinnie Tesla on Goodreads
“This has to be one of the better pieces of steampunk fiction I have read in quite some time. The only addition, of course, being the erotic scenes. These, however, were blended beautifully into each tale and were neither gratuitous nor overly produced. They were very much a part of the story and an intergral piece of its telling.
“The author, Peter Tupper, has done a fine job of making each tale tellable on its own, but also an important puzzle piece to a bigger story and world. The only exception to this is ‘The Impurity’. It’s Jekyll and Hyde, but much more, and with a wonderful twist at the end. It is probably my favourite of all the stories, but that is hard to say as each story was delightful.”
Reviewed by Lee Ann Farruga, Steampunk Canada
“I can’t pick a favorite from the alternate-setting stories. They are all exceptional and I am sure my preferences will shift as I reread them. “The Pretty Horsebreaker” requires “The Spirit of the Future”, in my opinion, and “The Spirit of the Future” requires all the others, so reading them in the order presented is strongly recommended. I do want to single out “Delicate Work” as a good stand-alone example of what steampunk erotica can be. It isn’t the most pleasant story, or the prettiest, or even my favorite, but it is sharp, smart, and socially relevant. I also want to say that “The Slave” struck me as the most erotic, simply because the viewpoint character’s longing was so professionally conveyed. “The Spirit of the Future” was the most satisfying – a really beautiful story in every way – but it relies heavily on the others to set up the world and characters.
“And, finally, I do want to single out “The Impurity” – not related to the other stories – as absolutely incredible. It’s a re-imagining of Jekyll and Hyde, of all things, and it is by turns disturbing, sweet, pitiful, sad, funny, and scary as all hell, and it has one of the best “I am going to fucking kill you” quotes in it that I have ever read. It knocked me off my feet. This story is unabashedly badass, and viscerally satisfying. I wish I had written it.”
Reviewed by Amanda Gannon, Adventurotica
“In conclusion, I simply adored this book. It was written with seamless transitions, was fast paced, yet still had the feel of a truly Victorian work of fiction blended with all those lovely little anachronistic details we Steampunks look to see in our literature. I plan to add more of Mr. Tuppers work to my collection in the near future, and I suggest you do the same!”
“When the characters engage in sex, love-making, or fucking, it’s steamy reading, all puns intended (let’s just get that lame chestnut out of the way, shall we?). However, unlike lesser erotica, where boy meets girl, boy eventually fucks girl, sex in The Innocent’s Progress happens along the way: it isn’t, to engage in one more groan-worthy pun, the climax of the story. The climax of “The Pretty Horsebreaker” involves two women, but they’re both clothed, and resolving emotional, not physical tensions.
“Tupper’s a damn smart writer, and anyone who dismisses The Innocent’s Progress as just erotica might say The Dark Knight is just a comic book movie.”
“Overall the stories are well put together and descriptive, I also enjoyed the seemingly hidden Half-World and the interesting times that they have, combined with the Victorian era and world that they live in…. These stories are unique, not the usual erotica. They paint a fascinating visual picture both rich with details and leaving some things to the imagination.”
“…I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Tupperâ€™s â€œThe Slaveâ€, â€œDelicate Workâ€ and â€œThe Impurityâ€. All three of them contained the right combination of Â erotic escapades in an interesting alternative historical/steampunk setting.”
“If you have never read a steampunk story this will be a tantalizing foray into that genre…. I found it intriguing how many of the characters transition from one story to another and tie it all together quite nicely.”
“This is an interesting look at the backstage happenings of the Â bawdy Victorians. It is also a tale of unrequited love.”
“The Innocent’s Progress offers a compelling story arc, superior world-building, and complex characterization”
“Peter Tupper’s story in A Wisp of Steam [sic] is quite simply the best erotica I’ve ever read.”