|Posted by Lee A. Farruga on October 16, 2011 at 9:40 AM|
When I was first approached to review this collection of steampunk erotic tales I was ever so slightly hesitant to do so. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Would it be similar to a bad 70's pornographic film, or a piece of literature sold from behind the counter or on the higher shelf in a dark alley-type establishment? Don't get me wrong, I'm being overly dramatic, however, this is the image the general public has of “erotica”. So how would I review such a book in a public forum for all ages such as Steampunk Canada?
Well general public impressions be damned! To be sure, I'm incredibly glad I said yes to reviewing The Innocent's Progress. 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.
The other wonderful thing about Mr.Tupper's stories is that each has a strong and valuable lesson to teach about self-awareness and self-esteem. This is brilliantly incorporated into each story and the reader should come away withsome questions and insight about these same stituations that you can still see in today's society. As well, his main characters, both male and female, are intelligent (whether book smart or street smart) and strong and their survival techiques are to be commended.
Lastly, be sure to read the Afterword. It is fascinating reading all on its own.
Obviously this work is for an older, adult reader and I would highly recommend it to those in this category. This most certainly should not be relegated to a back shelf or dark library corner. I do believe it could very well become university required reading to be studied and analyzed in great depth. Not to give one the impression, of course, that this is a dry academic read, quite the contrary, it is a wonderful example of depth, meaning, spice and fun worked into a fine piece of art.
For more about the author and his works go to The Innocent's Progress.