- Paperback: 252 pages
- Publisher: Apex Publications (February 28, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0978867688
- ISBN-13: 978-0978867683
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,424,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Unwelcome Bodies Paperback – February 28, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
"For the Plague Thereof Was Exceeding Great" was one of my two favorites. It was disturbingly close to misconceptions of today and while it was sci fi, it also required little thought to make the leap. Replace AIDs with any unknown future virus, the rantings of the priests and doomsayers with those of today and it makes for a truly frightening picture. But it was so well done and so moving...a wonderful piece.
"Brushstrokes" was my other favorite. I loved the starcrossed lover approach but with a unique and modern twist. It too was so close to sentiments of today that it made me angry at the citizens of that world, as well as happy that someone has the courage to write about it. The tale was beautifully written and very poignant.
"Last Bus" was another I enjoyed, simply because it felt like a mid 20th century play. Sorrow and starkness combined (storytelling and plot-wise), but over all, hopeful.
"Immortal Sin" was fascinating. Maybe it's because I could understand how the man came to those assumptions being Catholic myself (seeing how people are able to twist words in the name of religion or how `guilt' feeds into a person's everyday thought process). Or maybe because I saw it, not so much as a sci-fi story, but as a thriller. Sane people find it hard to understand how anyone could make such a jump as the main character did with the waitress; reading as the character, though, it was obvious he was obsessive, off-kilter, and able to twist words and intentions in his own mind.Read more ›
Pelland presents a range of scenarios that range from slightly eerie to full blown frightening. From the story about the woman whose sister has been sewn into her body to the man on a quest to find the key to eternal life, these are thought provoking stories of what life in the future could be like. I found myself flitting from repulsion to fear to awe as I worked my way through the volume.
Each story is a relatively short length and easily digestible. All are followed by notes from the author, divulging `the story behind the story'. The volume is well narrated by Linette Geisel, who applies a steady pace and clear enunciation, making this a relatively easy listen for such a disturbing volume. If it lacks in one thing, it's quite possibly in the editorial of the narration. There were times when the end of a story and the beginning of the `notes' ran so closely together it took me a moment to realise that the story had finished. However, this is a minor complaint and only occurred a small number of times across the seven hour volume.
As a fan of John Wyndham and Isaac Asimov I often wonder why I don't really consider myself a science-fiction fan these days. Reading/listening to a volume such as this makes me realise that this isn't a genre I should close myself off to. This was one of the most intriguing volumes of short stories I've encountered. Pelland is an excellent storyteller with a vivid imagination. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her writing or to look out for future volumes.
All said, this is a great collection of stories. It's dark and sometimes challenging but I finished feeling that I'd read something unique, interesting and thoughtful. 4.5 stars from this reader and recommended to sci-fi fans and fans of dark fiction
I would recommend this book to beginning short story writers. These stories are from the start of Jennifer Pelland's career, which has now gone on to include a second Nebula nomination ("Ghosts of New York," in addition to "Captive Girl" which is in this collection) and more than 30 short stories. In addition to being an enthralling read, it's a chance to to gauge the level of writing that well-published beginners are bringing to the table and see what sort of growth comes over even 11 stories.
Each of the stories is followed by a brief paragraph that gives a little insight into the inspiration for the story. Notes for the first story in the collection, "For the Plague Thereof Was Exceedingly Great," also include the scene break paragraphs that Strange Horizons asked Jennifer Pelland to remove for a rewrite. Reading what Strange Horizons eventually published, and what the editor asked her to delete, is an object lesson for writers, demonstrating how killing one's darlings can, indeed, improve a piece.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a great little read with a bite challenging body image and social boundaries.
I love the way the author tackles sexuality seemingly able to write from every vantage... Read more
The stories are well written with a lot of surprises. There were some unique plots and characters. Most of the stories had some dark or twisted element. Read morePublished on December 8, 2013 by Danella E. Thomas
Jennifer Pelland is an extremely gifted writer. Her prose, her characters, her setting and the atmosphere she's able to create around each story are only comparable to masters of... Read morePublished on September 2, 2013 by edanrogo
Jennifer Pelland has a gift. The pages are filled with haunting imagery and true originality. The stories in this collection stay with you long after you finish reading. Read morePublished on March 29, 2013 by John Dougherty
have an open mind when you pick this up...it's full of philosophically challenging perspective. Not that I was on board with every single insinuation, but I felt as though my... Read morePublished on March 16, 2012 by Cryss
This is the best short story collection I've ever read. The stories explore various facets of human nature, and how we treat each other. Read morePublished on January 22, 2012 by FranW
I discovered that after reading each story I needed recovery time, the same way I did when I first read Harlan Ellison (his stories from the 60s, before he disappeared up his own... Read morePublished on January 11, 2012 by Barbara Gordon
The stories in this book are dark. They also run the range of disturbing, creepy, sweet, stark, touching, and horribly beautiful. Read morePublished on August 24, 2008 by Christin Haws