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Unwelcome Bodies Paperback – February 28, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • 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 (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,027,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I don't read as much sci-fi as I used to. I had heard good things about this collection and decided to take the plunge. Jennifer Pelland has assembled a number of excellent shorts here. Some are short stories whilst a couple are a little longer-venturing into novella territory. The stories are varied and contain numerous themes such as acceptance, pain and religion. The first half of the book contained the real standout works for me, in particular the first story about the HIV virus and the sexy body horror of Big sister/Little sister which was an uncomfortable reading experience, but really well done. My favourite story was one of the longer ones in The Last Stand of the Elephant Man. A bizarre but brilliant story about Joseph Merrick's journey into the future where he has swapped bodies with someone who has a fascination with his appearance! Flood was also a highlight as was the shortest story in the collection Last Bus. One or two didn't quite work for me. Brushstrokes, whilst brilliantly conceived went on a little too long and the start was a little confusing.

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
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By Nelly on October 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
I was intrigued by the themes and whole concept of the work. The cover is very stark and fitting. I thought the whole package-the art, the stories and ideas behind them, as well as the author's comments-really gave a first rate experience.

"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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
*Spoiler Free*
After reading Glitter and Mayhem and reading Jennifer Pelland’s short story, “Star Dancer”, I was eager to read more by this author. Her collection, Unwelcome Bodies did not disappoint. I had sat down with the intention of reading one a day until I finished it, but I honestly couldn’t stop once I started. This is an amazing, enthralling collection of short stories. I have love fantasy and science fiction so much more for putting ideas like these into the head of such a fantastic writer.

This collection features eleven brilliant short stories. There are no words to do this collection justice (you really do just have to go buy it and read it), but I will try:

“For the Plague Thereof Was Exceeding Great”- This story is about a version of Earth in the future plagued by a new strain of HIV that is wiping out the planet and the struggle between those who wish to outlast it and those who wish to be ‘saved.’ Also, I have to really thank the author for including the news clippings at the end of this. They were wonderful to read.

“Big Sister/Little Sister”- I will be haunted for the rest of my life by this story, much like I am by Ray Bradbury’s “Small Assassin.” I don’t know why this made me think of that, but it does. It is amazing, but incredibly creepy and disturbing. I loved it.

“Immortal Sin” -Another wonderfully disturbing story about a man who commits murder but tries to escape judgment day by scientifically experimenting on himself to achieve immortality.

“Flood”- I can’t get over how beautiful this story was. An Earth in which water is scarce and fading, and the pop singer who laments over the lack of water and oceans.

“The Call”- A very short story written in all question format.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Unwelcome Bodies is a collection of, well, frankly, utterly unnerving tales. It's rare for me to review SFF and rare for me to review short stories, so a combination of both is practically unhead of. However, Jennifer Pelland's collection looked to be full of intriguing ideas and I wanted to try something new.

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.
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