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Monday, April 9, 2012

Zippered Flesh edited by Weldon Burge

*Giveaway Bonus*


The giveaway is CLOSED. The winner of the paperback copy of Zippered Flesh is Yona Williams.

Enjoy the review!

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Zippered Flesh is an anthology with 20 short stories. Each story involves the same plot element, body enhancements gone bad, but the similarities end there (though there are a lot of stories where cancer takes a loved ones life). Characters vary from scientists determined to advance their experiments regardless of morality, unconventional supernatural creatures, a detective, an alcoholic druggie, and much more. Some stories are in the present time, others go back as far as the 17th century, and there are even one or two stories in alternate worlds or the future. Though I enjoyed some stories more than others, they were all well-written and creative.

Nine stories really stood out to me, with seven getting two stars and two getting one star (I use two stars to mark the stories that blew me away and one star to mark stories that I really liked). In Comfort by Charles Colyott, watching William's life fall apart due to his unhealthy devotion to his obese mom is both incredibly sad and incredibly scary. The stalker in Equilibrium by John Shirley has an obsession with balance and 'jokes,' and his theories and explanations are all mind screws. Though I'm usually not a fan of detective stories, Whirling Machine Man by Aaron J. French grabbed me in with its creepy, mystical fantastical elements and held on. Sex Object by Graham Masterton startled me with the woman's willingness to make her body little more than a set of vaginas for her sick husband, while Locks of Loathe by Jezzy Wolfe - a story about how far a person would go just to have 'perfect' hair - is a story that was full of surprises.


However, I think it's only fitting that the first story and the last story stuck with me the most.

Bootstrap - The Binds of Lasolastica by Michael Bailey is a futuristic sci-fi story that takes on the following questions: How large is the mind of man? Can a mind be successfully cloned? Victor is the scientist attempting to push the limits of the human mind by digitally storing the entirety of Bill Chevsky's mind. Bill Chevsky is willing to be the first man to undergo this experiment because he has lasolastica, an incurable cancer. If the experiment goes well, he can simply transfer the digital data of Bill's mind to another mind and another body. That way, he can live in spite of the disease. However, the focus of this anthology is 'body enhancements gone bad,' so you know that something has to go wrong.

Inititally, I was afraid this story would just confuse me due to all the scientific terms, but halfway through I realized the scientific terms didn't make the story complicating at all. You could still understand the story without understanding anything whatsoever about the terms. Plus, it just made it all that much more realistic. I loved the characters, the discussions, and, most of all, I loved the ending. I feel sad for both Victor and Bill every time I think about how it ended.

While Bootstrap was a great way to start this anthology, Hearing Mildred by Weldon Burge was also a marvelous way to end it. Mildred Mayfield, Harold's wife, died of a raptured aortic aneurysm, leaving an 80-year-old Harold to live on his own in spite of his son William's insistence that he should move to a retirement home. One day, Harold starts hearing his wife through his hearing aids. At first it's comforting to hear her again, but she's so attached to the house that she endlessly talks about nothing else. No other story was as lighthearted and funny as this one.

Starting Zippered Flesh with a sinking feeling of sadness and fear and ending it with a smile is the best way to go. I LOVED this anthology. Reading through it was like riding a rollercoaster in a haunted house, and anybody who knows me knows that I can't get enough of wild rollercoasters and haunted houses.


Find Weldon Burge

15 comments:

katzkids by Kathy D.

The 20 short stories sound really good.I love scary stories:)
Thanks for the giveaway:)

Anonymous

I like short stories, scary stories and medical stories! I agree that the scientific terms would be confusing but in a good book you can over look those and still get everything out of the story that the writer intends.
donna dot brown 27 at aol dot com

Archie Standwood Author

Okay, you've convinced me to read this anthology. I had heard of it a while back, dithered b/c I just wasn't sure. I'm taking your recommendation and I'll give it a try. So thanks for posting this review! Hopefully it's convincing many other readers too.

Ravyn Jazper-Hawke

I like the fact that there are so many subgenres of horror within this anthology. I love horror and I'm looking forward to not have to commit to a single genre for too long before being thrust into a new one. Thanks for the review!
Ravyngoth@yahoo.com

Jamie

jamielovesweeping@gmail.com

Based on the review, it looks like something that may give me nightmares. -hides- Even the cover photo is frightening. -shivers-

Beth
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth

Ooh! This looks delicious! I love the idea of short stories.

bethsbookreviewblog2 at gmail dot com

Yona Williams
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yona Williams

Oh wow - I'd love to win this book, it's right up my alley. I like thriller/scary/bizarre stories. The man with the scary obsession taking care of his mother sounds really good. I also like anthologies because of the assortment of tales that you get to read.

Email: yona(at)pricelesswriters.com

Serenap95

First of all, thank you for hosting this giveaway and giving us the chance to win Zippered Flesh. This is just so horrifyingly wonderful! I love love love short stories that are medical. The fact that there are 20 of them make it so much more amazing. The cover of the book is just disturbing yet fascinating.


serenap95(at)hotmail(dot)com

Tracey

I love the horror genre. I've been watching reruns of Nip/Tuck lately and these stories sound like an even gorier version of surgeries.
traymona[at]aol.com

Selinda

I love short story anthologies and have read some good horror ones lately, would love to try this one!

Thanks,

selinda_mccumbers at yahoo.com

Nancy

If I read this, will I be able to sleep right after I finish a story or two? LOL! Scary can be fun sometimes!

Nancy
allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Anonymous

I have not read many book that have 20 short stories in them but, the book does sound interesting.

cranky30[at]hotmail[dot]com

Renee

Wow the cover of this anthology really caught my "eye" haha, but your review convinced me I really want to read these creepy stories! They sound absolutely horrific.


yeloechikee at hotmail dot com