Unwelcome Bodies

Unwelcome Bodies

by Jennifer Pelland

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780978867683
Publisher: Apex Publications
Publication date: 02/12/2008
Pages: 252
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

For the Plague Thereof Was Exceeding Great

December 1, 2010: World AIDS Day

Kathleen Murphy gripped her can of Mace tightly as she rode the Red Line to work, hands sweating inside the latex of her surgical gloves. All around her, her fellow T riders were openly clutching Mace or pepper spray as well, all glancing around the car from behind safety goggles and surgical masks. Technically, it was still illegal to carry chemical sprays without a license, but no one enforced those laws anymore. It was safer not to.

The T pulled into Harvard Station, the end of the line, and she rose to get off the train. She remembered the days when people would crowd around the doors and bustle off in a mass of closely-packed bodies. No one touched anyone anymore. They wouldn't even come close. She never thought she'd miss that.

She made her way up the escalator, not touching the handrails, crossed Mass. Ave., and headed toward the gates of Harvard Yard. At least the university was still open, even though enrollment had been dropping precipitously over the past four years. No one wanted to send their children away to school anymore. Not unless they lived in a country with even higher infection rates than the U.S. The only schools that were still doing well were Harvard Medical School and the School of Public Health. They even offered scholarship money. That was unheard-of.

At the gates, she flashed her employee ID to the armed guards, waited for them to scan it, and was let in. Still, she remained vigilant as she dashed through the Yard. The crazies had gotten into plenty of secure areas, armed guards notwithstanding. She didn't feel safe until she'd sprinted up the stairs toWidener Library, flashed her ID again, and then heard the doors close behind her. She realized her safety was illusory, but she'd take it.

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Unwelcome Bodies 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
lesleydawn on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Phenomenal!! I couldn't put this book down. Normally, I don't read a lot of sci-fi, but after reading this collection of terrifying sci-fi stories, I can't wait to pick up more. I wonder what took me so long. Other than one story that really wasn't my taste, every single story was exciting and new and just a great read. I really liked that Pelland wrote about a lot of female protagonists, which seems to be missing in a lot of speculative fiction. It was refreshing. The writing was top notch. Loved it.
bmlg on LibraryThing 8 months ago
It took me a while to finish Unwelcome Bodies: 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-70s, before he disappeared up his own enfant terrible legend), because however fantastic or futuristic the settings, the people and emotions are true and the stories cut deep. I read "Big Sister/Little Sister" in the evening, and it seriously interfered with my sleep, so consider yourself warned. On the other hand, there are pieces like "When Science Fiction Cliches Go Bad" which are just plain fun, almost guaranteed to leave you unscarred.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I feel compelled to write a review of this boook. I utterly disliked these short stories. Yet, I continued to read them. The stories were macabre and often horrifying in an almost disgusting way. However, the author's writing style and adability to express her thoughts and ideas is superb. I would not recommend this book as an enjoyable read. I wouldn't recommend that anyone should take the time to read it at all. I was just too disgusted most of the time while I was reading it. Having said that, I can't remember the last time I read an author's work that compelled me to write anything at all! The novel was thought provoking and moving. It was also highly original and will undoubtedly inspire other authors in pursuit of their own work. This book is a bell that will be rung repeatedly in many future novels. So, I'd like to laud the author and her work, but I feel I must tell the mainstream lover of science fiction that they should look elsewhere for a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic collection! This is the book that showed me that I can love science fiction. Everyone should read this. 
Donna_M_Brown More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book! It's social relevant and very interesting, exploring both science fiction and humanity. If English classes read books like this more kids would be true reading die hards. Pelland speculates about the future and cuts to the core of the human soul with a collection of story that should be required reading.