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Body Shocks


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About the Author

Ellen Datlow is one of horror's quintessential, bestselling, and most acclaimed editors. She has won multiple Hugo, Bram Stoker, Locus, and Shirley Jackson awards and has received lifetime achievement awards from several organizations including the World Fantasy and World Horror Associations.She was the fiction editor of OMNI for nearly twenty years, and edited the magazines Event Horizon and Sci Fiction, and is currently a genre fiction editor at Tor.com. Her many anthologies include the long-running Year's Best Fantasy & Horror, the Best Horror of the Year series; Snow White, Blood Red; Lovecraft's Monsters; Naked City; The Monstrous; and Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror. Datlow lives in New York City.

Nathan Ballingrud is the author of North American Lake Monsters, The Visible Filth, and the forthcoming The Atlas of Hell . Several of his stories are in development for film and TV. He has twice won the Shirley Jackson Award. He lives somewhere in the mountains of North Carolina. Simon Bestwick is the author of six novels, the novellas Breakwater and Angels of the Silences, four full-length short story collections, and two miniature ones. His short fiction has appeared in Black Static, The Devil and the Deep, and The London Reader and has been reprinted in The Best Horror of the Year and Best British Fantasy 2013. Four times shortlisted for the British Fantasy Award, he is married to fellow author Cate Gardner. His latest book is the collection And Cannot Come Again, recently reissued by Horrific Tales. He's usually to be found watching films, reading or writing, which keeps him out of mischief. Most of the time. Bestwick lives on the Wirral while pining for Wales. Michael Blumlein, M.D. was an American fiction writer and a physician. Most of his writing is in or near the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. His novels include The Healer, The Movement of Mountains and X, Y. He was been nominated for the World Fantasy Award and the Bram Stoker Award. His final work was the novella, Longer, which came out in 2019, a few months before he died of cancer. Edward Bryant began writing professionally in 1968 and had more than a dozen books published, including Among the Dead, Cinnabar, Phoenix Without Ashes (with Harlan Ellison), Wyoming Sun, Particle Theory, Fetish (a novella chapbook), and The Baku: Tales of the Nuclear Age. In the beginning he was known as a science fiction writer but gradually strayed into horror and mostly remained there until his death in 2017, writing a series of sharply etched stories about Angie Black, a contemporary witch, the brilliant zombie story "A Sad Last Love at the Diner of the Damned," and other marvelous, exceedingly dark tales. Ray Cluley is a British Fantasy Award winner with stories published in various magazines and anthologies. Some of these have been reprinted in Best of the Year volumes, Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror, as well as Steve Berman's Wilde Stories: The Year's Best Gay Speculative Fiction, and Benoit Domis's Tenebres. He has been translated into French, Polish, Hungarian, and Chinese. His short fiction is collected in Probably Monsters while a second collection will soon be looking for a home. He is currently writing for Black Library's horror imprint, as well as working on his own novel. You can find out more at www.probablymonsters.wordpress.com. Pat Cadigan has won the Locus Award three times, the Arthur C. Clarke Award twice, the Hugo Award, and the Seiun Award. She has written twenty-one books, including one YA, two nonfiction, and several movie novelizations/media tie-ins. In December, 2014, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given two years to live, but she missed that deadline. Cadigan believes it's because she was put here to accomplish a certain number of things and she is now so far behind, she can never die. Terry Dowling is one of Australia's most respected and internationally acclaimed writers of science fiction, dark fantasy, and horror, and author of the multi-award-winning Tom Rynosseros saga. The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror series featured more horror stories by Dowling in its 21-year run than by any other writer. Dowling's horror is collected in the International Horror Guild Award-winning Basic Black: Tales of Appropriate Fear, the Aurealis Award-winning An Intimate Knowledge of the Night, and The Night Shop: Tales for the Lonely Hours. Other publications include his novel, Clowns at Midnight and The Complete Rynosseros. "Toother" won the Australian Shadows Award. His homepage can be found at www.terrydowling.com. Tananarive Due teaches Afrofuturism and Black Horror at UCLA. The American Book Award winner, British Fantasy Award winner and NAACP Image Award recipient is the author of several novels and a short story collection, Ghost Summer: Stories. She is also co-author of a civil rights memoir, Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights (with her late mother, Patricia Stephens Due). In 2013 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. She and her husband, science fiction author Steven Barnes, co-wrote an episode of The Twilight Zone for CBS All Access and Jordan Peele's Monkeypaw Productions. Brian Evenson is the author of a dozen works of fiction, most recently the collection Song for the Unraveling of the World, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times's Ray Bradbury Prize. Other recent books include the collection A Collapse of Horses and the novella The Warren, which was a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award. His novel Last Days won the 2010 ALA-RUSA Award for Best Horror Novel. His novel The Open Curtain was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an International Horror Guild Award. Other books include The Wavering Knife (which won the IHG Award for best story collection) and Altmann's Tongue. He is the recipient of three O. Henry Prizes, an NEA fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He lives in Los Angeles and teaches in the Critical Studies Program at CalArts. Gemma Files was born in England and raised in Toronto, Canada, and has been a journalist, teacher, film critic and an award-winning horror author for almost thirty years. She has published four novels, a story-cycle, three collections of short fiction, and three collections of speculative poetry; her most recent novel, Experimental Film, won both the 2015 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel and the 2016 Sunburst Award for Best Novel (Adult Category). She is currently working on her next book. Christopher Fowler is the multi award-winning author of nearly fifty novels and short story collections, including the acclaimed Bryant & May mysteries. His novels include Roofworld, Spanky, The Sand Men, and Hell Train, plus two volumes of memoirs, Paperboy (winner of the Green Carnation Prize), Film Freak, and The Book of Forgotten Authors. In 2015 he won the CWA Dagger In The Library for his body of work. His latest novel is The Lonely Hour. He lives in London and Barcelona, and blogs every day at www.christopherfowler.co.uk. Cody Goodfellow has written nine solo novels and three with New York Times bestselling author John Skipp. Two of his short fiction collections, Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars and All-Monster Action, received the Wonderland Book Award. He wrote and co-produced the short films Stay At Home Dad, and Clowntown: An Honest Mis-Stake. He has also appeared in the background on numerous TV programs, as well as videos by Anthrax and Beck. He lives in Portland, Oregon. Lisa L. Hannett has had over seventy short stories appear in venues including Clarkesworld, Fantasy, Weird Tales, Apex, The Dark, and Year's Best anthologies in Australia, Canada, and the US. She has won four Aurealis Awards, including Best Collection for her first book, Bluegrass Symphony, which was also nominated for a World Fantasy Award. Her first novel, Lament for the Afterlife, was published in 2015. Her latest collection of short stories, Songs for Dark Seasons, came out in April 2020. You can find her online at www.lisahannett.com and on Instagram @lisalhannett. Kij Johnson's short fiction has won the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Sturgeon Awards, as well as the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire. She is the associate director for the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas, where she is also an associate professor. "Spar" won the Nebula Award for short story. Tom Johnstone's fiction has appeared in various anthologies and magazines, including the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Black Books of Horror, Brighton--The Graphic Novel, Wicked Women, and Strange Tales V, Supernatural Tales, and Shroud Magazine. In addition he co-edited the British Fantasy Award-nominated austerity-themed anthology Horror Uncut: Tales of Social Insecurity and Economic Unease with the late Joel Lane. He lives with his partner and two children in Brighton, where he works as a gardener for the local authority. Find out more about Johnstone's fiction at: www.tomjohnstone.wordpress.com. Richard Kadrey is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sandman Slim supernatural noir series. Sandman Slim was included in Amazon's "100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime," and is in production as a feature film. Some of Kadrey's other books include The Grand Dark, The Everything Box, Hollywood Dead, and Butcher Bird. He's also written for Heavy Metal Magazine, and the comics Lucifer and Hellblazer. Cassandra Khaw is a scriptwriter at Ubisoft Montreal. Her work can be found in places like the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Lightspeed, and Tor.com. She has also contributed writing to games like Sunless Skies, Falcon Age, and Wasteland 3. Caitlin R. Kiernan sold her first short story in 1993, and since then her short fiction has been collected in numerous volumes, beginning with Tales of Pain and Wonder, and including the World Fantasy Award-winning The Ape's Wife and Other Stories, and most recently The Very Best of Caitlin R. Kiernan. Her novels include The Red Tree and the Bram Stoker Award-winning The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama. Livia Llewellyn's fiction has appeared in over forty anthologies and magazines and has been reprinted in multiple best-of anthologies, including The Best Horror of the Year, Year's Best Weird Fiction, and The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica. Her short story collections Engines of Desire: Tales of Love & Other Horrors and Furnace were both nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Collection. You can find her online at www.liviallewellyn.com. Carmen Maria Machado is the author of the bestselling memoir In the Dream House and the short story collection Her Body and Other Parties. She has won the Bard Fiction Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, the Brooklyn Public Library Literature Prize, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize. In 2018, the New York Times listed Her Body and Other Parties as a member of "The New Vanguard," one of "15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century." Her essays, fiction, and criticism have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Granta, Conjunctions, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and elsewhere. She is the Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Philadelphia with her wife. RC Matheson is a #1 bestselling author and screenwriter/producer the New York Times calls "a great horror writer." He has created, written, and produced acclaimed TV series, mini-series and films, including cult favorite Three O'Clock High and Stephen King's Battleground which won two Emmys. Matheson has worked with Steven Spielberg, Tobe Hooper, Nicholas Pileggi, Joe Dante, Roger Corman, Mel Brooks and many others. He has adapted novels by Dean Koontz, Whitley Strieber, Roger Zelazny, Stephen King, H.G. Wells and George R. R. Martin for film. Matheson's short stories appear in his collections, Scars And Other Distinguishing Marks, Zoopraxis, Dystopia, and 130 anthologies, including many Best of the Year volumes. His novels include Created By and The Ritual of Illusion. Matheson is a professional drummer and studied privately with CREAM's Ginger Baker. Kirstyn McDermott has been working in the darker alleyways of speculative fiction for much of her career. Her two novels, Madigan Mine and Perfections, each won an Aurealis Award and her most recent book is Caution: Contains Small Parts, a collection of short fiction published by Twelfth Planet Press. She produced and co-hosted a literary discussion podcast, "The Writer and the Critic," for several years and now lives in Ballarat, Australia, with fellow writer Jason Nahrung and their two cats. Kirstyn is currently completing a creative writing PhD at Federation University with a research focus on re-visioned fairy tales. "Painlessness" won the Aurealis Award and the Ditmar Award. www.kirstynmcdermott.com. Seanan McGuire lives, works, and occasionally falls into swamps in the Pacific Northwest, where she is coming to an understanding with the local frogs. She has written a ridiculous number of novels and even more short stories. Keep up with her at www.seananmcguire.com. On moonlit nights, when the stars are right, you just might find her falling into a swamp near you.Priya Sharma's fiction has appeared in Interzone, Black Static, Nightmare, The Dark and on Tor.com. She's been anthologized in several Best of anthologies by editors such as Ellen Datlow, Paula Guran and Jonathan Strahan. "Fabulous Beasts" won the British Fantasy Award for Short Fiction and was nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award. The first collection of her short fiction, All the Fabulous Beasts was published by Undertow Publications in 2018 and won the Shirley Jackson Award and the British Fantasy Award, as well as being a Locus Award finalist. Her novella Ormeshadow is available from Tor. More about her work can be found at www.priyasharmawordpress.com. Angela Slatter is the author of the Verity Fassbinder supernatural crime series (Vigil, Corpselight, Restoration) and nine short story collections, including The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings. Her gothic fantasy novels, All These Murmuring Bones and Morwood, will be out from Titan in 2021 and 2022 respectively. She's won a World Fantasy Award, a British Fantasy Award, an Australian Shadows Award, and six Aurealis Awards. Her work's been translated into French, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, Bulgarian and Russian. You can find her at www.angelaslatter.com, @AngelaSlatter on Twitter, and as @angelalslatter on Instagram for photos of food and dogs that belong to someone else. Lucy Taylor is an award-winning author who has published seven novels and over a hundred short stories in anthologies and magazines. Her most recent work can be found in the anthologies The Big Book of Blasphemy, Cutting Edge, A Fistful of Dinosaurs, and Vagabond 001, 002, and 003. Her Stoker Award-winning novel, The Safety of Unknown Cities, was recently reprinted in German by Festa Verlag Publications and is currently being translated into Russian by Poltergeist Press. Taylor lives in the high desert outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. Genevieve Valentine is a novelist, comic book writer, and cultural critic. Shirley Jackson award-winner Kaaron Warren published her first short story in 1993 and has had fiction in print every year since. She has published five multi award-winning novels: Slights, Walking the Tree, Mistification, The Grief Hole and Tide of Stone, and seven short story collections, including the multi award-winning Through Splintered Walls. Her most recent novella, Into Bones Like Oil was nominated for the Stoker Award. "A Positive" won the Aurealis Award. Alyssa Wong writes fiction, comics, and games. Her stories have won the Nebula Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the Locus Award. She was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and her fiction has been shortlisted for the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and Shirley Jackson Awards. Her comics credits include Marvel, Star Wars, and Adventure Time. She has also written for Overwatch and Story and Franchise Development at Blizzard Entertainment.


Library Journal Top Horror Books of 2021
2021 Locus Recommended Reading List
2022 Splatterpunk Award nominee [STARRED REVIEW] "The stories in the latest collection edited by horror veteran Datlow run the gamut from ethereal creepiness ('La beaute sans vertu, ' by Genevieve Valentine), to haunt-your-dreams gross-outs ('Welcome to Mengele's, ' by Simon Bestwick). One has even been made into an episode of Hulu's series Monsterland ('You Go Where It Takes You, ' by Nathan Ballingrud). There are some absolutely stellar stories that will follow readers for days, and not a single dud to weigh down the collection. John Coulthart's interior illustrations of anatomical mysteries add to the overall ambiance. Contributors include all the big names in body horror as well as some lesser-known authors, making the collection a must-have for body horror neophytes and experienced readers alike. VERDICT This authoritative collection is a must for any library, as an introduction to body and extreme horror for readers and librarians alike. Recommend to readers who love horror stories that make their skin crawl while they read about skin literally crawling."
--Library Journal [STARRED REVIEW] "Hugo Award-winning editor Datlow (Edited By) brings together 29 spine-tingling tales of body horror to terrify even the most seasoned horror reader. These visceral works take myriad approaches to the genre, but all revel in the grotesque possibilities of the human body. 'The Old Women Who Were Skinned' by Carmen Maria Machado is an eerie, cautionary fable about the pitfalls of vanity. Terry Dowling's stomach-churning 'Toother' follows the grim exploits of a serial killer who collects the teeth of his victims. The woman in Kirstyn McDermott's 'Painlessness' feels no pain when injured and makes her living giving men an outlet for their violent fantasies. In 'The Lake' by Tananarive Due, a woman metamorphoses into a predatory sea creature. A confectioner transforms his fiancee's ghost into delectable treats enjoyed by the Parisian elite in Lisa L. Hannett's grossly gluttonous and deliciously weird 'Sweet Subtleties.' Cassandra Khaw's intense 'The Truth that Lies Under Skin and Meat' follows a werewolf who takes distinct pleasure in devouring her victims, much to the dismay of her handler. And Simon Bestwick's bizarre alternate history 'Welcome to Mengele's' takes readers into a Nazi doctor's movie theater where patrons watch their sickest fantasies play out on screen. These wholly original and truly chilling tales are not for the faint of heart."
--Publishers Weekly [STARRED REVIEW] "The emergence of body horror from a gross-out trope into a thought-provoking subgenre is one of horror's biggest trends. Multiple award-winner Datlow has worked her way through previously published stories from across the dark fiction landscape, uncovering the breadth of these horrific tales. The 29 stories here represent moments across the spectrum, from violent and visceral to uncomfortable and quiet--alien rape, a person who can change their skin, parents who use their kid for blood, an uncontrollable fungus. These tales will burrow under the skin, leaving a lasting impression like the back-to-back blows of 'Natural Skin' by Alyssa Wong, a psychological gut punch about the commodification of young women's bodies and 'The Lake' by Tananarive Due, a tale of physical transformation that is both terrifying and freeing. Marked by a diverse table of contents and illustrations that enhance the conflicting emotions of unease and wonder that lie at the heart of the appeal of body horror, this is an anthology that readers will inhabit, and when they ask for more offer The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste (2018), Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica (2020), or The Cipher by Kathe Koja (1991)."
--Booklist "Let's get to the vital part, the heart of the matter. I read this collection twice, cover to cover, and every one of these beauties is incredible. Each in their own way brings something different to this cohesive collection."
--Cemetery Dance "While it's undeniable body horror is an acquired taste, Body Shocks is sure to delight horror fans from every walk of life. From the decidedly adult 'Welcome to Mengele's' by Simon Bestwick to the superbly twisted 'Fabulous Beasts' by Priya Sharma, this is a collection that will challenge the senses with delightful pains and punishing pleasures."
--Phantastiqa "The most respected anthologist of our time, Ellen Datlow has earned a permanent place in the history of prominent editorship of the dark and fantastic. She has left a mark that is unlikely to be surpassed."
--Joe R. Lansdale, author of the Hap and Leonard series "There are certain brand names that imply undeniable quality, and when I see Ellen Datlow as editor on an anthology, my first thought is always, That's a must-buy. She's such a knowledgeable editor, with a sharp eye and a long-standing love of the genre that leaps from every page."
--Tim Lebbon, author of The Silence "There is a lot of writing out there produced for shock value only, violence for violence's sake, but a few of them can do more and move you on a different, deeper level. I am convinced that Datlow can find exactly those writings for her collection and that is the reason why I went into this book with the confidence of trust. And wasn't disappointed at all."
--Protean Depravity "The degradation and transformation of the human form are explored in a grotesque and beautiful buffet within these pages."
--Horror Obsessive "Body Shocks is a celebration of body horror that brings outstanding narratives about pain and transformation together to offer a great introduction to a subgenre that's here to stay."
--Locus "Ellen Datlow is the empress of the horror anthology--enviably well-read, eagle-eyed for talent, eager for originality, she's one of the glories of the field. Nobody who loves horror should lack any of her books. They're a crucial shelf all by themselves, and something of a history of modern horror."
--Ramsey Campbell, author of The Searching Dead "Ellen Datlow is the undisputed queen of horror anthologies, and with Body Shocks her crown remains untarnished."
--David J. Schow, author of Suite 13 "As you might expect from an award-winning editor in the field of speculative fiction--Ellen Datlow has gathered together a superb array of talent, showcasing the vast extremities of the theme."
--Stephen Bacon, author of Peel Back the Sky "Ellen Datlow is the tastemaker, the greatest, most respected, and most prolific horror anthologist who's ever lived. Every Datlow anthology is a gift to the genre."
--Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Ararat "Published by Tachyon, the anthology is another jewel in the crown of the queen of genre editors, Ellen Datlow."
--Diabolique Magazine "Balanced to cover all tastes and types of body horror, from skin crawling to downright dirty. Some stories definitely shock more than others, swinging wildly from subtle to schlocky without warning, so be wary as you turn each page--or at the very least, have some dry toast and water on hand to keep your belly settled. You're not making it to the end of this book unchanged."
--Ginger Nuts of Horror 5/5 Ravens. "Datlow truly was able to put together a great collection here . . . some of the best body horror to have ever been put in print."
--Horrortree "A recommendation to any horror aficionado and to those looking for horror authors to follow."
--Open Book Society "So vivid and intense as to result as a slap in the reader's face.
--Hellnotes Praise for World Horror Grandmaster Ellen Datlow "I have a short list of editors that I will buy an anthology of, regardless of whether or not I have even heard of the writers it contains, and Ellen Datlow is at the top of that list."
--Horror Talk "With Ellen Datlow at the helm, there was never really any doubt about the quality of the selections on hand."
--Innsmouth Free Press "Datlow has more backed-up expertise and accumulated assets than almost any other horror/dark/weird editor in the business.
--TeleRead "A master editor."
--Arkham Digest "Ellen Datlow's books are the gold standard."
--Del Howison, author of The Survival of Margaret Thomas "Ellen Datlow doesn't just have her thumb on the pulse of horror, she is the pulse of horror."
--Stephen Graham Jones, bestselling author of The Only Good Indians

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