I’ve been through a number of anthologies lately and wasn’t sure what to expect from Uncommon Bodies, but I had read some of the author’s works previously so I was confident that I was in for an interesting experience. Beginning with the jolting tale of sideshow freaks Mary and Millie, Michael Harris Cohen kicks proceedings off nicely, and it quickly becomes apparent that this collection is something special indeed.
Uncommon Bodies is a vivid and diverse collection of weird and wonderful tales of the body, each author lending a unique voice, never afraid to shock the reader, yet still managing to draw them in and see the beauty within the madness, each tale as twisted as it’s character’s, yet strangely familiar, as we stare like uncomfortable voyeurs at those who would find us equally strange. The beauty of Uncommon Bodies is that it forces the reader to question both morality and reality, and every story without exception provokes thought and emotion in the reader.
While every story is exceptional in this collection, my personal favourites were contributions from Laxmi Hariharan, whose gorgeous prose floats from the page in UnTamed, Daniel Arthur Smith’s intriguing tale of a unique tattoo artist From The Inside, with Robb Grindstaff’s short and sweet Rudy And Deidre, and Kim Wells’ Undead Cyborg Girl also worth a mention, as is P.K. Tyler’s compelling tale Daedalus’ Daughter.
A hugely enjoyable anthology for those with open minds who like their fiction left of centre, who travel on the outskirts, those who need no box to think outside of, and if every now and again you like to take a dip in the darkness, this is exactly the pool you need.