Twisted Anatomy: Edited By Sci-Fi & Scary
Benefitting the Pulmonary Hypertension Association and the National Domestic Violence Hotline
Reviewed By Steve Stred
The Sci-Fi and Scary team have continued to promote and share great content, so when they announced they were in the process of putting out an anthology, it was exciting. When the time came and the open call went live, I remember seeing how many people were over the moon to try and submit something for this.
Now, the anthology is arriving into the book world and I was very fortunate to receive a digital arc from Sam, who has become a great friend.
What I liked: ‘Twisted Anatomy’ features 30 stories that all revolve in one way shape or form around ‘Body Horror.’ While I’d typically offer a definition of what body horror is, in this case, I think I’d be doing some of these stories a disservice by defining the genre. So, I’ll just say – each story involves gruesome events or things revolving around the body. Ha. How vague is that?
The anthology comes out of the gate swinging with one of the best stories featured, ‘Blood Bogged’ by Red Lagoe. This one is sure to be a love/hate story for readers and I suspect for the most part, those who hate it will be male and they’ll feel that it was ‘gross’ because Lagoe has a story about a woman and her period. I thought it was really well done and, while brutal yes, this was completely necessary to the story.
Perhaps my favorite story was ‘Little Teeth’ by Tabatha Wood. In this short burst, we are introduced to a woman who discovers a tooth growing where one shouldn’t. God, this one goes dark.
‘Unspooling Screams’ by Sara Tantlinger was fantastic and Cynthia Pelayo‘s ‘Lamb’s Lettuce’ was stunning.
Tied for my favorite story was ‘Just Beneath Her Skin’ by S.H. Cooper. A husband and wife visit a doctor about some lumps that she has on her abdomen. Cooper goes full Clive Barker and absolutely destroys the reader. Well done.
What I didn’t like: While each story is genuinely short, there are still 30 stories, which made for some slowdowns as not every story connects. As with every anthology, reader connection to each piece will vary but for the most part I found every story engaging.
Why you should buy this: First, you should be buying this purely to support the Sci-Fi and Scary crew. They do great work. Second, the TOC in this is stunning. This features some really well-known authors as well as new-to-me authors and every single one brought their A games which was great to see. Nothing is really off-limits here. Third, while I’m not someone who requires them, the anthology comes with Trigger Warnings. So, going in you’ll know whether a story is fine for you to read or not.
This one really does have something for everyone and the stories featured are brutal, depraved and heart-felt. Really, what else can horror lovers want?
It all started with talk of tentacles from unmentionables… From this gooey start, our body horror charity anthology was born. Within these pages, our authors have come together to delight and disgust with stories about perhaps the most horrifying thing of all: the human body.
Benefitting the Pulmonary Hypertension Association and the National Domestic Violence Hotline, Twisted Anatomy contains new stories from some of the best authors in indie horror and science fiction, alongside several new voices guaranteed to suck readers in for years to come.
Please note: The team at Sci-Fi & Scary strongly believe in content warnings. A list of any story’s content warning is located at the back of the book. Everyone should be free to read horror, regardless of past circumstances.
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
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