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The Body Shop
Patrick Welch
DarkStar Publications

The Body Shop
Patrick Welch
Patrick Welch earned a B.A. and M.A. in English from Bowling Green State University. While in school he published fiction in such markets as Riverside Quarterly and Analog. After graduating, he concentrated on writing articles for the Toledo market and abandoned short fiction until 1997 when he began to place material in such diverse small market sources as Jackhammer, Eternity (the Brendell series), Titan, Orphic Chronicle and Dark Muse. He works as a full-time free-lance advertising copywriter and part-time musician.

Patrick Welch Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Thirteenth Magician
DarkStar Publications

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Steve Lazarowitz

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The Body Shop, Patrick Welch's second e-published book, is a horror collection. I have been aware of Mr. Welch's work for some time, and have never been disappointed by it. The Body Shop is no exception.

The title story is a novella that takes us into a rather odd near-future. The political and social ramifications are never explored deeply. Instead, the focus is on a man named Egerton and his business of building bodies for dead people. He uses a bit of surgery and a bit of voodoo to accomplish feats that normal medicine can never hope to match.

Mr. Egerton's collection of animated heads, all awaiting body parts, provide a great deal of comic relief in a story of greed, treachery and betrayal. Without giving any more away, Mr. Welch creates an alternate future that is eminently entertaining and completely outrageous. For me, the best part of reading The Body Shop was never knowing what was going to happen. The tale twists and turns, at times most unexpectedly. The characters and plot never ceased to enthrall as I flew through this wonderfully compelling black comedy.

In addition to the "title track," there are 16 other stories, some of which have been published before. Most are only a page or two in length, but all are well worth reading. Many of the shorter stories lack the humour of The Body Shop. Quite a few etched a violent impression in my mind.

With The Body Shop, Patrick Welch has done it again. His plots are original, his writing impeccable and his sense of humour bizarre. If you are a fan of short speculative fiction, this book is a must read. If you're not, you might want to give The Body Shop a try, to see just what you've been missing.

Copyright © 2000 by Steve Lazarowitz

Steve Lazarowitz lives in Brooklyn, NY. His work has appeared in numerous online 'zines including Twilight Times, AnotherRealm, Jackhammer, Aphelion and Titan. His short story "As Luck Would Have It" took first place in the 1998 Preditors and Editors Readers Poll. He is a regular reviewer for SF Site.


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