Your body is a temple – a saying that has been with us for centuries. The message: look after your body because you and it are going to be together for a long time.

The body is in a symbiotic relationship with the soul: one cannot exist without the other. But what if one of them is corrupted? A damaged body can lead to a cracked soul. The darkness of an evil soul will leak into the body that carries it.

Say the words ‘body horror’, and you might think of gruesome scenes in Alien or John Carpenter’s The Thing or Jeff Goldblum in The Fly. But in Ellen Datlow’s new anthology Body Shocks, readers will find a more nuanced approach to body horror.

We’re delighted to be joined by Ellen Datlow for this episode – christened by some as the ‘doyenne of horror’.

Authors, directors, and texts mentioned in this episode include:

Body Shocks: Extreme Tales of Body Horror edited by Ellen Datlow (book cover), published by Tachyon Publications
  • Philip Brophy
  • David Cronenberg
  • Dario Argento
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • The Fly by George Langelaan
  • The Thing
  • I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison
  • Alien
  • Priya Sharma
  • Richard Matheson
  • Nathan Ballingrud
  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  • Greek mythology
  • Angela Slatter
  • Seanan McGuire
  • Carrie by Stephen King
  • Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Deerskin by Robin McKinley
  • The Father
  • Morning Child by Gardner Dozois
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The X-Files
Ellen Datlow

Ellen Datlow has been editing science fiction, fantasy, and horror short fiction for over thirty-five years as fiction editor of OMNI Magazine and editor of Event Horizon and SCIFICTION. She currently acquires short fiction for In addition, she has edited more than a hundred science fiction, fantasy, and horror anthologies, including the annual The Best Horror of the Year, Lovecraft’s Monsters, Fearful Symmetries, The Doll Collection, The Monstrous, Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern HorrorBlack Feathers,  Haunted Nights (with Lisa Morton), and Mad Hatters and March Hares (stories inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There). Forthcoming are The Devil and the Deep: Horror Stories of the SeaEchoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, and The Best of the Best (covering the first ten volumes of the Best Horror of the Year series).

Body Shocks: Extreme Tales of Body Horror is out now from Tachyon Publications.