Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Flesh Welder

Another post reprinted because I'm too lazy to come up with anything new. Actually, it's a triple-dip, reprinted from my old blog, where it was reprinted from the late, very much missed Skullring. It's a shame I don't pay myself royalties. Anyway, since I first wrote this, Croatoan Publishing has come and gone, unfortunately, although you may still be able to get a copy by contacting Ron Kelly through his website (See link at right. No, your right.) The one thing that hasn't changed is Flesh Welder is still a heckuva good story, but if you are familiar with what Ron writes, that's a given.

Flesh Welder is a short story, originally published in the relatively obscure Noctulpa back in 1990, and unfamiliar to most. It is a post-apocalyptic tale, taking place in Houston about ten years from now. The city, and probably the world, is in ruins from an unexplained war. The area is covered with radioactive zones, and there is a vicious, guerilla-style war still raging, apparently along ethnic lines.

One of the most important survivors in the area is Doctor Rourke, who has acquired the ability to weld flesh – that is, to replace missing body parts with scavenged meat from the many casualties in the area. With traumatic amputations common due to the nature of the fighting, he is important to all sides. The story concerns what happens when Jeremiah Payne, the most cruel of the commanders, needs his services, a man who Rourke despises.

Flesh Welder is a highly entertaining story, and Croatoan has produced a very handsome book. The cover, by Zach McCain, is striking, and the book includes an extensive interview with Kelly by Mark Hickerson, as well as an excerpt from Kelly’s upcoming novel, Undertaker’s Moon. It’s always good to see anything from Ron Kelly.


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