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Malpractice (2009)
Fiction Review by The Drug Stuffed Corpse

Malpractice (2009) edited by Nathaniel Lambert

DIAGNOSIS: That sound of dusted bones tumbling in a wooden box is Hippocrates spinning in his grave upon the release of Necrotic Tissue's collection of horrific medical short stories, Malpractice. A retinue of new and not-so-new writers take more of a hypocritical oath, altering the once immutable physician's tenet: 'to above all do no harm', and mutated it into the much uglier promise of 'without regard inflict great harm'. Malpractice is a grimoire of short stories that in some manner relates back to the fictitious Bloom Memorial Hospital.

PROGNOSIS: Most of the stories are entropic by nature, allowing for a gradual decline into chaos; sanity and logic stumble into the incongruity of the unknown or unexpected. However, there is an epidemic of 100-word stories that immediately cut to the bone, some with success but many with a medical lawsuit on their hands. The stories are diverse and eclectic following myriad paths from real horrors of society to the outer realms of the supernatural. As with all compendiums some voices can be as frightening as a grotesque malignant cancer, or as benign as a slight headache; some revel in the glorification of body deconstruction, being certain to provide copious details of every twitching nerve and drop of body fluid, while others ascribe a more subtle approach to their vanquishing of the body politic using nuance and/or conjecture allowing the horror to slowly seep into you.

The horror people face when entering a hospital, no matter if their malady is pedestrian or complex, there is a palpable fear everyone has of pain, discovery, and of our own mortality. Real stories of real fears can be scary enough, but when the X-factor of fiction is injected into a place of healing - every doctor and nurse turns from healer into General Inquisitor Torquemada trying to torture the evil out of you for your own good, or at best, to satisfy their own intrinsic needs.

TREATMENT: I think the great poet Jeff Hanneman of Slayer said it best when discussing the beloved German doctor Josef Mengele:

"Pumped with fluid, inside your brain. Pressure in your skull begins pushing through your eyes. Burning flesh, drips away. Test of heat burns your skin, your mind starts to boil. Frigid cold, cracks your limbs. How long can you last. In this frozen water burial? Sewn together, joining heads. Just a matter of time. Til you rip yourselves apart"

No prescription can suitably vanquish this disease. The only cure is to purchase a copy of Malpractice and make an appointment with me for a anaesthesia-free vivisection...

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