Five short, dark stories by some recognizable names in the genre. Although short, this is a powerful collection for horror lovers.
Editors Richard Chizmar and Brian James Freeman are no strangers to the horror genre having been part of Cemetery Dance Publications previously. Here they’ve collected five wonderful, dark stories to set your nerves on edge.
Stephen King’s “Weeds” is an old story that I recognized from his earlier days. From Goodreads: “When a meteorite lands on his property, Jordy Verrill envisions an easy payday. Unfortunately for Jordy, this is no ordinary rock—and the uncompromising force inside has found its first target.” King is a master wordsmith and manages to find the humanity in the story.
I am not familiar with Kelley Armstrong and the story “The Price You Pay” was perhaps the weakest of the five-story collection, but still a strong story of friendships and trust.
I’ve been a reader of Bill Pronzini for a long time, and his work is always solid. “Magic Eyes” is a great character and mood piece as an inmate in an asylum (who doesn’t believe he belongs there) journals about his concerns and about the terror he is sure is approaching.
Simon Clark is another new name to me, but “Murder in Chains” was possibly my favorite work here. With no explanations given as to the reasons for the locations and circumstances, our protagonist wakes to find himself chained at the wrist to a giant, murdering thug. The fear was tremendous and the action well projected.
Ramsey Campbell is always good for a little spine shiver and “The Watched” will give you the chills, just as you might imagine a Ramsey Campbell story would.
Being a volume one, I would assume that there are other volumes planned. I’m not sure if this is considered a magazine or a book collection (to my knowledge it is only available in e-format). While it was nice to have these five stories collected here, I believe that they’ve all been previously published. A little variety with some new authors would be welcomed. And because it feels like a magazine, being relatively short, I actually wanted some illustrations as well. Perhaps in future volumes?
Looking for a good book? Dark Screams, Volume One will give you goosebumps and have you looking over your shoulder.
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Dark Screams, Volume One
editors: Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar
ebook, 98 pages