Book Reviews

{Review} Dark Screams: Volume 1 -edited by Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar

by Brian James Freeman, Richard Chizmar
Published by Hydra, Random House Publishing Group on 12.9.14
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Thriller
Pages: 88
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon

This anthology consists of short stories by Stephen King, Kelley Armstrong, Bill Pronzini, Simon Clark and Ramsey Campbell. How could a reader go wrong?

The Stephen King story “Weeds” was part of the movie Creepshow. This is the one in which the King himself starred, where the meteor fell to earth in the man’s backyard. In the movie, I thought the tale was hokey, but in the book I liked it more. We are privy to more of Jordy’s inner thoughts, which makes it funnier, but at the same time, sadder.

All the stories in this collection were pretty good, but I enjoyed the Pronzini tale, “Magic Eyes” the most. In my mind I called it the Diary of a Madman.

There are only 5 shorts in this collection, so it can be read in no time at all. You won’t find anything here to blow your mind, but these tales are well written, fun to read, and a great way to kill a winter afternoon.

Recommended for fans of short story collections and dark fiction!

I received a free ebook copy from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. This is it.

About Brian James Freeman

Brian James Freeman sold his first short story when he was fourteen years old and his first novel when he was twenty-four. His novels, novellas, short stories, essays, and interviews have been published by Warner Books, Cemetery Dance Publications, Borderlands Press, Book-of-the-Month Club, Leisure, and many others.

His novella, The Painted Darkness, took the Internet by storm as an eBook during the summer of 2010, reaching more than 30,000 readers in the first few months after publication. The book was published in hardcover in December 2010 by Cemetery Dance Publications, with the signed editions selling out in just 24 hours. Due to overwhelming demand from booksellers, the first printing of the trade edition went out of print on the day of publication and Cemetery Dance rushed a second printing. The Painted Darkness was also offered as the “Free eBook of the Month” by in October 2010 and within two weeks it became the most downloaded title in the program’s history.

Freeman is also the author of Blue November Storms, which was recently revised and republished, and Black Fire, his first novel, which will be revised and republished by the end of 2013.

His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies since 1994 including From the Borderlands (Warner Books), Borderlands 5 (Borderlands Press), Corpse Blossoms (Creeping Hemlock Press), and all seven volumes of the acclaimed Shivers anthology series (Cemetery Dance Publications).

About Richard Chizmar

Richard Chizmar is the author of Gwendy’s Button Box (with Stephen King) and A Long December, which was nominated for numerous awards. His fiction has appeared in dozens of publications, including Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and multiple editions of The Year’s 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories. He has won two World Fantasy awards, four International Horror Guild awards, and the HWA’s Board of Trustee’s award. His third short story collection, A Long December, was recently published to starred reviews in both Kirkus and Booklist, and was featured in Entertainment Weekly. Chizmar’s work has been translated into many languages throughout the world, and he has appeared at numerous conferences as a writing instructor, guest speaker, panelist, and guest of honor. Please visit the author’s website at

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