Home > Reading, Review > A review: Dark Screams (Volume Six)

A review: Dark Screams (Volume Six)

Well, it’s been a ridiculously long time since I’ve written anything here. I’ll talk about why in my next post, but for now, I thought I would go ahead and share a review of an ebook I was recently asked to read. It’s the latest entry (volume six) in an anthology series from Cemetery Dance Publications entitled Dark Screams.

Here’s a link to the ebook in Amazon: Dark Screams (Volume Six)

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I’ve posted my review there, but I’ll go ahead and include it here as well. If you’re a fan of horror fiction, check it out, or any of the other entries in the series. Or, for that matter, any of their other publications. The best place to go for dark fiction.

–ddp

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I’ve been a long-time fan of Cemetery Dance Publications. I’ve bought numerous books from them and have subscribed to their magazine for many years. They truly are the cream-of-the-crop when it comes to horror fiction, and I’ve never been disappointed by them. So, when I was recently given the opportunity to review their latest release in the Dark Screams series (Volume Six), I jumped at the chance. I’m glad I did, because it was great. Here are my personal opinions on each story in this most recent installment.
The Old Dude’s Ticker by Stephen King. I enjoyed SK’s intro to this story, and got a kick out of his apologies both to the reader (due to the age of the material, having come from the seventies) and E.A. Poe. I’ll leave it to the reader to understand why he felt he had to apologize to Poe. Regardless of the dated writing associated with this story, I still enjoyed it. A fun read and a nice homage to a story most readers will most likely have already read.

The Rich Are Different by Lisa Morton. I’ve never read any of her works before, but I must say I truly enjoyed this story, and her writing. A well-written tale, I found myself drawn in and taken on a journey which I had not expected (a bit of a twist on a love story). I can now say I’ve become quite a fan of Lisa Morton and look forward to reading more of her fiction.

The Manicure by Nell Quinn-Gibney. A manicure only found somewhere in a bad dream. It makes me rethink whether I ever want another pedicure, which is a bummer, because I like them. I’d like to read more of her stories.

The Comforting Voice by Norman Prentiss. A wonderfully creepy tale about new parents and a newborn baby that tries their patience (to the extreme), a situation everyone who’s ever had kids can relate to. Frightening in a way no parent wants to admit.

The Situations by Joyce Carol Oates. A new author to me. Overall, a quick read, but I didn’t really follow it very well. At the end, I was left with something of a “so what” kind of feeling. Because of that, I’d consider it one of the weaker stories, at least for me.

The Corpse King by Tim Curran. A grim and dark story about two grave robbers that ran quite a bit longer than the others in this collection. While the writing was top-notch, it could have been shortened a bit, as I found myself beginning to skip small sections to progress through the story. Also, the author frequently used words I didn’t know, which is either a commentary on my sad vocabulary, or it’s indicative of using bigger words when simpler will do. Overall, I enjoyed it and the two main characters, and I liked the ending as well.
Dark Screams Volume Six is a worthwhile read for those who enjoy reading short forms of horror fiction. My rating of the collection: 4/5 stars. Another worthy entry in the Dark Screams series.

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  1. May 6, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Dave, so good to see you here! Thanks for the review. I’d actually been getting emails about Dark Screams, but, gee, my to-be-read list is darn long 😦 Still, when I’m particularly stressed about reading, short stories are my go-to relief. I almost laughed out loud when you said that Joyce Carol Oates was a new writer to you. I first came across her back in early 70s with her novel Them. It’s not a horror novel, but still very dark and disturbing. I read it only once although I carried the original paperback around until it literally fell apart. Oates is a prolific writer. It’s almost like she can’t not write, although many of us wish she would stop. I’ve read other works by her over the years, but nothing has ever moved me the way Them did. And some of her work has also left me feeling at the end, “so what?” It’s interesting that she was included in the anthology. I wonder why. I know have a “celebrity” writer or two helps in selling anthologies, but Oates (in my humble opinion) isn’t a celebrity name in horror fiction like King. Anyway, just had to share 😉 Hope all is well with you and looking forward to (hopefully) seeing you around more.

    • May 7, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      Hi Marie – thank you so much for commenting. I hope to be around more often … I do miss blogging, and I miss the blogging community, especially you and a number of other blog friends who were so good about reading and commenting. I completely understand having a very lengthy to-be-read list … I seem to add way more quickly than I actually read. I’ll get to them eventually, though. I just know it! Agreed on short stories. Love reading them, and actually very much enjoy writing them. I have a bunch I’ve written, and a number in the works, that I hope to self-publish someday.

      I guess I can explain not knowing about Joyce Carol Oates by admitting that I don’t read outside my genre as often as I should, so my exposure can sometimes be rather limited, even though I’ve been reading for decades. I’ve been trying to broaden the types of books I read by adding them to my to-be-read list … which, of course, explains why I haven’t yet read them 🙂

      Hope all is well with you. Wish me luck in getting back to semi-regular blog updates!

      • May 8, 2017 at 11:37 am

        The downside of having worked on college degrees in English literature is that for years I rarely read anything written after the 19th century 😉 I feel like I have so much catching up to do, which is one reason why I love audiobooks. No worries about Oates; you’re not missing much 😉 Reading outside your genre can be a good thing, but it’s best when the book is really, really good. Still, if you’re looking to publish in a particular genre, it makes all the sense in the world to immerse yourself. Looking forward to more chatting with you!

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