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A review: Dark Screams (Volume Six)

May 6, 2017 3 comments

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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Vote for Elle Chambers in the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards

July 2, 2014 4 comments

If you like your short fiction on the darker side, like I do, check out Elle Chamber’s “Child’s Play” over at eFestival of Words, where it’s a finalist in the best short story category. Of all her stories I’ve read so far, this one’s my personal favorite. If you read it, and you like it, take a moment to vote for her story over at eFestival of Words.

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The horror story “Child’s Play” by Elle Chambers is a finalist in the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards contest in the Best Short Story category. Read the story here for free. And if you like it, be sure to vote for “Child’s Play” here.

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Categories: Reading

On reading: The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

May 21, 2014 5 comments

A while back, I was talking with my son, Jonathan, who lives in Wisconsin. He happened to mention one of Isaac Asimov’s short stories and said I absolutely had to read it (I’ll confess now that, despite being a sci-fi fan, I’d never read any of his work before … yes, that’s lame, I admit it). Given his glowing recommendation, I decided I should read the story. So I did. My thoughts? Well, I’m going to keep them to myself until after I hear from a few people. I don’t want my opinion of the story to influence what others might have to say.

To those who have read the story, what did you think about it? For those who’ve never read it before and are now curious enough to read it, let me encourage you to read the piece all in one sitting. It’s not that hard to do since it’s a short story, and it does, as my son suggested, make the story all that much more powerful.

To encourage you to read the story, here are a few introductory words penned by the author himself:

This is by far my favorite story of all those I have written.

After all, I undertook to tell several trillion years of human history in the space of a short story and I leave it to you as to how well I succeeded. I also undertook another task, but I won’t tell you what that was lest l spoil the story for you.

It is a curious fact that innumerable readers have asked me if I wrote this story. They seem never to remember the title of the story or (for sure) the author, except for the vague thought it might be me. But, of course, they never forget the story itself especially the ending. The idea seems to drown out everything — and I’m satisfied that it should.

The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

–dp

On reading: micro fiction – two sentence horror stories

March 6, 2014 7 comments

In the past, I’ve seen a few good examples of scary stories told in just a couple of sentences, which is a pretty good trick to pull off with so few words. Here are some I read yesterday that are all new to me, so I thought I’d share them. I got a few pretty good chills. You know, the kind that tingle down the spine?

These are best read at night, preferably with as little light as possible, though I think they’re still good even when read during the day 🙂 My personal favorites are 1, 5, and 10. What are yours? Read any other two sentence horror stories that you thought were good?

–dp

http://imgur.com/gallery/mrPZK

On reading: 11/22/63 by Stephen King

November 21, 2012 2 comments

Just got done reading the book 11/22/63 by Stephen King. Absolutely loved it. A great combination of science fiction, mystery, suspense, horror, all with a love story thrown in for good measure. I literally could hardly put this book down (okay, so I did put it down long enough to sleep) I loved the characterizations, the settings, the moods he created, and the incredible level of detail he brought to his description of Texas in the late fifties and early sixties. And of course, the story incorporates a subject with which I’ve been fascinated for years: the JFK assassination. It’s clear that King spent many hours researching just this element of his novel, as he was able to blend it seamlessly within his time-travel love story.

My recommendation: two enthusiastic thumbs up. Great for all King fans, new and old.

–dp