Tag Archives: Brian James Freeman

A Look at Dark Screams, Volume 7


Dark Screams, Vol. 7
Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar, eds.
Hydra
ebook, $3.99

The Dark Screams series is one of the best horror anthologies out there.  I’d like to thank Brian James Freeman for the review copy of this volume.

The earlier volumes in this series tended to feature five stories.  This one has six, and I liked all of them. Some of the stories are reprints, but not all. The copyright page of the review edition lists four of six as having copyrights of 2017. The mix of new and reprint stories is a good format. Continue reading

When The Halloween Children Come Knocking

The Halloween Children
Brian James Freeman and Norman Prentiss
Hydra
hardcover $24.95
ebook $2.99

I’d like to thank Cemetery Dance Publications for providing me with the review copy.  Told by multiple narrators, none of whom are entirely reliable, this novel chronicles the events in an apartment complex when the complex’s Halloween party is canceled.

Harris is the on-site handyman for the Stillbrook Apartments.  He and his wife Lynn have two children, Matt and Amber.  Lynn’s job as tech support allows her to stay home.  They are a dysfunctional family, with both parents playing favorites with the children (Harris and Matt, Lynn and Amber) while their marriage is slowly unraveling.  Most (but not all) of the chapters are from one of their viewpoints.  Neither have a good grasp of things going on in their home. Continue reading

Dark Screams 6 Releases Tomorrow

Dark Screams 6
Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar, ed.
Hydra
ebook $3.99

The Dark Screams series of ebook anthologies is back, and that’s something to scream about, joyfully of course.

This one has half a dozen selections, unlike its predecessors, which had only five.

Here’s what you get: Continue reading

Halloween Tricks and Treats

dark hallowsDark Hallows: 10 Halloween Haunts
Mark Parker, ed.
Scarlet Galleon
paperback $14.99, 161 p.
ebook $6.99

This book came out last fall, but my copy didn’t arrive until after Halloween, so I waited until this year to read it.  There’s a second volume, but given that I’m writing this on the 27th, it will probably be a next-year-read as well.

Many of the names aren’t authors I’m familiar with.  Obviously I know who Richard Chizmar, Norman Partridge, and Brian James Freeman are, as well as Lisa Morton and Al Sarrantonio.   I’ve heard of a couple of the others, I think.

I’ve got the print version, and it’s a nice production.  The cover art is perfect.  Aaron Dries provided an original illustration for each story, which was a nice touch.

As with most anthologies, some stories were more to my taste than others.  Here are a few of my favorites: Continue reading

Dark Screams Volume 5 Now Available

dark-screams-5Dark Screams Volume 5
Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar, ed.
Hydra
ebook only, $2.99

So this is the fifth volume of Dark Screams I’ve reviewed. I’d like to thank Hydra Books, Brian James Freeman, and Richard Chizmar for the review copy.

Once again, there are five stories in the volume. Unlike the previous installments in this series (long may it continue), not all of the stories were to my taste. They were all well-written, but I’m not the audience for all of them. Those of you who know my taste can use that as a guide as to whether you would enjoy the stories.

Here’s what you get: Continue reading

Dark Screams Vol. 4 Available Today

Dark Screams 4Dark Screams Vol. 4
Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar, ed.
Hydra, a Division of Random House
ebook only, $2.99

I’d like once again to thank Brian James Freeman for putting me on his list of reviewers for eARCs of the Dark Screams series.  These quarterly anthologies are turning out to be among the most consistent and enjoyable anthology series on the market.

Each volume contains five different stories by five different authors.  The contents vary  in style and theme, as well as subgenre of horror.  They are a great way to sample new authors without shelling out the cash for an entire book or to simplyl enjoy a new story by an old favorite.  And at $2.99 each, Dark Screams is one of the best values on the horror market.

Here’s what the current volume contains: Continue reading

Dark Screams 3: The Screaming Continues

Dark Screams 3Dark Screams 3
Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar, ed.
Hydra
ebook only, $2.99

The screaming in this case being more screams of enthusiasm. It’s starting to look like editors Freeman and Chizmar have a solid anthology series on their hands. I’d like to thank Mr. Freeman for putting me on the list to receive review copies.

Dark Screams Volume 3 hit digital shelves a week ago, but with final exams to grade and other end of the semester tasks, I only finished it this evening. It’s another solid installment in this series. Here’s what you get. Continue reading

Dark Screams Volume 2 is a Solid Horror Anthology

Dark Screams Volume 2Dark Screams Volume 2
Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar, ed.
Hydra
ebook only, $2.99
release date March 3, 2015

I’d like to thank Brian James Freeman for providing the review copy of Dark Screams Volume 2. He and Richard Chizmar set themselves a high standard with the first volume, and it’s good to see that they have maintained that level of excellence.

The Dark Screams series is an ebook-only horror anthology series in which each volume contains five stories by five of the best practitioners of horror fiction working today. I’d only read one author, Richard Christian Matheson, prior to reading this book, although I was familiar with the names of all but one contributor.  Here’s what you get in the second volume. Continue reading

Dark Screams is Something to Scream About

Dark Screams v1Dark Screams Vol. 1
Brain James Freeman and Richard Chizmar, ed.
Hydra
ebook only, $2.99
publication date December 9, 2014 preorder

I’d like to start off this review by thanking Brian James Freeman and Hydra/Random House for the review copy of Dark Screams Vol. 1. I had originally intended to review the book closer to the release date. I finished the first story while waiting for my son to get back from All Region Band tryouts and kept going. It turned out there were almost twice as many students trying out than were expected, so after 2 1/2 hours of waiting past the time they were supposed to be back, I had finished the book. I decided to write and post the review while the stories were fresh on my mind.

As you can tell from the title, this is the inaugural volume in a series.  There are currently five volumes planned, with more to come if sales and reader response are positive.

If the first volume is any indication, this should be a long-running series.  The editors have stated that each volume will have a variety of different types of horror from some of the top names in the business. Continue reading

Turning Down the Lights

Turn Down the LightsTurn Down the Lights
Richard Chizmar, ed.
Cemetery Dance
trade hardcover $35
slipcased artist edition $75
traycased limited edition $750

Cemetery Dance has long been one of the major players in the horror and dark suspense fields. That’s true for the magazine and the publishing house. The first issue of the magazine Cemetery Dance was published just over 35 years ago.

To celebrate, Richard Chizmar has put together this little volume. It’s a great introduction to the type of thing you’ll find in the magazine as well as among the titles in their catalog.

In addition to an introduction by Chizmar and an afterward by Thomas Monteleone, there are stories by Stephen King, Norman Partridge, Jack Ketchum, Brian James Freeman, Bentley Little, Ed Gorman, Ronald Kelly, Steve Rasnic Tem, Clive Barker, and Peter Straub.

Some of the top names in the field. May favorite stories were by King, Freeman, Little, and Gorman. All of them were well-written. Not all of the stories are supernatural. The Gorman and Freeman entries especially dealt with more mundane terrors. In fact these two were some of the best short fiction I’ve read in the horror field.

There’s not a bad story in the book, and there’s something here for every taste.  This is the type of book Cemetery Dance excels at.  With Turn Down the Lights they’ve met and surpassed their own standards.

Adventures Fantastic would like to congratulate Cemetery Dance on 35 years of publishing some of the best dark fiction to be had and wish them another 35 years. If you haven’t read them, check them out.