Scream Angel

Scream Angel

5.0 1
by Douglas Smith


Think of human emotion as a geography, with peaks of pleasure and valleys of pain. Imagine a drug that flips the valleys and makes them peaks, too. You react now to an event based not on the pleasure or pain that it brings, but solely on the intensity of the emotion created. Pain brings pleasure, grief gives joy, horror



Think of human emotion as a geography, with peaks of pleasure and valleys of pain. Imagine a drug that flips the valleys and makes them peaks, too. You react now to an event based not on the pleasure or pain that it brings, but solely on the intensity of the emotion created. Pain brings pleasure, grief gives joy, horror renders ecstasy.

Now give this drug to a soldier. Tell them to kill. Not in the historically acceptable murder of war, but in a systematic corporate strategy—of xenocide. They will kill. And they will revel in it.

Welcome to the world of Scream.

Jason Trelayne is a Screamer, a soldier forced to take part in the enslavement or death of entire races. But Trelayne falls in love with Philomela, a Scream Angel, an alien who produces the addictive drug.

Does he love her for her beauty, for the drug she gives him, from guilt for what he has done to her people? And does she love truly him as she swears? Or is he simply her only hope for freedom, for her and her entire race? Forced to choose between freedom and love, what will they do?

Science fiction, space, love story (novelette)

"…the book’s most skillfully crafted story…a multi-layered tale about a circus that features a pair of ‘angels’ who have the ability to produce a drug that produces pleasure based on intensity of emotion. Factor in that the owner of the circus is in love with one of the angels as well as addicted to the drug she produces, and the story quickly becomes one that holds the reader’s attention until the very end." —SpecFicWorld

"Smith describes a disturbingly plausible military application for the narcotic … The basic concept behind the drug strikes me as one of those rare ideas that seems at once so perfect and so natural that someone must have come up with it before; but if someone has, I haven't heard about it, and regardless Smith exploits the potential of the idea extraordinarily well here." —Strange Horizons

"…remind[ed] me of the reasons I love the author’s writing: his characterisation, attention to detail and recurring themes of love, faith and redemption." —SF Crowsnest Reviews

"A visceral work […] a true pearl of the fantastic literature. Breath-taking." —Café de Ontem

"The story has so many layers that I'm still sorting them out. And like an onion, I'm not sure if I'll ever find the final layer." —Tangent Online

"A dark and powerful story with a first line that sets the tone for what is to come: 'They stopped beating Trelayne when they saw that he enjoyed it.' (A++)" —Fantasy Book Critic

"Scream Angel was especially horrifying and compelling, and I wound up re-reading it again after I had finished the book." —Fluidity of Time

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Douglas Smith
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Meet the Author

"His stories are a treasure trove of riches that will touch your heart while making you think." --Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author"One of Canada's most original writers of speculative fiction." --Library Journal"A great storyteller with a gifted and individual voice." --Charles de LintDouglas Smith is an award-winning author of speculative fiction, with over a million words of fiction published in thirty countries and two dozen languages.He has won Canada's Aurora Award three times and has been a finalist for the international John W. Campbell Award, Canada's juried Sunburst Award, the CBC Bookies award, and France's juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane.Doug's book length works include:THE WOLF AT THE END OF THE WORLD (Lucky Bat Books, 2013) - Urban fantasy novelCHIMERASCOPE (ChiZine, 2010) - Finalist for the Sunburst Award, Aurora Award, and CBC Bookies AwardIMPOSSIBILIA (PS Publishing, 2008) - Finalist for the Aurora AwardLA DANSE DES ESPRITS (Dreampress, 2011) - Finalist for France's Prix Masterton and Prix Bob MoraneIn 2010, an independent film producer released a multi-award winning short film based on Doug's story "By Her Hand, She Draws You Down." Films based on his stories "A State of Disorder" and "Memories of the Dead Man" are also in the works.Website: smithwriter.comTwitter: smithwrtrSELECTED REVIEWS"Smith's writing, evocative yet understated, gracefully brings to life his imagined realms." -- Quill and Quire *Starred Review*"Smith paints his worlds so well that you are transported within a paragraph or two and remain in transit until the story ends." --Broken Pencil, The Magazine of Zine Culture and the Independent Arts"Echoes of Stephen King, Richard Matheson, and Clive Barker haunt the halls of Smith's work, but the end result is completely original, and always enthralling." --Cory Redekop"Douglas Smith is an extraordinary author whom every lover of quality speculative fiction should read." --Fantasy Book Critic"Smith is definitely an author who deserves to be more widely read." --Strange Horizons"I've yet to read a work of his that wasn't beautifully written, but more than that, his stories resonate with a deep understanding of the human condition as well as a characteristic wry wonder... Stories you can't forget, even years later." --Julie Czerneda, award-winning author and editor"An ambitious and adventurous new writer." --Gardner Dozois, author and editor"Smith is a master of beginnings ... some of the most well-crafted hooks you'll find anywhere: deft introductions to the characters and their not-quite-familiar worlds packed into just a sentence or two that draw the reader in. As for the endings ... Smith's tendency is to forego the shocking twist for endings that feel satisfying and right, a trade-off that I'll take any day." --Canadian Science Fiction Reviews

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Scream Angel (an award-winning novelette) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
KristenePerron More than 1 year ago
I have to confess here that I am biased. I LOVE short stories, particularly speculative fiction short stories. The short story is a very difficult form to master, and probably the reason it has traditionally been used as a proving ground for fiction writers. Smith has mastered it. Scream Angel is about Jason Trelayne, a former soldier who was forcibly addicted to a drug (scream) that enabled him, and his fellow soldiers, to carry out systematic xenocide. Now, hiding on the fringes of civilization, Trelayne runs a circus populated by orphans from the same races and societies he once helped destroy or enslave. He is a haunted man, crippled by his addiction and his past. But, when he’s discovered and his circus family is threatened, Trelayne has to face who he was, who he is, and who he wants to be. I finished this story with a giant case of writer’s envy. In a short space, Smith lays out layers of love and redemption, and forces the reader to examine how one man can be both good and evil. There are a lot of characters and scene/time jumps within this story, something that could have been a problem in less-skilled hands, but Smith handles it beautifully. I am eager to read more of his work!