Is my Van Gogh story coming true? Is the Doctor real?

Newly discovered van Gogh paintingAs I explain in my afterword to my story "A Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase, by Van Gogh," I am a huge fan of the works of the Dutch artist, Vincent van Gogh. In that particular story, I tell the tale of an ex-CIA agent and a talented young remote viewer who use remote viewing to time travel and "locate" an undiscovered van Gogh. You'll have to read the story to understand the quotes around "locate."

Is my story coming true? Well, probably not. But a few weeks ago, experts at the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam (which I visited, by the way, in May this year – absolutely wonderful) verfied Sunset at Montmajour  as an authentic van Gogh. The painting had actually been discovered in the 1990's, moldering in an attic in Norway. At that time, the museum had rejected the work, but more modern testing over the last two years resulted in its recent authentication. Very cool. Click the article above to read more about the discovery and to see the painting. There's a neat little magnification viewer in the article so you can really examine the painting (okay, technically, so you can examine the image of the painting).

And if the correlation to "Bouquet of Flowers..." and time travel isn't science fiction-y enough for you, then while you're checking out the painting, focus on the top left area. See that little blue building in the distance? Look familiar? Some people noticed its strange resemblance to another blue structure, as explained in this article. Personally, I think if Vincent was going to paint the TARDIS, he'd put it in the foreground. But it kind of cries out for a story called "Vincent and the Doctor," doesn't it? Oh, wait. They already did that episode.

In honour of all this great Vincent news, I'm giving away a free ebook copy of my story "A Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase by Van Gogh" in my bookstore to the first twenty people who use the following coupon code: VINCENT2013. Enjoy!

Ontario SF&F writers: Yours to Discover

End-cap display in World's Biggest BookstoreJust came across this blog post about an end-cap display in The World's Biggest Bookstore in Toronto, showcasing books by Ontario-based science fiction and fantasy writers. Nice to see Chimersacope included in this impressive group of works (bottom left).

I'm an Aurora Award winner!

The winners of the 2013 Aurora Awards have just been announced at CanCon in Ottawa, and I am thrilled that my story "The Walker of the Shifting Borderland" won for Best Short Fiction! "The Walker..." first appeared in the wonderful Canadian speculative fiction magazine, On Spec, in their "Apocalypse" issue (cover at the right).

It's great to see so many of my friends on the winners list, too.The full list of winners is as follows:

  • Novel: The Silvered – Tanya Huff
  • YA Fiction: Under my Skin, The Wildlimgs – Charles de Lint
  • Short Fiction: The Walker of the Shifting Borderland – Douglas Smith
  • Poem / Song: A Sea Monster Tells His Story – David Clink
  • Graphic Novel: Weregeek – Alina Pete
  • Related Work: Hayden Trenholm – Blood and Water
  • Artist: Erik Mohr – Cover Art for ChiZine Publications
  • Fan Publication: Speculating Canada Blog – Derek Newman-Stille
  • Fan Filk: Kari Maaren – Body of Work
  • Fan Organizational: Randy McCharles – When Worlds Collide
  • Fan Related Work: Ron Friedman – Aurora Awards Voter Package

Unfortunately, I missed this convention for family reasons. Derek Newman-Stille kindly accepted on my behalf. My acceptance speech that I'd sent Derek went as follows:

Thank you for this unexpected honour! My apologies for not being here in person, but my youngest son's birthday falls on this weekend and it's one of those ending in a zero, so I didn't want to miss that. First, thanks to Cliff Samuels and everyone involved with the Auroras this year for all of their dedication and hard work in making these awards happen. A nod to my fellow nominees--it was an honour just being on the ballot with each of you (but I'm glad I won). Thanks to everyone who voted for the story, and special thanks to Diane Walton and the editorial board at On Spec for publishing "The Walker...,"and to Susan MacGregor for her great editing job. And finally, thanks to Derek for accepting on my behalf.

In honour of this win, I've made "The Walker..." available as an ebook in my online bookstore if anyone is interested in reading it. Unlike my other ebooks, this one does not have a great cover by an award winning artist like Erik Mohr, Jean-Pierre Normand, and Daniel Sera. This cover is just something (astoundingly inadequate) that I put together so that people can read the story. You can get the story for free by using the discount coupon "FREE-STORY" (good for one copy of any of my ebook short stories) or "FREE-WALKER" (good for one copy of "The Walker..." ebook but supplies of that coupon are limited).

Thanks to all of you who voted for the story! This is my third Aurora win, and I couldn't have won any of those without your interest in my writing and your support.

Announcing my first novel

The Wolf at the End of the World coverI am thrilled to announce the upcoming release of my first novel, THE WOLF AT THE END OF THE WORLD.

In it, a shapeshifter hero battles ancient spirits, a covert government agency, and his own dark past in a race to solve a murder that could mean the end of the world.

From the back cover:

The Heroka walk among us. Unseen, unknown. Shapeshifters. Human in appearance but with power over their animal totems.

 

Gwyn Blaidd is a Heroka of the wolf totem. Once he led his people in a deadly war against the Tainchel, the shadowy agency that hunts his kind. Now he lives alone in his wilderness home, wolves his only companions.

 

But when an Ojibwe girl is brutally killed in Gwyn's old hometown, suspicion falls on his former lover. To save her, Gwyn must return, to battle not only the Tainchel, but even darker forces: ancient spirits fighting to return to our world…

 

And rule it.

Cree and Ojibwe legends mix with current day environmental conflict in this fast-paced urban fantasy that keeps you on the edge of your seat right up to its explosive conclusion.


With a Special Introduction by…

One of the best parts of this experience for me was having one of my writing heroes, the award-winning Charles de Lint, the father of urban fantasy, write the introduction for the book.

Here’s an excerpt from that intro:

"What makes THE WOLF AT THE END OF THE WORLD such an engrossing read are the characters and Doug’s wonderful prose, a perfect blend between matter-of-fact and lyricism.  I can’t remember the last time I read a book that spoke to me, so eloquently, and so deeply, on so many levels. ... I’ll be rereading it in the future because it’s that sort of book.  Richly layered and deeply resonant. An old friend, from the first time you read it."

—Charles de Lint, World Fantasy Award winner

An excerpt of the first four chapters of the novel is available on my website on this page.  But there’s more!
 

Discounts Just For You

THE WOLF AT THE END OF THE WORLD will be released October 15, 2013. As an exclusive offer available only to my regular blog readers, you can pre-order your copy of the ebook or print edition at the following special discount.

15% off: Use the promotion code “BLOG-WOLF-15" at checkout to receive a 15% discount on the ebook or print edition. 

Your ebook edition will be emailed or your print edition mailed to you come October 15.
 

Pre-order The Wolf at the End of the World now at the following links in my bookstore:

Print edition | Ebook edition

 
If you'd like an even better discount, subscribe to my mailing list and take advantage of a special offer to my subscribers.
 

Kobo Pre-Ordering

If you prefer, you can also pre-order the ebook edition at Kobo right now prior to its release. After October 15, the book will be available in all major retailers.
 

Spirit Dance

THE WOLF AT THE END OF THE WORLD is based on my award-winning story, "Spirit Dance," picking up events five years later. You do NOT need to have read "Spirit Dance" to fully enjoy THE WOLF, but if you're interested, you can pick up "Spirit Dance” from my website store or all the major ebook retailers either as an individual ebook or as part of my collection, IMPOSSIBILIA
 
Thanks for listening!

The Indie Option for Short Fiction (conclusion)

Amazing Stories logoThe final post (Part 32) in my now-completed "Playing the Short Game" series on marketing and selling short fiction at the Amazing Stories site is up. In this post, I finish off the series by completing last week's discussion on how the expanding options for indie publishing can be leveraged by the short fiction writer--and whether they should be.

That's it for the series. If you're a writer, I hope that you've been following along each week. If not, you can still check out all the posts in the series at this link on the Amazing Stories site.

I'll be taking a break for a bit to focus on my writing, but plan to be back at Amazing Stories with another series.

Playing the Short Game #31: The Indie Option for Short Fiction

Amazing Stories logoPart 31 in my continuing "Playing the Short Game" series on marketing and selling short fiction at the Amazing Stories site is now up. In this post, I discuss how the expanding options for indie publishing can be leveraged by the short fiction writer--and whether they should be.

I only have one more post in this series, which goes up next Saturday, before I wrap it up. You can check out all the posts in the series at this link on the Amazing Stories site.

Playing the Short Game #30: Publishing a Collection

Amazing Stories logoPart 30 in my continuing "Playing the Short Game" series marketing and selling short fiction at the Amazing Stories site is now up. In this post, I discuss how to put together a collection of your short fiction and how to market a collection. I only have two more posts before I wrap up this series. You can check out all the posts in the series at this link on the Amazing Stories site.

Interview and a Chimerascope review

My second collection, Chimerascope, is still generating interest and reviews. Writer Kristene Perron (Warpworld series) recently posted a review of the collection, and a short interview with me on story structure and plotting, on her website here.  Here are some extracts:

Chimerascope, a collection of speculative fiction short stories, enchants, horrifies, enlightens, and mesmerizes. Through each tale, no matter the tone or subject, Smith connects the reader instantly with his characters and they are as unforgettable as they are diverse. From the broken and twisted (Jason Trelayne of “Scream Angel”, John Bishop of “Memories of the Dead Man”) to the ethereal and innocent (Asai of “The Red Bird, Big G of “Going Harvey in the Big House”), these characters step off the pages and become real.

 

Another of Smith’s strengths is structure. I’m in awe of his ability to choose just the right voice, POV, and timelines for his stories. He includes enough details to show the reader the depth of each world without bogging down the story in description. No matter how short the story, their worlds feel fully formed. ...

 

If you love speculative fiction, short stories, and masterful storytelling, Chimerascope needs to be on your bookshelf.

Thanks, Kristene!

Aurora voting closes soon! Get your ebook copy of my story

The voting for the 2013 Aurora Awards closes September 13, so this is a good time to remind you all that my short story "The Walker of the Shifting Borderland" is on the final ballot. Your support by way of a vote for "The Walker..." would be truly appreciated.  If you nominated anything for the Auroras this year, then voting is free for you.

You can download a copy from my online bookstore in any of .mobi (Kindle), .epub (every other ebook reader), or PDF formats.

"A very different sort of tale. ... A cosmic story of gods which seems to be inspired by the works of Michael Moorcock, and I think he would not be ashamed of it."  —SF Crowsnest Reviews

 

"A tale of epic love when a mortal gets caught between a battle of the gods. Smith reminds us that we have the potential to change the world around us and that self-sacrifice can be a means of making the world around us better." —Speculating Canada

How to Vote

To vote, go to the Aurora site at http://www.prixaurorawards.ca/Membership/index.php.

If you've registered in the past to nominate or vote for the Auroras, you can simply sign in with your email address and your 4-digit society number. If you've forgotten your society number, just click on "Forgot your Society Number?" link and follow the instructions. 

The Auroras now require a registration fee of $10 each year, which allows you to both nominate and to vote for the stories that make the final ballot.

If you nominated something this year, then you've already paid the 2013 $10 fee, so voting is free. 

If you've never registered before, click on "Register" under "Become a Society Member," and complete the registration form. Once you've registered or logged in, click on the "Pay Now" button and you'll be taken to a PayPal screen. You don't have to have a PayPal account to pay this way! Just click on "Don't have a PayPal account?" and you'll have the option of paying by any form of debit or credit card. Still with me? Once you've paid, you'll be taken back to the Aurora Award site.

Once you're registered and paid, you can click on the "Vote Now" button to access the online ballot, or click on "Mail-in ballot form" if for some reason you want to go snail mail. "The Walker of the Shifting Borderland" is listed under "Best Short Form -- English." The ballot pages contain instructions for how to vote, but basically you put "1" for your top choice in a category, "2" for your second, etc.. You don't need to vote in all categories, and you don't need to vote for multiple entries in a category.

Note that this year, the Aurora committee is providing a "voter's package" containing the majority of the nominated fiction works in a variety of downloadable formats. You'll be able to access the voter's package once you reach the ballot page.

Any Canadian citizen (not necessarily living in Canada) or permanent resident may vote for the Auroras. The voting period closes Friday, September 13, 2013.

Thanks again for any consideration!

Chimerascope ebook on sale again this weekend only

If you're a Kobo user (or use any ereader that takes epub files), my collection Chimerascope is on sale this weekend only for 30% off in the Kobo store. Chimerascope was a finalist for the Sunburst, Aurora, and CBC Bookies awards. Just use the code "Get30now" at checkout. The sale will only be promoted to Kobo readers in the UK and Australia, but the discount code will work for anyone no matter where you are in the world. One use per customer. Sale ends at midnight Aug 27 EDT. Enjoy!

Pages

Subscribe to Douglas Smith | Writer RSS