Chimerascope: An "A+" review in Fantasy Book Critic

Liviu Suciu provides another incredibly positive review of my new collection, Chimerascope in his Fantasy Book Critic review blog. Here are some excerpts:

"Douglas Smith's debut collection Impossibilia, which I reviewed last year and which has the lead story "Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase, by Van Gogh" (one of those rare "become a fan for life" pieces), made reading Chimerascope a must as soon as I have found out about it. Adding that it has been published by Chi-Zine publications from whom I have read only quality works so far, and Chimerascope came with the highest expectations for me, and it matched them and more, with several mind-blowing stories in an ensemble of all-high-level ones.

... The stories range from far-flung sf and time-travel, to fantasy-like landscapes and even towards straight horror, so Chimerascope, as befits its name, is a changeable entity, one that cannot be easily confined into a narrow pattern and will appeal to fans to all kinds of speculative fiction.

... In conclusion. I would say that Chimerascope (A+ overall) confirms for me what Impossibilia affirmed, namely that Douglas Smith is an extraordinary author whom every lover of quality speculative fiction should read."

The review includes story-by-story reviews as well. You can read the entire review here.

Chimerascope: Starred review in Quill and Quire

Quill and Quire, the magazine of the Canadian book trade, gives Chimerascope a *starred* review:

"...Chimerascope is a massively enjoyable trek through the far-fetched, the horrifying, and the flat-out weird, all filtered through Smith's remarkable imagination and prodigious talent. ... Although Smith's tales may centre on the fantastic, what is immediately notable is his steady grasp of character, which lends humanity to even the most absurd situations. The stories in this collection traverse genres and styles -- from outright horror to witty surrealism to martial-arts mythology -- without missing a beat.

'The Boys are Back in Town,' set in a tavern managed by a fallen god, posits a reality where 'lawyers flirted with nymphs, tourists played pinball with satyrs, and professors debated hydras…Hydras aren’t too bright, but just try getting a word in against multiple heads.'

'The Dancer at the Red Door,' with its mix of oblique horror, urban fantasy, and monsters equipped with pincers extending 'from each side of a slit-like mouth,' recalls Clive Barker at his most disturbingly fanciful. 'State of Disorder' layers a time-travel scenario over a polite dinner between colleagues, with unsettling results. The closing story, the post-apocalyptic narrative 'Memories of the Dead Man,' contains echoes of Stephen King.

Chimerascope is a sterling set, with nary a weak or disposable entry. Smith's writing, evocative yet understated, gracefully brings to life his imagined realms.”

— Cory Redekop, Quill and Quire, Mar 2010

Glowing review of CHIMERASCOPE by American Library Journal

From the Library Journal(US) review of my collection, Chimerascope:

"From a bittersweet tale of love amid the savagery of human galactic conquest ("Scream Angel") to a postapocalyptic story of a righteous gunman known only as the Dead Man ("Memories of the Dead Man"), the 16 stories in this collection showcase the inventive mind and immense storytelling talent of one of Canada's most original writers of speculative fiction. Covering the spectrum from sf ("Enlightenment") to horror ("By Her Hand, She Draws You Down") to fantasy ("The Boys Are Back in Town"), Smith writes with a keen eye for detail and atmosphere, crafting each story with wit and perception. VERDICT: Twice winner of Canada's Aurora Award, Smith writes stories that will appeal to fans of such literary sf writers such as Jack Vance and Gene Wolfe."

"Radio Nowhere" on the Aurora final ballot

My short story, "Radio Nowhere," is one of five stories on this year's final ballot for Canada's Aurora Award. Read more about the Aurora's here, including how to vote. If you'd like to read "Radio Nowhere," I've put it up online here and will keep it up on my site until voting closes on May 22. I may also add some photos to the online story from when I went back to the University of Waterloo campus to research the story (ever so many years after my student days).

Publishers Weekly Review of Chimerascope

From Publishers Weekly on my collection, Chimerascope:

"Smith’s second collection (after 2008’s Impossibilia) delivers an entertaining selection of stories that deftly span multiple genres, often milking surprisingly original tales out of tired tropes. The Zelazny-inspired “The Boys Are Back in Town” nicely toes the line between quirky humor and pathos. “State of Disorder,” featuring a classic mad scientist out for revenge, is a neat twist on time travel and quantum physics. “Jigsaw,” a young adult tale, is a fun romp involving aliens and continental drift. The best of the bunch, “By Her Hand, She Draws You Down,” is a haunting variant on the vampire legend with an understated and brutal ending."

"Spirit Dance" picked for anthology of Aurora Award winners

My story, "Spirit Dance," has been picked for a new anthology from Nanopress entitled The Aurora Awards – Thirty Years of Canadian Science Fiction. Nanopress is a new small press based in Montreal, and their authors include Elizabeth Vonarburg. Looking back, the road for "Spirit Dance" from birth to a "best of" antho seems like a long and strange one. It was the first story I ever wrote and the first I ever sold. It appeared in Tesseracts6 in 1997, was a finalist for the Auroras in English the next year, and snagged an honourable mention for The Year's Best Fantast & Horror, all of which I thought at the time was pretty good for a first story. And that was where I figured it would end.

Nomination period for 2010 Aurora Awards now open

The nomination period for the 2010 Aurora Awards is now open. Each year, the Auroras recognize the best in Canadian speculative fiction. This year my story "Radio Nowhere" is eligible to be nominated under "Best Short Form Work in English." "Radio Nowhere" appeared in the excellent Canadian anthology, Campus Chills (October 2009), edited by Mark Leslie. While the nomination period is open, I've put the full text of the story online here.

Anyone who is a Canadian citizen (not necessarily living in Canada), or a permanent resident may nominate a work for the Auroras. See here for a list of eligible 2009 works. Nominations can be done online or by mail-in ballot. Click the link below for access to the official Aurora Awards nomination site:

Nominating for the 2010 Aurora Awards

All nominations, both mail-in and online, must be submitted by February 8, 2010.

Impossibilia in SF Crowsnest's Top 100 SF&F books of 2009

Hey cool! My first collection, Impossibilia is currently sitting at #43 on SF Crowsnest's Top 100 SF&F Books of 2009. If you've read Impossibilia and liked it, please scoot over to the list and vote for it. Or for any book on the list that you enjoyed, for that matter--but, uh, mine would be the preferred choice, preferred by me anyway.

Additional story in hardcover editon of Chimerascope

If you order the signed, numbered, limited hardcover edition of my new collection, Chimerascope, you'll be getting an additional story that won't be included in the trade paperback editions. ChiZine Publications will be including "Murphy's Law" (reviews | excerpt) in the hardcover. And an order for the hardcover also makes you eligible for the free book giveaway. Hardcover orders must be placed by Dec 31. See my store for ordering info.

Chimerascope: Ordering period (and free give-away) extended

ChiZine Publications has decided to go with a single release date for both the limited hardcover and the trade paperback editions of all their new releases going forward, including my new collection, Chimerascope. This means that the release date for the Chimerascope hardcover has been moved back to March 2010, to match the release of the trade paperback. They've also extended the ordering period for the hardcover to December 31, 2009. The limited, signed, and numbered hardcover edition is available only by pre-ordering it here.

And I'm also extending the free giveaway contest to Dec 31 as well. I'll be drawing three numbers from the pre-order list, and if you ordered one of those numbered editions, you'll receive a free copy of my first collection, Impossibilia (if you already have a copy of Impossibilia, I'll substitute a copy of the By Her Hand, She Draws You Down" Movie Companion Book).

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