"Gypsy Biker's Coming Home" is an Award Finalist

On Spec #120 coverWell, this is cool. My SF short story, "Gypsy Biker's Coming Home," is a finalist in the Alberta Magazine Awards in the "Fiction" category.

These are annual juried awards, administered by the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA), which "honour and celebrate the work of magazine makers – the editors, art directors, writers, photographers, illustrators, and other creators" in Alberta. Here's a link to the full 2022/23 ballot.

"Gypsy Biker's Coming Home" first appeared in On Spec, the excellent, long-running Alberta-based Canadian speculative fiction magazine, in their July 2022 issue (cover shown here). On Spec also has another story on the ballot: "Bottom's Dream" by Glenn Clifton. So a big congrats to On Spec (and Glenn).

Even better, you can read all of the stories on the ballot online. The AMPA has made PDFs of the finalists available on their website. You can read "Gypsy Biker's Coming Home" here. For the Canadians out there, this is probably a good time to mention "Gypsy Biker" is eligible to be nominated for the 2023 Aurora Awards.


PS—A big thanks to Diane Walton, Executive Editor, and everyone at On Spec, for publishing "Gypsy Biker." This was my fourth appearance in On Spec. Those four stories have resulted in an Aurora Award winner, an Aurora finalist, and now this. 

And a shout-out to Susan MacGregor, who edited "Gypsy Biker" and also edited another On Spec story of mine, "The Walker of the Shifting Borderland," which won an Aurora. I have another story coming out in On Spec in 2023. Guess who I want to edit that one?


My translated collection, La Danse des Esprits (Dreampress, France, 2010), which earlier was a finalist (yeah, past tense – I lost) for France's juried Prix Masterton, was also a finalist (yeah, past tense again – I lost this one too) for another French juried award, the Prix Bob Morane.

The Prix Bob Morane Award was established in 1999 by well-known French editor Marc Bailly to pay tribute to one of the most well known French fictional characters. Created in 1953 by Henri Vernes, Bob Morane first appeared in books, but then spread to comic books, television series, cartoons, and even video games. His adventures spanned multiple genres, including science fiction, fantasy, fantasy, and espionage thrillers.

Although I ended up not winning either, it really was an unexpected thrill for me, an English writer, to have my collected stories nominated for two awards in the same year in another language and another country.

Dazed and Amazed: CHIMERASCOPE selected for 2011 Sunburst Award short list

I am thrilled to announce that my short fiction collection, Chimerascope, has been selected by the jury for the 2011 Sunburst Award short list. In making the selection, the Sunburst jury had this to say about Chimerascope:

"This collection contains a beautifully diverse selection of short tales that runs the full spectrum of the speculative genres. The tales are well-crafted, easily digestible; several of the stories are incredibly moving and stick with the reader long after. The wide range of stylistic approaches works well together."

From the press release:

SHORT-LISTS FOR TENTH ANNUAL SUNBURST AWARD ANNOUNCED TORONTO, ONTARIO (June 28, 2011) The jury for the tenth annual Sunburst Awards has announced the short-lists for 2011. The short-listed works in the adult category:

  • Guy Gavriel Kay, Under Heaven: (Penguin Group Canada, ISBN - 10:0670068098)
  • Robert J. Sawyer, Wake: (Penguin Group Canada, ISBN - 10:0143056301)
  • Douglas Smith, Chimerascope: (ChiZine Publications, ISBN - 10:0981297854)
  • S.M. Stirling, A Taint in the Blood: (New American Library, ISBN - 10:0451463412)
  • Hayden Trenholm, Stealing Home: (Bundoran Press, ISBN - 10:0978205251)

The short-listed works in the young adult category:

  • Holly Bennett, Shapeshifter: (Orca Book Publishers, ISBN - 10:1554691583)
  • Erin Bow, Plain Kate: (Scholastic, ISBN - 10:0545166640)
  • Charles De Lint, The Painted Boy: (Penguin Young Reader Group, ISBN - 10:0670011916)
  • Paul Glennon, Bookweirder: (Doubleday Canada, ISBN - 10:0385665482)
  • Robert Paul Weston, Dust City: (Penguin Group Canada, ISBN - 10:0670063967)

The awards will be presented on September 14, 2011 at the Harbourfront Reading Series following brief readings from each of the short-listed works. The jurors for the 2011 award are: Kate Freiman, Mark Leslie, Christopher Roden, and Alison Sinclair.

The Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic is an annual award celebrating the excellence of writing in Canadian fantastic literature published during the previous calendar year. A jury first selects a short list of five works in two categories: Adult and Young Adult. A winner is then chosen from each category. Winners receive a cash prize of $1,000 and a hand-crafted medallion which incorporates the "Sunburst" logo, designed by Marcel Gagné.

The Sunburst Award takes its name from the debut novel of the late Phyllis Gotlieb, one of the first published authors of contemporary Canadian speculative fiction. For more information on the Sunburst Awards, please visit the Sunburst website.

You can view the full short list here with the jury's comments on each, along with all the spiffy covers and ordering information for each of the short listed works. It is an absolute honour to be selected to this short list and to appear with such an astoundingly talented group of writers, many of whom are friends, mentors, and personal writing gods of mine. It is also very special because the Sunburst commemorates Phyllis, an epic talent in our field and a wonderful, warm, funny, intelligent human being, and one that I wish that I could have known longer and better. We miss you, Phyllis.

CHIMERASCOPE makes the 2011 Aurora Award final ballot

The finalists for the 2011 Aurora Awards have been announced, and my collection Chimerascope is on the ballot, under the category, "Best English Related Work."

The full ballot is shown below. Congratulations and best of luck to all the finalists.


Best English Novel

  • Black Bottle Man by Craig Russell, Great Plains Publications
  • Destiny's Blood by Marie Bilodeau, Dragon Moon Press
  • Stealing Home by Hayden Trenholm, Bundoran Press
  • Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay, Viking Canada
  • Watch by Robert J. Sawyer, Penguin Canada

Best English Short Story

  • "The Burden of Fire" by Hayden Trenholm, Neo-Opsis #19
  • "Destiny Lives in the Tattoo's Needle" by Suzanne Church, Tesseracts Fourteen, EDGE
  • "The Envoy" by Al Onia, Warrior Wisewoman 3, Norilana Books
  • "Touch the Sky, They Say" by Matt Moore, AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, November
  • "Your Beating Heart" by M. G. Gillett, Rigor Amortis, Absolute Xpress

Best English Related Work

  • Chimerascope, Douglas Smith (collection), ChiZine Publications
  • The Dragon and the Stars, edited by Derwin Mak and Eric Choi, DAW
  • Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead, edited by Nancy Kilpatrick, EDGE
  • On Spec, edited by Diane Walton, Copper Pig Writers Society
  • Tesseracts Fourteen, edited by John Robert Colombo and Brett Alexander Savory, EDGE

Best English Poem / Song

  • "The ABCs of the End of the World" by Carolyn Clink, A Verdant Green, The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box
  • "Let the Night In" by Sandra Kasturi, Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead, EDGE
  • "Of the Corn: Kore's Innocence" by Colleen Anderson, Witches & Pagans #21
  • "The Transformed Man" by Robert J. Sawyer, Tesseracts Fourteen, EDGE
  • "Waiting for the Harrowing" by Helen Marshall, ChiZine 45

Best English Graphic Novel

  • Goblins, by Tarol Hunt,
  • Looking For Group, Vol. 3, by Ryan Sohmer and Lar DeSouza
  • Stargazer, Volume 1, by Von Allan, Von Allan Studio
  • Tomboy Tara, Emily Ragozzino,

Best Artist (Professional and Amateur) (An example of each artist’s work is listed below but they are to be judged on the body of work they have produced in the award year)

  • Lynne Taylor Fahnestalk, "Brekky" cover art, On Spec Fall
  • Erik Mohr, cover art for ChiZine Publications
  • Christina Molendyk, Girls of Geekdom Calendar for Argent Dawn Photography
  • Dan O'Driscoll, cover art for Stealing Home
  • Aaron Paquette, "A New Season" cover art, On Spec Spring


Best Fan Publications No award will be given out in this category due insufficient eligible nominees

Best Fan Filk

  • Dave Clement and Tom Jeffers of Dandelion Wine for "Face on Mars"
  • CD Karen Linsley; concert as SFContario Guest of Honour
  • Phil Mills, for “Time Traveller” (song writing)

Best Fan Organizational

  • Andrew Gurudata, organizing the Constellation Awards
  • Brent M. Jans, chair of Pure Speculation (Edmonton)
  • Liana Kerzner, chair of Futurecon (Toronto)
  • Helen Marshall and Sandra Kasturi, chairs of Toronto SpecFic Colloquium (Toronto)
  • Alex Von Thorn, chair of SFContario (Toronto)

Best Fan Other

  • Tom Jeffers, Fundraising, FilKONtario
  • John and Linda Ross Mansfield, Conception of the Aurora Nominee pins
  • Lloyd Penney, Articles, columns and letters of comment - fanzines

Best of luck to everyone!

Still more praise for IMPOSSIBILIA and "Bouquet of Flowers..."

And yet another great review for my first collection, Impossibilia, and its lead story "Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase, by Van Gogh," this one from Matt Cardin in the review magazine Dead Reckonings (No. 5, Spring 2009). Here's what he says:

On Impossibilia:

"Both thematically and stylistically, these stories sometimes recall the work of better known authors, including Harlan Ellison, Theodore Sturgeon, and Ray Bradbury. But Smith puts such a personal stamp on his stories, and invests them with such depth of feeling, that they transcend the dangers of … imitation and emerge as wholly original. … There is a certain exhilaration that comes from reading the book’s complex and powerfully emotional stories couched in that deft and smooth prose. It is easy to see why PS Publishing considers Smith an author who deserves more attention. … [Smith deserves] to be known to by a very wide audience indeed."

On "Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase, by Van Gogh":

"This is one of those heady and ambitious stories that throw so many different elements into the narrative mix that one wonders whether the author is going to be able to pull it off. In fact, Smith does so very skillfully, so that the plot arc, character development, and denouement come off feeling effortless and elegant, and quite satisfying."

Both Impossibilia and "Bouquet..." are nominated for the 2009 Aurora Awards.

Subscribe to RSS - awards