Welcome!

"One of Canada's most original writers of speculative fiction." —Library Journal

"The man is Sturgeon good. Zelazny good. I don't give those up easy." —Spider Robinson, Hugo & Nebula Awards winner

"A great storyteller with a gifted and individual voice." —Charles de Lint, World Fantasy Award winner

"His stories are a treasure trove of riches that touch your heart while making you think." —Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo & Nebula Awards winner

"Stories you can't forget, even years later." —Julie Czerneda, multi-award-winning author and editor


Hi! Thanks for visiting. I'm a multi-award-winning Canadian author of speculative fiction, published in twenty-seven languages and thirty-five countries.

My books include:

The urban fantasy trilogy, The Dream Rider Saga (The Hollow Boys, The Crystal Key, and The Lost Expedition);

The Heroka shapeshifter novels, The Wolf at the End of the World and The Wolf and the Phoenix (in progress);

The short story collections, Chimerascope and Impossibilia; and,

The writer's guide, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction.

I'm a three-time winner of Canada's Aurora Award and have been a finalist for the Astounding Award, CBC's Bookies Award, Canada's juried Sunburst Award, and France's juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane.

You can buy my books at all major retailers. For free ebooks, discounts, special offers, early news of new releases, and more, join my monthly mailing list.

Enjoy the site! Feel free to send me an email with any questions or comments. Thanks for visiting!

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The Crystal Key is available to preorder!

The Crystal Key coverWell, you didn't have to wait long, did you? The Hollow Boys, book 1 in my young adult / adult crossover urban fantasy trilogy, The Dream Rider Saga, came out just this past October.

Now, book 2 in the series, The Crystal Key, will be released March 15, 2023 (the advantage of writing all three books before releasing any of them). Check out the very cool cover to the right (click on it to see it in its full-size glory).

But you don't have to wait even that long! You can preorder it now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Google Play, and many more retailers for just $2.99 USD.

And if you want to sample the book first before buying, you can read the first three chapters here.

That price will be increasing not long after the release date. To preorder at this low price, just click here and select your preferred retailer. You'll be taken to the store for your home country.

The book will also be available in trade paperback and hardcover editions, both online and in bricks and mortar bookstores, but not until the actual release date in March.


Book Description (warning: contains spoilers for book 1, The Hollow Boys):

Will Dreycott is the Dream Rider, the agoraphobic teenage superhero who can walk in our dreams but never in the streets of his city. Case is his girlfriend, a survivor of those streets who hears voices. Fader is her brother, who is very good at disappearing. Together, they defeated a body swapper and a witch to save the world (The Hollow Boys).

Now, Case battles guilt over living sheltered in Will's tower home while her street friends still struggle. Blaming his affliction for Case's sadness, Will searches for a way to live a normal life with the girl he loves—a way to go outside.

But his efforts draw the attention of dark forces. Sinister figures hunt Will in Dream. Intruders scour the vast warehouse of antiquities "acquired" by Will's missing parents. And a masked swordswoman attacks Will, demanding "the Crystal Key" before disappearing into thin air.

Are they all searching for the same thing? Something from Will's parents' shady past? For the swordswoman leaves behind a flowery scent, Will's only memory from the lost expedition eight years ago that gave him powers in Dream but cost him his parents and his freedom.

A trail of dark secrets leads Will, Case, and Fader to a mysterious world. Trapped between warring cults willing to kill for the Crystal Key, the three friends must master strange new powers that grow stronger and wilder the closer they draw to the truth.

This time it's not just the fate of the world at stake…but the multiverse.

Indiana Jones meets Teen Titans in The Dream Rider Saga, a fast-paced urban fantasy trilogy from "one of Canada's most original writers of speculative fiction" (Library Journal).


Praise for The Hollow Boys, Book 1 in The Dream Rider Saga

"An assured, confident novel... A must-read story for YA fantasy fans." —Blueink Review (★ Starred review)

"Inventive, engaging, and boundless fun." —The Ottawa Review of Books

"A fun supernatural tale with well-developed characters and a touch of romance." —Kirkus Reviews

The Hollow Boys on sale for $0.99 this week only

BookBub selected my new novel, The Hollow Boys, for one of their coveted "featured deals," which is running now and available here.

The Hollow Boys, the first in The Dream Rider Saga trilogy, is now only $0.99 (regular $5.99) for the ebook edition in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia, on all major retailer platforms (Amazon, Kobo, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play).

But don't wait. This deal price lasts only until this Saturday, December 10.

You can check out the glowing reviews for the book here.

Praise for The Hollow Boys

The Hollow Boys coverPraise is starting to flow in for The Hollow Boys, my latest novel and book 1 in my YA urban fantasy trilogy, The Dream Rider Saga. Here's a selection of reviews:

"Smith has created a dramatic, vivid fantasy world … The Hollow Boys is an assured, confident novel with strong world-building, sharp dialogue and the perfect balance between action and emotional growth for its main characters. … In short, this is a must-read story for YA fantasy fans." Blueink Review (★ Starred review)

"The Hollow Boys is inventive, engaging, and boundless fun. Teen zombies, Buddhist monks, SWAT teams, Raiders-of-the-Lost-Arc-style warehouses, corporate raiders, a (nonflying) magic carpet, and astral travel ...  Smith manages to throw all these disparate elements at the story to form a truly cohesive universe ... There are some nice character arcs and a charming YA romance subplot ... I enjoyed The Hollow Boys a great deal, turning pages long after I should have been abed. Smith has produced the best Canadian superhero adventure since James Alan Gardner’s Dark vs. Spark novels." Robert Runté, The Ottawa Review of Books

"A fast-paced and entertaining introduction to a new series. I've always enjoyed Smith's books and the characters in The Hollow Boys are further proof of why. They're rendered in more than three-dimensions, with the 'good guys' having their faults and even the villains having the odd tender spot … I enjoyed The Hollow Boys immensely… [and] was so pleased to have my opinion of Douglas Smith's work confirmed. He's a talented writer, equipped with two of my favourite traits: imagination and pathos. I look forward to continuing The Dream Rider Saga with The Crystal Key." —Kelly Jensen, SFCrowsnest

"An exciting alternative to your superhero entertainment fare … [Smith] is one of those rare authors … who have something new to offer in a world where everything is saturated by commercialism, including our beloved superheroes. … Superhero fans in search of an alternative should check out The Hollow Boys." —Reader's Favorite Reviews (5-star review)

"A multilayered fantasy that pays homage to familiar superhero tropes … while adding a nice dose of magic and mystery to the mix. The story is character-driven and richly developed … A fun supernatural tale with well-developed characters and a touch of romance." —Kirkus Reviews

The book is available at all major retailers in ebook and trade paperback editions, as well as hardcover at Amazon. I hope you'll check it out.

Please share! The Hollow Boys is now available

The Hollow Boys coverToday is the day!

The Hollow Boys, book 1 in my new urban fantasy trilogy, The Dream Rider Saga, is now live on all major retailers around the world and available for purchase. If you pre-ordered the ebook, it will appear on your reader today.

If you've been waiting until today to purchase, you can buy The Hollow Boys on Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, and many more retailers. Click on the link below, then select your preferred site. You'll be taken to that retailer's store in your home geography.
 
 
 
 
The book is available in three formats: ebook (all retailers), trade paperback (B&N and Amazon), and hardcover (Amazon). If you want to support your local bookstore, ask them to order the trade paperback from Ingram (the major book distributor to bookstores).

Barnes & Noble has selected The Hollow Boys for their "Top Indie Favorites" list for October-November, under the Teen-YA category, a pick supported by early reviews:

Amazon: 4.8
BookBub: 4.9
Goodreads: 4.7 
 
The release price of $2.99 USD will be increasing soon, so buy now before the price goes up!

I'd appreciate any support you can give to spreading the word about The Hollow Boys. Feel free to share this post with your friends and fellow readers.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give with making people aware of the book.

"Enlightenment" in Black Infinity: First Contact anthology

Black Infinity: First Contact coverMy novelette, "Enlightenment," which is a sequel of sorts to my Aurora winner, "Scream Angel," is in this latest Black Infinity anthology, which has a "First Contact" theme.

This is my (I think) seventh appearance in a Black Infinity volume, of which there are nine, all edited by Tom English and published by Dead Letter Press.

For this one, it's great to be sharing the Table of Contents with so many talented writers and to be on a cover alongside legendary speculative fiction writers like Ray Bradbury, Leigh Brackett, Robert Silverberg, Murray Leinster, and Damon Knight.

Black Infinity: First Contact is available now on Amazon. I hope you'll check it out.

Read a free sample of my latest novel

The Hollow Boys coverHow would you like to read the first four chapters in THE HOLLOW BOYS, book 1 in my new urban fantasy trilogy, for free? Of course, you would. So read on!

The trilogy is called THE DREAM RIDER SAGA, and the books are THE HOLLOW BOYS, THE CRYSTAL KEY, and THE LOST EXPEDITION. The series is targeted as Young Adult / Adult crossover, meaning it will appeal to all fans of urban fantasy from mid-teens up.

The first book, THE HOLLOW BOYS, will be released on all major book retailers on October 15, 2022 and can be pre-ordered now on Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Indigo, and Google Play.

The book will also be on Amazon, in both ebook and print editions, but not until the October 15 release date. The print edition will also be available through all bricks and mortar bookstores, starting on October 15.

To pre-order, just click here and select your preferred retailer. You'll be taken to the retailer's store for your home country. Its pre-order price of $2.99 USD will be increasing shortly after the release date. So pre-order and save money.

Wait (you say), what about that free sample?

Certainly. I'm making the first three chapters of THE HOLLOW BOYS available for your reading pleasure for free, so you can decide whether these books are for you.

Just go here and click on "Read the first four chapters!" link under the pre-order price, and you'll be able to read the start of the book in an online reader. Once you're done, click on the link at the end of the sample to return to the sales page, where you can click your favourite retailer to pre-order the book.

Enjoy!

New short story in On Spec Magazine!

On Spec issue coverNot quite as big news as my upcoming trilogy, but this is still special for me. I have a brand new short story (okay, novelette, or long short story) published in the current issue (#120, vol 32, no. 2) of On Spec, the fantastic "Canadian Magazine of the Fantastic."

The story is called "Gypsy Biker's Coming Home" and is drawn from the Bruce Springsteen song of the same name, off his "Magic" album.

I'm a huge Springsteen fan and have written other stories inspired by his songs, like "Going Down to Lucky Town" (in my collection, Impossibilia) and "Radio Nowhere" (Campus Chills, anthology, 2009).

His "Gypsy Biker's Comin' Home" tells the moving story of a family mourning the death of a son and brother, friend and husband, who has returned from a war, but in a coffin. If you don't know the song (and you should), you can listen to it here and read the lyrics here. It's Springsteen at his political and human and musical best.

Springsteen's ballads are tiny perfect jewels of stories, and this one has so many evocative lines and scenes, it was always calling to me to write something inspired by its characters and their pain and the images he paints.

"Gypsy Biker" also ties into my Merged Corporate Entity universe stories, such as "Scream Angel," "Enlightenment," and "Memories of the Dead Man" (On Spec, Winter 2005, #63 vol.17 No.4).

This is my fourth story to appear in On Spec over the years. My first was way back in 2001 with "The Red Bird," which was a finalist for the Aurora Award. My last appearance in On Spec was in 2014 with "The Walker of the Shifting Borderland," which won the Aurora Award.

This issue also features an interview with yours truly. I hope you'll check out the issue, available to purchase in print or ebook here.

"The Red Bird" reprinted in We Who Are About To Die

We Who Are About to Die coverMy Japanese martial arts fantasy, "The Red Bird," has been reprinted in the anthology, We Who Are About to Die, from Rogue Blades Entertainment.

The antho "examines the theme of ultimate sacrifice as key to heroism. Not only the willingness to sacrifice all, but the act of sacrificing for the greater 'cause' — whatever that may be. Death can be a cost of heroism, but it might not be the greater loss come story’s end. Heroes die. And they lose things greater than life: Family. Freedom. Innocence. Faith. Ideals."

"The Red Bird" was an Aurora Award finalist when it was first published in the fine Canadian speculative fiction magazine, On Spec. It remains one of my favourite stories.

In it, like in the stories in this antho, death does not have to mean defeat and loss does not always equal failure. ... Heroes die and legends are born. A battle is lost to win a war.

I hope you'll check out a fine anthology available here.

The Hollow Boys: Cover reveal and pre-order links

The Hollow Boys cover

As I posted earlier, I have a new urban fantasy trilogy coming out starting in 2022. Yes, an entire trilogy. All three books are written and will soon be available for your reading pleasure.

It's called THE DREAM RIDER SAGA, and the books are THE HOLLOW BOYS, THE CRYSTAL KEY, and THE LOST EXPEDITION. The series is targeted as Young Adult / Adult crossover, meaning it will appeal to all fans of urban fantasy from mid-teens up.

And (drum roll, please), the first book in the trilogy, THE HOLLOW BOYS, is now available for pre-order!

THE HOLLOW BOYS will be released on all major book retailers on October 15, 2022. Check out the very cool cover to the right (click on it to see it in its full-size glory). Click here for the book description or go to the pre-order link for your favourite retailer below.

The book can be pre-ordered now on Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Indigo, and Google Play (as well as Angus & Robertson in Australia, Mondadori in Italy, Thalia in Germany, and Vivlio in France).

To pre-order, just click here and select your preferred retailer. You'll be taken to the retailer's store for your home country.

The book will be on Amazon as well, in both ebook and trade paperback print editions, but not until the actual release date of October 15. The print edition will also be available through all bricks and mortar bookstores, starting on October 15.

If you're a non-Amazon reader planning to buy the ebook, I'd appreciate it if you could pre-order it. All pre-orders on the non-Amazon retailers are counted as occurring on the release date, which obviously helps boost the book on retailer's rankings when it comes out, so it gets shown to more potential readers, which boost sales ranking, yada yada.

That helps me, but pre-ordering the book helps you, too, my loyal readers. Its pre-order price is a mere $2.99 USD, but that price will be increasing not long after the release date. So pre-ordering will save you money and help me. 

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