Douglas Smith's blog

Hugo and Aurora plug for IMPOSSIBILIA from Robert J. Sawyer

Multiple award winning and internationally published Canadian SF author Robert J. Sawyer has posted his personal suggestions for this year's Hugo Awards (the top international honours in science fiction) and Aurora Awards (the Canadian national SF awards). And his list includes my recent collection, Impossibilia. Cool! Thanks a lot, Rob! You can check out Rob's list of recommended works on his blog entry. Both the Auroras and the Hugos are fan voted awards. If you're interested in nominating for the Auroras, check out my earlier post. To nominate for the Hugos, you need to be an attending or supporting member of either last year's World Science Fiction Convention in Denver or this year's one in Montreal.

Great reviews for IMPOSSIBILIA

Impossibilia coverSuperb writing. Three perfect stories. Echoes of Ellison and Bradbury. Okay, I'll take it. My first mini-collection, Impossibilia, was released in November and has been getting great reviews. Here's a sample:

"The writing is superb. Douglas Smith is an artisan and his stories beautifully crafted... In my search for the perfect short story, the three in this volume certainly qualify." "The revolution of themes and words is very fluid throughout this story, making the pace almost rhythmic, drawing you along... The ending is a perfect resolution... "The characters are intriguing and the story beguiling. I would like to read more about these characters." "Another great story, but I'm getting used to that. Deft handling of character and setting..."

—Kelly Jensen, SF Crowsnest Book Reviews

"Each story [in Impossibilia] is unique and different, showcasing a different aspect of Douglas Smith's talent. [...] A fun romp that delivered something different [with] stories that are exhilarating..." "... an adventurous tale that's propelled by character drama ... If this was a Hollywood movie, this would be your blockbuster film, complete with adrenaline-pumping action, expensive special effects, and even a sex scene or two to lure in a mainstream audience." "Characterization, foreshadowing, and even action--Smith has it down pat with this story.

—Charles Tan, Bibilophile Stalker - Speculative Fiction Reviews, December 2008

"In his elegant and perceptive introduction to this latest showcase collection from PS Publishing, Chaz Brenchley reminds us that 'the proper focus of a story, any sto ry, lies in the characters that inhabit it.' In the three novelettes that comprise Impossibilia, Douglas Smith [lays] bare the psychological and emotional fragility that motivates his characters." "[Smith delivers] a convincingly rendered portrait of a man struggling to maintain his psychic equilibrium in the face of powerful and destructive emotional forces. ... Right up to the story’s surprising conclusion, Smith keeps his readers guessing ... It’s an ending that shouldn’t work but somehow does, and it’s a testament to the writer’s skill that their fate seems entirely fitting. " "Smith once more creates a credible and sympathetic protagonist..." "There are echoes of Ellison again, and of Ray Bradbury, in this understated and deeply moving tale [...] a deceptively simple narrative of luck, loss, betrayal, and redemption. [The father / daughter interaction] is handled with honesty and a real understanding of the complexity of a relationship between two individuals"

—Mike O'Driscoll, The Fix, December 2008

Read more about Impossibilia here.

Most Underrated Author? Really!? Cool!!

A self-Google recently led me to an interview at SF Signal where those good folks were commenting that it was hard enough trying to keep up with all the new books by 'name' authors, let alone trying to discover something new and interesting. How, they wondered, do you find that 'underrated' author whose books you should be reading? For help, they turned to a panel of authors and editors and asked them this question:

Question: Which author, living or otherwise, do you believe deserves more recognition than they currently receive and why?

The wonderful Canadian author, Julie Czerneda, gave this as her surprising reply (well, it was surprising to me):

"I'm to pick just one? That's tough. In that case, I'll toss Douglas Smith into the hat. With every new story, the more impressed I am with his subtlety and vision. 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. Reminds me of James Alan Gardner, actually. Stories you can't forget, even years later. Doug's published extensively, though only in short fiction to date, but I believe he's also working on a novel. Thank goodness! When that's published, it will be on my must-read pile for sure."

Thanks, Jules! Julie is the author of The Clan Chronicles, including Reap the Wild Wind and Riders of the Storm, and the editor of Misspelled, all from DAW Books.

"New Year's Eve" story online again

To mark the start of a new year, I'm featuring my story "New Year's Eve" in my store. The story first appeared in issue #128 of the UK magazine InterZone in 1998. It's one of my early stories – it was only my second sale and my first big sale. The story was short-listed for the Aurora the following year and has since been reprinted five time and in four languages. The story revolves around the so-called Y2k bug, which was hyped to the hysteria level in the years and months running up to 2000.

It's the only story that I've written that draws heavily from my day-job experiences in the tech industry, and probably will be the only one. I write for pleasure, not to spend more time in my job. Hope you enjoy it, but remember, this was one of my first. And as always, comments and feedback are welcome.

New story "Doorways" in Postscripts #17

I have a new story coming out shortly in the upcoming issue #17 of Postscripts from PS Publishing in the UK, the same fine publisher that produced my recent collection Impossibilia.

My story, "Doorways," is a tale of lost love, revenge, the commutative property of mathematical operations, and a very unusual house. Really. Like all issues of Postscripts, #17 is a limited print run and is available either in paperback or a signed hardcover edition. It can be ordered now and should be available in December.

"Scream Angel" screaming in Portugal too

My award-winning SF story "Scream Angel" has just been reprinted in the new online magazine, Nova, in Portugal.

"Scream Angel" first appeared as the closing story in the Meisha Merlin anthology Low Port in 2003, and won the Canadian Aurora Award in 2004 for best short story.

"Scream Angel" has since been translated into Russian, Danish, Italian, Hebrew, Hungarian, Czech, Bulgarian, and Portuguese. If you're interested, check out the story's publishing history and reviews.

"By Her Hand..." reprinted in South Africa

My supernatural horror story “By Her Hand, She Draws You Down” was reprinted recently in the South African SF & horror magazine Something Wicked.

This story is being made into a movie by TinyCore Pictures. You can read about the movie here (I'll post an update on the movie in December hopefully).

This story first appeared in The Third Alternative in the UK, and was subsequently selected by Stephen Jones for the thirteenth edition of his annual The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror in 2002.

"Dead Man" Walking Again, in Israel

When my post-apocalyptic novelette, "Memories of the Dead Man," first appeared in the great Canadian magazine, On Spec, the story was described in Tangent Online as "a unique, post-apocalyptic blend of The Road Warrior and X-Men."

"Dead Man" has now been reprinted in the magazine Mercury in Israel. Check out the cover at the left.

The story follows Mary and her son Jase as they try to survive on the road after a plague has decimated Earth and brought about the fall of civilization. They are saved by Bishop, a mysterious stranger with a dark past and telekinetic powers, but soon realize that Bishop attracts his own kind of danger.

"Impossibilia": My First Collection

I’m pleased to announce that Impossibilia, my first collection of short fiction, will be published in the fall of 2008 by the award-winning UK press, PS Publishing, in their "Showcase" series highlighting "genre fiction's best up-and-coming writers."

The collection can be pre-ordered in both jacketed hardcover and hardcover editions. Click here to learn more.

Convention appearance: Polaris 22 in Toronto

I'll be at Polaris 22, the annual Toronto SF&F convention (formerly Toronto Trek), whose media guests include Rachel Luttrell (Teyla Emmagan of Stargate Atlantis). Polaris has a strong media focus, but also includes a literary stream in their programming. I'm on a number of panels over the weekend (one Friday night, and three Saturday afternoon), and will be doing a reading of a new story on Sunday at 1pm. Hope to see you there!


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