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More About the Author

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

"A great storyteller with a gifted and individual voice." --Charles de Lint, award-winning author

"His stories are a treasure trove of riches that will touch your heart while making you think." --Robert J. Sawyer, award-winning author

Douglas Smith is an award-winning Canadian author of fantasy, SF, horror, supernatural, and the ever popular "undefinable", whose work has been published in thirty countries and twenty-five languages around the world.

Doug has won Canada's Aurora Award for speculative fiction three times (most recently in 2013), and have been a finalist for the international John W. Campbell Award, Canada's juried Sunburst Award, the CBC Bookies award, and France's juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane.

His book length works include:

THE WOLF AT THE END OF THE WORLD (Lucky Bat Books, 2013) - Urban fantasy novel

CHIMERASCOPE (ChiZine, 2010) - Collection - Finalist for the Sunburst Award, Aurora Award, and CBC Bookies Award

IMPOSSIBILIA (PS Publishing, 2008) - Collection - Finalist for the Aurora Award

LA DANSE DES ESPRITS (Dreampress, 2011) - Collection - Finalist for France's Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane

In 2010, an independent film producer released a multi-award winning short film based on Doug's story "By Her Hand, She Draws You Down." Films based on his stories "A State of Disorder" and "Memories of the Dead Man" are also in the works.

Twitter: smithwrtr


"Smith's writing, evocative yet understated, gracefully brings to life his imagined realms." -- Quill and Quire *Starred Review*

"Smith paints his worlds so well that you are transported within a paragraph or two and remain in transit until the story ends." --Broken Pencil, The Magazine of Zine Culture and the Independent Arts

"Echoes of Stephen King, Richard Matheson, and Clive Barker haunt the halls of Smith's work, but the end result is completely original, and always enthralling." --Cory Redekop

"Douglas Smith is an extraordinary author whom every lover of quality speculative fiction should read." --Fantasy Book Critic

"Smith is definitely an author who deserves to be more widely read." --Strange Horizons

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

"An ambitious and adventurous new writer." --Gardner Dozois, author and editor

"Smith is a master of beginnings ... some of the most well-crafted hooks you'll find anywhere: deft introductions to the characters and their not-quite-familiar worlds packed into just a sentence or two that draw the reader in. As for the endings ... Smith's tendency is to forego the shocking twist for endings that feel satisfying and right, a trade-off that I'll take any day." --Canadian Science Fiction Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Favourite read in 2011 21 April 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I had intended the read the first story, get a feel for the collection, and then book a time that I would read it all. No way. This collection was impossible to put down. This contains one of the best collections of speculative fiction I have ever read. There is a reason that the majority of these stories have won awards and nominations. Smith is absolutely brilliant as he proves SF is every bit as intelligent and thought-provoking as any literary work out there.

My favourite in the collection was "Scream Angel," with my new favourite first line: They stopped beating Trelayne when they saw that he enjoyed it. I surprisingly also liked "By Her Hand, She Draws You Down." I generally don't like horror, so it was a surprise to have enjoyed this one as much as I did.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Enchanting, horrifying, and masterful! 18 Aug. 2013
By Kristene Perron - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 "The Red Bird, Big G "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. Best of all, Smith's stories have endings! I realize how funny that might sound but there seems to be this disturbing trend now of short stories that have no real conclusion. The last page arrives and the reader is left with resolution, good or bad. This drives me batty and, in my opinion, is a mark of lazy storytelling. Smith's stories may not always end happily but there is always a resolution.

It's difficult for me to choose a single favourite out of the collection but because I like dark protagonists "Scream Angel" and "Memories of the Dead Man" probably top my list. "State of Disorder" ranks a close third for its deliciously nasty villain, complex plot, and lovely twist.

Many of these stories were award winners and rightfully so. If you love speculative fiction, short stories, and masterful storytelling, Chimerascope needs to be on your bookshelf.
Strong writer who needs to stay with his strengths 4 Jan. 2014
By William Freedman - Published on
Format: Paperback
Douglas Smith is an outstanding writer. Then again, Roy Halladay is a Cy Young Award-winning pitcher, but he can’t throw a change-up.

The Chimerascope collection highlights Smith’s prodigious strengths, but by exposing weaknesses that I wouldn’t have known about no less bring up here if only his best works had been included. This doesn’t happen very often, but the flaws in this book have more to do with the editing than the writing.

This anthology is my first exposure to Smith, so here’s what I take away: He is a fundamentally strong author who commands sparse yet evocative description and presents characters who are unique enough to be believable yet archetypal enough to shoehorn into the short-story format. The most amazing thing about his craft is the way he takes an experimental, ignore-all-the-rules approach to selecting a POV, then executes it flawlessly.

What takes me out of his stories, though, is trope. Smith does SF a whole lot better than he does fantasy. The first and last stories are absolutely Chimerascope’s best — and that at least should accrue to editor Julie Czerneda’s credit.

Let’s look at the last one first. “Memories of the Dead Man” is a retelling of Mad Max. That’s not a slam; it’s a compliment. The lone, damaged hero riding to the rescue was already a moneymaker to the eighth-century scop who wrote Beowulf. The main issue I had with “Dead Man” is that the main character, Bishop, had what were in essence supernatural powers — which weren’t really necessary and we don’t know the extent of them until the climax. (My nit is that a character who calls himself Bishop is chasing after a bad guy who’s referred to as Pope — an intentional choice, and a bad one.)

“Scream Angel” lives in a universe where humanity has taken to the stars and, ruled by a greedy and all-consuming Corporation, exploits the plentiful life around it. This was pretty standard sci-fi even before Ridley Scott took the first lens cap off to film Alien. But the reason why it was so familiar is because, damn it, it works. And it works as well as ever when Smith is at the keyboard. His sequel “Enlightenment” wasn’t as successful because it devolves into metaphysical mumbo-jumbo that seems out of place in the far-future setting.

Are we detecting a pattern?

When Smith is writing real science fiction — whether it’s far-future or post-apocalyptic, he is at his best, which is really, really good. But when he lapses into fantasy he is, at best, hit-or-miss. “The Red Bird” is an interesting, Japanese-themed adventure that is one of the better fantasy stories. “By Her Hand, She Draws You Down” is a compelling dark fantasy that could be mainstream horror if it had a dash more grue (but better that it doesn’t). “New Year’s Eve” is a quarter century too late to qualify as cyberpunk and you can’t even call this science fiction anymore, since the real science around virtual reality is a whole lot cooler than what we Smith shows us here (Doug, for $400 you can get Xbox with a Kinect controller and two games). I didn’t like “The Boys Are Back in Town” because a) the-mythological-gods-hang-out-in-a-bar has been done to death (Patrick Thomas, for one, revisits this every few months) and b) mythological gods make horrible heroes and villains in contemporary settings because the author can pretty much make up their strengths and weaknesses as he goes along; as Bruce Campbell might say, “Good? Bad? I’m the one who’s omnipotent.”

Most annoying of all was “The Dancer in the Red Door”. It’s a paint-by-numbers urban fantasy, and I knew what I was in for as soon as I realized that the fabulously rich, immensely powerful protagonist was named Alexander King — which couldn’t be more trite if his middle name were Wellhung.

On the plus side, “State of Disorder” was one of my favorites. Again, it’s familiar territory, but it’s sci-fi territory. Set in the present day, it shows how a person’s fortunes can change as the result of small happenstances. It asks the question, “What if I can go back and change the happenstances that made my life less than optimal?” We’ve all asked that. A lot of us have written stories about that. Smith does it with equal, copious measures of heart and brain. “Going Harvey in the Big House” is far-future sci-fi that’s hard to describe without spoiling the ending — let’s just say it’s worth it.

Ultimately, I’m giving this book four stars. Two-thirds of the stories are well worth the read so, on average, the collection as a whole is. A shorter or better selected Douglas Smith anthology would’ve gotten five-out-of-five from me. I certainly look forward to where his work might take me in the future.
Where does he get this stuff? 14 Feb. 2011
By Cindie Geddes - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't know where Douglas Smith gets his ideas or how he manages to wrap those ideas inside such real characters, but I'm happy he does. Each of his stories stands on its own as a great read. But taken together, they add up to a way of seeing the world that I find fascinating. His imagination is a place I could explore for years.
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