douglassmith - Thu, 2011/04/14 - 12:07pm
Claire Horsnell at Blood and Vegetables ("Horror lit with a side of vegetables") recently interviewed me about my Springsteen stories, small presses in general and ChiZine publication in particular, the By Her Hand movie, Chimerascope and the CBC bookies, and other writing projects. The text of her interview is below.
Although author Douglas Smith is adamant that his own stories aren’t written with political motives, the tales in his first collection, Chimerascope, frequently envision a future of corporate totalitarianism, in which everyday people are at the mercy of forces they can’t control and are faced with the prospect of sacrifice and compromise in order to survive. It’s a theme that also runs through the work of one of Smith’s inspirations, Bruce Springsteen—and Smith has written a number of stories with titles inspired by Springsteen’s work.
“Springsteen is an astounding storyteller,” says Smith. “His strongest songs are ballads, stories told through real characters, everyday people struggling with whatever life has thrown at them. And there is generally such an attitude of defiance and hope despite the odds against them. So many of his songs just speak to me of the bigger stories behind the ones that he just gets to hint at in just a few lines.”
douglassmith - Mon, 2011/04/04 - 10:03pm
I'll be a guest author and panelist again at the excellent annual Toronto convention, Ad Astra, this coming weekend. Here's my current list of panels, signings and readings:
Saturday, April 9:
3:30-5:30pm: Mass autographing session
6:00-7:00pm: Breaking Into Non-English-Language Markets — Speaker: Douglas Smith (Crowne Room)
Sunday, April 10:
12:00-1:00pm: Working with Small Presses — Panelists: Don Hutchison, Douglas Smith, Karen Dales, Timothy Carter, Laura Marshall. (Ballroom Centre)
2:00-3:00pm: It's the Best/Worst Time to be a Writer — Panelists: Matt Moore (m),Stephen Jones, Eric Flint, Ken Lillie-Paetz, Douglas Smith (Ballroom East)
3:00-4:00pm: Reading (with free ebooks and other giveaways!!)
Hope to see you there!
douglassmith - Fri, 2011/03/18 - 4:42pm
Blogger and book reviewer Terry Grignon has posted a nice review of my collection, Chimerascope. Here are a few extracts:
"I enjoyed Smith’s characterization the most. These personas fly off the page and into your head and force you to think their thoughts. And that’s just about the best that fiction can aspire to. ... The evidence for Smith’s talent is in abundance through this entire book. There wasn’t one story I didn’t like, even the horror genre pieces which I’m normally not into. They’re all so different, even the ones set in the same universe, that it’s hard to believe they came from the same person. Very highly recommended."
You can read the whole review here. Thanks, Terry!
douglassmith - Tue, 2011/03/15 - 6:15pm
Well, sort of. The indie movie based on my story "By Her Hand, She Draws You Down" has finished its North American festival tour, but is now starting to show up on the list of official entries in some international festivals, including:
Great to see that this little film and story still has legs! Very cool!
douglassmith - Sun, 2011/03/13 - 4:53pm
My second collection, Chimerascope, has made a Top 50 list of the best SF&F books in 2010. Warm and fuzzy feelings from being on a list with the likes of one of my short fiction gods, Ted Chiang, and names like Rob Sawyer, Larry Niven, Jack Vance, and many other writers with whom I never expected to be listed. As far as I can tell, this list appears to be compiled based on the various reviews that all of these books received, so thanks to all of the reviewers who were kind to Chimerascope! And this is probably a good time to remind you to keep Chimerascope in mind when nominating for the 2011 Aurora Awards!
douglassmith - Sat, 2011/02/26 - 6:17am
I just resold "Spirit Dance," the first story I ever wrote and first I ever sold, to the upcoming anthology, The Beast Within #2. This is the 30th sale for this tale of shape-shifters, love, shadowy government agencies, and the environment. "Spirit Dance" is included in my collection, Impossibilia. You can read an excerpt here and reviews here. Here's the cover from its original appearance in the Canadian anthology series, Tesseracts. This story started my fiction career, and it's great to know that the tale still has legs (especially since my first novel, "Spirit Dreams," is based on the characters from "Spirit Dance.")
douglassmith - Sun, 2011/02/20 - 6:42pm
The nomination period is now open for the 2011 Aurora Awards, the official awards of the Canadian SF and Fantasy Association.
This year, my first full collection, Chimerascope, is eligible under the category "Related Work." Your support by way of a nomination would be truly appreciated.
Why Nominate Chimerascope?
Fair question. I'm a little biased, but here are some reasons:
- Chimerascope recently made the final ballot for the national CBC "Bookies" awards for Best Collection, sharing the ballot with the likes of Stieg Larsson, Suzanne Collins, William Gibson, and Robert J. Sawyer
- It has consistently received rave reviews in Canada and in the US
- It contains 16 of my best stories, including an Aurora Award winner, a Best New Horror selection, nine Aurora Award finalists, and three Year's Best Fantasy & Horror honourable mentions
- Still not convinced? Why not check out excerpts from all 16 stories right here
How to Nominate
The nomination process this year involves two steps (but two simple steps, honest):
douglassmith - Sat, 2011/02/19 - 5:51pm
Wow! I just learned that my collection, Chimerascope, had made the final ballot for the CBC "Bookies". The Bookies are the brand new CBC Book Club awards, voted on by readers and (from the CBC site) "celebrating the best in literature in 2010, as chosen by you!" The Canadian entertainment site, Cadence Canada, has a good overview of the Bookies here. It's great to see two other fellow ChiZine Publications authors on the list too: Gemma Files and Gord Zajak. Not bad for a small Toronto-based press only in its third year! And it is just so very cool to be on a ballot with William Gibson, Stieg Larsson, and Suzanne Collins.
douglassmith - Sat, 2011/02/19 - 4:56pm
douglassmith - Mon, 2011/02/07 - 7:17pm
Writer Krista Ball, in addition to her regular blog, runs a separate review site dedicated to small presses. As she puts it, "small presses are often where new authors get started, and I think it's important that we give those houses a little extra exposure. ... I read a lot of small press works and decided to start a review site for them." And on that review site, Krista recently took a look at ChiZine Publications and specifically, my collection Chimerascope from CZP. Here's an excerpt:
"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. ... After reading the collection, I immediately knew Chimerascope would be on my Aurora Award nomination list this year."
You can read Krista's full review here. Thanks, Krista!