Douglas Smith's blog

The Angel screams again, in Germany

Illustration for Scream Angel in VisionariumMy SF novelette "Scream Angel" will be translated into German and published in the Austrian magazine, Visionarium. "Scream Angel" won the Aurora Award in 2004, and is one of the stories that fans often tell me is their favourite tale of mine. The story first appeared in the anthology Low Port (editors Steve Miller and Sharon Lee).

Visionarium editor / publisher Bernhard Reicher kindly provided me with a preview of the beautiful and haunting illustration that will accompany the story, pictured here at the right.

This is the fifth time I've been published in German, and Austria brings my country total to thirty-one. But who's counting? Oh, yeah. Right. I am.

Eww! There's some geology in my fiction

Illustration for Jigsaw in Issues in Earth ScienceMy short SF story, "Jigsaw," has just been reprinted in the online magazine, Issues in Earth Science. IES is "dedicated to raising awareness of the science of our world and our place in it.  It provides essays, challenges, a forum for discussion, and fictional stories related to the Earth and Space Sciences."

"Jigsaw" incorporates plate tectonics in a deep space adventure where Cassie Morant, our young geologist protagonist, races the clock to solve a planet-sized puzzle before time runs out for her crewmates. You can read the story at IES here. The very cool illustration that accompanies the story, pictured here at the left, is by Erin Colson of IES.

"Jigsaw" first appeared in the anthology Odyssey (edited by Julie Czerneda) in 2004 and was a finalist for the Aurora Award. I hope the story makes studying geology a little more fun for some students out there. Not that I'm saying that geology is boring — Cassie would never forgive me.

"Symphony" published in The Gernsback Variations in Italy

Cover for The Gernsback Variations anthologyI posted a while back that my science fiction short story "Symphony" would be appearing in the upcoming anthology Le Variazioni Gernsback (The Gernsback Variations) in Italy. The anthology is now out, and you can check out the cover at the left and the full contents here (if you read Italian).

"Symphony" first appeared in the Canadian literary magazine, Prairie Fire, in 1999, where it won second prize in the magazine's SF contest to commemorate Canadian SF writer, A. E. van Vogt. The story was a finalist for the Aurora Award in 2000. I'm thrilled to have it translated into Italian and to have it appear with a host of fine Italian writers, as well as Michael Bishop and Robert Silverberg. Even better, "Symphony" is the closing story, one of the special slots for stories when editors put together an anthology.

If you haven't read "Symphony," you can pick up an ebook edition in all formats from any of the buying links at the top left of my site or directly from my online bookstore here. It's also included in my collection Chimerascope.

Video interview on Fantasy Fiction Focus

Cover for Flashback by Simon RoseSimon Rose is a Calgary-based author of science fiction and fantasy for children and young adults. Simon's most recent book is Flashback, shown here.

Simon kindly interviewed me recently via Google Hangouts and has posted the video to YouTube here. I hope you'll take some time to check it out (the whole interview is about 25 minutes long). 

And you can check out Simon's books at his website at

Foreign Market List updates posted

Another post for the writers who follow me. I've just posted several updates to the FML. Here are the highlights:

New Markets: Parsek (Croatia)

Updates: Pulpcore (Germany): has switched to an invitation-only submission policy | Nowa Fantastyka (Poland): new editor has reversed the magazine's policy and now is no longer interested in receiving submissions

Check out the Foreign Market List for all the details.

The Write Stuff: A book bundle for writers

The Write Stuff story bundle coversAre you a writer? Or do you know someone who is? If so, how would you like to pick up eleven books at once that contain everything you need to know to be a writer and to build a writing career? Books written by established pros, best sellers, and award-winners. Sound good? What if you could also get a 40% discount on the best software available today for producing professional quality ebooks, the tool used by the top indie authors?

Well, you can (yeah, you knew that was coming). For a limited time, StoryBundle is offering "The Write Stuff" ebook bundle that gives you all of the above. This bundle was curated by the award-winning, multi-genre author and editor, Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Here's what Kris says about how she put the bundle together:

"So many people who write books on writing have never published fiction or had a real writing career.

But not here. We have worldwide bestsellers, award-winners, and career writers of longstanding. Every single writer here has lived the writing life—and has much to say about it.

We have four craft books in the bundle, provided by Dean Wesley Smith, Jerrold Mundis, Vonda McIntyre, and Judith Tarr. Dean wrote Writing Into The Dark for all the writers who don't like outlining before they start a project. That book goes hand in hand with Jerry's book, Break Writer's Block Now! If writing into the dark won't stop you from freezing before blank screen, then Jerry's book will. Vonda's book, Pitfalls of Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, has excellent craft advice even if you don't want to write in those two genres. And finally, Judy's book, Writing Horses: The Fine Art of Getting It Right is a godsend for those of us who write fantasy, historical, or western fiction.

We have books that focus on the form your writing can take, be they short stories, novels, or audio books. Douglas Smith wrote the definitive book on all aspects of a short story writer's career, from completion to publication and republication. You can find all that wisdom in Playing the Short Game. Bob Mayer gives you everything you need to know about writing novels to selling them in The Novel Writer's Toolkit. J. Daniel Sawyer teaches you how to turn those prose pieces into podcasts and audio books in Making Tracks.

We have a book that focuses on business as well. Leah Cutter's Business for Breakfast divides the writing business into bite-sized pieces for easy digestion.

And then there are the books on the writing life. Chuck Wendig's 30 Days in the Word Mines gives you a peek into a writer's day-to-day existence, with lots of writing tips to help you through. Laura Resnick's classic Rejection, Romance, & Royalties shows, as the subtitle puts it, "the wacky world of a working writer." My own, The Write Attitude, helps writers pick themselves up and dust themselves off when the writing world becomes wacky—as it so often does.

Plus, we have a marvelous bonus item. The kind folks who developed Jutoh have contributed a 40% off coupon for their product. If you're doing your own publishing, you want Jutoh. … You can be completely confident that you have a top-of-the-line epub that will pass even the strictest e-retailer demands.

So here it is: Everything you need to know to write what you want, how you want to write it, what to do with it when you're done, and how to survive the perils and pitfalls of a writing career."

Sounds great, right? It gets better. You only need to pay a minimum of $5 to get the initial set of six titles in The Write Stuff bundle.

The Novel Writer's Toolkit by Bob Mayer
Writing Into the Dark by Dean Wesley Smith
Playing the Short Game by Douglas Smith
Making Tracks - A Writer's Guide to Audiobooks by J. Daniel Sawyer
Rejection, Romance & Royalties by Laura Resnick
Business For Breakfast - Vol 1: The Beginning Professional Writer by Leah Cutter

That's less than a dollar a book! And, if you pay at least $15, you'll get another five books, plus a very special code for 40% off Jutoh, an indispensable ebook creation tool for all ebook platforms, including epub and Kindle.

Break Writer's Block Now! by Jerrold Mundis
Writing Horses - The Fine Art of Getting It Right by Judith Tarr
The Write Attitude by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Pitfalls of Writing Fantasy by Vonda N. McIntyre
30 Days in the Word Mines by Chuck Wendig
40% Discount Code! by Jutoh - get 40% off your Jutoh purchase!

And don't worry about what kind of ebook reader you need--you get multiple DRM-free formats (both .epub and .mobi) for all books.

You can also give this bundle as a gift to that writer you know. StoryBundle has gift cards that allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and with timed delivery so you control exactly when your recipient will get the Write Stuff bundle.

But don't wait to decide! The Write Stuff bundle is available for a very limited time only. This offer expires at midnight on June 4, 2015. So go to right now to get this bundle and kick start your writing career.

(More on StoryBundle: StoryBundle was created to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price. Learn more here.)

SFWA Griefcom to the rescue

SFWA logo[Note: SFWA (the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and as part of their celebrations, they have asked a number of members to participate in a SFWA 50th Anniversary Blog Tour. I offered up the post below. The first post went up on Monday, and mine is featured today. You can check out the ongoing series by going to this page. I've also included my post below in this blog.

In case you don't know, here's some info on SFWA from their website:

SFWA is a professional organization for authors of science fiction, fantasy and related genres. ... SFWA informs, supports, promotes, defends and advocates for its members. We host the prestigious Nebula Awards, assist members in legal disputes with publishers, and administer benevolent funds for authors facing medical or legal expenses.  Novice authors benefit from our Information Center and the well-known Writer Beware site. SFWA members look out for each other and provide assistance, mentorship, and camaraderie. ... SFWA is a source of information, education, support, and fellowship for its authors. SFWA Membership is open to authors, artists, editors, and other industry professionals who meet our eligibility requirements.

My blog post follows. #SFWApro]

I began my writing career, as have many writers, with short fiction. After I'd made my first few professional sales, I came across a new set of markets I'd never considered before: foreign language (meaning non-English) magazines and anthologies.

I stumbled across a mention in Locus of a German publisher who was considering stories for two anthologies, one SF and one fantasy (and yes, in German). But the publisher was soliciting submissions of stories that had already appeared in English pro markets.

Have my stories published in another language? To a beginning writer, this sounded very cool. So I sent in a story for both anthologies, and to my delight, both were accepted ("Spirit Dance" and "New Year's Eve," if you care).

Those sales set me searching for other non-English languages markets for short fiction. As I found more and more, I began to maintain a market list on my website, at first for my own reference, but eventually as a free service to other speculative short fiction writers. My Foreign Market List is still going strong, and you are welcome to check it out here.

Where am I going with this? What does this have to do with SFWA? I'm getting there.

Foreign Market List updates

For the short story writers who follow this blog, I've just posted a bunch of updates to the Foreign Market List::

  • World of English (China): Email address no longer working
  • Spin (Finland): Website link updated but submission email address no longer working
  • Revista SRSFF (Romania): new name (Fantastica) and website. Same editor and email
  • Alfa Eridiani (Spain): no longer accepts submissions in English
  • Intercom-SF (Italy): May return but currently not publishing

Updated schedule: Ad Astra, Toronto April 10-12

Here's my updated schedule for the Ad Astra convention this weekend. The only change is the signing session from 2-4pm on Saturday.

Signing Session:
Date: Saturday, April 11
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Room: Richmond A, Richmond B
When the Gods Run Amok: Ancient, New and Urban Mythology
Date: Saturday, April 11
Time: 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Room: Markham B
Panellists: Chadwick Ginther, Kelley Armstrong, Marie Bilodeau
Urban fantasy gives us the chance to play around with our archetypal fairy tales and mythology. We can bring the gods down to our level and we get to bring magic into the everyday.
Why is this so compelling?: Believable Characters and Dialogue
Date: Saturday, April 11
Time: 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Room: Markham B
Panellists: Kelley Armstrong, Nina Munteanu, Suzanne Church
Orphan Black: Send in the (Canadian) Clones
Date: Saturday, April 11
Time: 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Room: Oakridge
Panellists: JD DeLuzio, Kate Heartfield, Matthew Johnson
Filmed right here in Toronto, Orphan Black has become a huge hit. This show about cloning and conspiracies even mentions Scarberia, and correctly. We'll talk about all the stuff we love about it. Did Season 2 fulfill the promise seen in Season 1, and where do we see the various plot-lines headed?
Readings: Douglas Smith & Matthew Johnson
Date: Saturday, April 11
Time: 10:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Room: Whitchurch
I'm not sure what I'll be reading from yet, but I will have gifts and giveaways. 

Hope to see you there!

2015 Aurora Awards: Nominations are open!

Playing the Short Game coverThe nomination period is now open for the 2015 Aurora Awards, recognizing the best of Canadian SF and Fantasy.

This year, my writer's guide, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction, is eligible to be nominated. Your support would be truly appreciated.

Any Canadian citizen or permanent resident may nominate for the Auroras. If you're interested in nominating but haven't read the book, I'd be happy to send you a PDF copy for your review. Just email me. You can also check out all of the eligible works at the Aurora Award site.

"We short story writers have needed a book like this for decades. ... It's spectacular." —Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Award-winning Author & Editor

How to Nominate

To nominate, you need to be a member of the Canadian SF & Fantasy Association. If you've registered in the past, then simply log in here with your 4-digit society number and password. If you've forgotten those, just click on "Forgot your password?" to be emailed your ID and a new password.

If you've never registered, click here to register.

The Auroras require an annual fee of $10, allowing you to both nominate (this step) and vote on the final ballot--not much to pay to support Canadian SF & fantasy.

Once you're logged in, click on the "Pay Now" button to be taken to a PayPal screen. Don't use PayPal? Just click on "Don't have a PayPal account?" and pay by any debit or credit card.

You'll then be taken back to the Awards site. Click on the "Aurora Awards" link at the top and select "Nominate" from the drop down menu to access the online nomination form. My book is eligible under "Related Work", and the information you need to enter is as follows:

Title: Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction
Author: Douglas Smith
Publisher: Lucky Bat Books

The nomination period closes at 11:59 pm on Saturday, April 25, 2015.

Thanks again for any consideration!



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