"Gypsy Biker's Coming Home" is an Award Finalist

On Spec #120 coverWell, this is cool. My SF short story, "Gypsy Biker's Coming Home," is a finalist in the Alberta Magazine Awards in the "Fiction" category.

These are annual juried awards, administered by the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA), which "honour and celebrate the work of magazine makers – the editors, art directors, writers, photographers, illustrators, and other creators" in Alberta. Here's a link to the full 2022/23 ballot.

"Gypsy Biker's Coming Home" first appeared in On Spec, the excellent, long-running Alberta-based Canadian speculative fiction magazine, in their July 2022 issue (cover shown here). On Spec also has another story on the ballot: "Bottom's Dream" by Glenn Clifton. So a big congrats to On Spec (and Glenn).

Even better, you can read all of the stories on the ballot online. The AMPA has made PDFs of the finalists available on their website. You can read "Gypsy Biker's Coming Home" here. For the Canadians out there, this is probably a good time to mention "Gypsy Biker" is eligible to be nominated for the 2023 Aurora Awards.


PS—A big thanks to Diane Walton, Executive Editor, and everyone at On Spec, for publishing "Gypsy Biker." This was my fourth appearance in On Spec. Those four stories have resulted in an Aurora Award winner, an Aurora finalist, and now this. 

And a shout-out to Susan MacGregor, who edited "Gypsy Biker" and also edited another On Spec story of mine, "The Walker of the Shifting Borderland," which won an Aurora. I have another story coming out in On Spec in 2023. Guess who I want to edit that one?


My translated collection, La Danse des Esprits (Dreampress, France, 2010), which earlier was a finalist (yeah, past tense – I lost) for France's juried Prix Masterton, was also a finalist (yeah, past tense again – I lost this one too) for another French juried award, the Prix Bob Morane.

The Prix Bob Morane Award was established in 1999 by well-known French editor Marc Bailly to pay tribute to one of the most well known French fictional characters. Created in 1953 by Henri Vernes, Bob Morane first appeared in books, but then spread to comic books, television series, cartoons, and even video games. His adventures spanned multiple genres, including science fiction, fantasy, fantasy, and espionage thrillers.

Although I ended up not winning either, it really was an unexpected thrill for me, an English writer, to have my collected stories nominated for two awards in the same year in another language and another country.

Dazed and Amazed: CHIMERASCOPE selected for 2011 Sunburst Award short list

I am thrilled to announce that my short fiction collection, Chimerascope, has been selected by the jury for the 2011 Sunburst Award short list. In making the selection, the Sunburst jury had this to say about Chimerascope:

"This collection contains a beautifully diverse selection of short tales that runs the full spectrum of the speculative genres. The tales are well-crafted, easily digestible; several of the stories are incredibly moving and stick with the reader long after. The wide range of stylistic approaches works well together."

From the press release:

CHIMERASCOPE makes the 2011 Aurora Award final ballot

The finalists for the 2011 Aurora Awards have been announced, and my collection Chimerascope is on the ballot, under the category, "Best English Related Work." The full ballot is shown below. Congratulations and best of luck to all the finalists. PROFESSIONAL AWARDS Best English Novel Black Bottle Man by Craig Russell, Great Plains Publications Destiny's Blood by Marie Bilodeau, Dragon Moon Press Stealing Home by Hayden Trenholm, Bundoran Press Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay, Viking Canada Watch by Robert J. Sawyer, Penguin Canada Best English Short Story "The Burden of Fire" by Hayden Trenholm, Neo-Opsis #19 "Destiny Lives in the Tattoo's Needle" by Suzanne Church, Tesseracts Fourteen, EDGE "The Envoy" by Al Onia, Warrior Wisewoman 3, Norilana Books "Touch the Sky, They Say" by Matt Moore, AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, November "Your Beating Heart" by M. G. Gillett, Rigor Amortis, Absolute Xpress Best English Related Work Chimerascope, Douglas Smith (collection), ChiZine Publications The Dragon and the Stars, edited by Derwin Mak and Eric Choi, DAW Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead, edited by Nancy Kilpatrick, EDGE On Spec, edited by Diane Walton, Copper Pig Writers Society Tesseracts Fourteen, edited by John Robert Colombo and Brett Alexander Savory, EDGE

Still more praise for IMPOSSIBILIA and "Bouquet of Flowers..."

And yet another great review for my first collection, Impossibilia, and its lead story "Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase, by Van Gogh," this one from Matt Cardin in the review magazine Dead Reckonings (No. 5, Spring 2009). Here's what he says:

On Impossibilia:
"Both thematically and stylistically, these stories sometimes recall the work of better known authors, including Harlan Ellison, Theodore Sturgeon, and Ray Bradbury. But Smith puts such a personal stamp on his stories, and invests them with such depth of feeling, that they transcend the dangers of … imitation and emerge as wholly original. … There is a certain exhilaration that comes from reading the book’s complex and powerfully emotional stories couched in that deft and smooth prose. It is easy to see why PS Publishing considers Smith an author who deserves more attention. … [Smith deserves] to be known to by a very wide audience indeed."

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