Chimerascope

Oct 17 is last day to vote for CHIMERASCOPE and the Aurora Awards

Update: I've just learned that the deadline to vote for the 2011 Aurora Awards, the official awards of the Canadian SF and Fantasy Association, has been extended to Monday October 17. Please vote and if you do, please add a vote for my first full collection, Chimerascope, which is one of five finalists under the category "Related Work." I include instructions on voting below.

Why Does Chimerascope Deserve Your Vote?

Fair question. I'm a little biased, but here are some reasons:

  • It was a finalist for the Sunburst Awards, Canada's only juried award for speculative fiction, sharing the ballot with the likes of Guy Gavriel Kay, Robert J. Sawyer, and Charles de Lint.
  • Earlier this year, Chimerascope was on the final ballot for the national CBC "Bookies" awards, 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 around the world.
  • 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 download a free ebook of any story in Chimerascope? Just grab your free coupon code and make your selection in my bookstore

2011 Sunburst Awards ceremony and winners

I'd posted earlier about my collection Chimerascope being selected by the jury for the 2011 Sunburst Awards for Literature of the Fantastic. The awards ceremony itself was held on September 14, 2011, hosted by Authors at Harbourfront, who also kindly hosted a dinner for the finalists and their guests prior to the ceremony. Teddy Wilson of Space's Inner Space hosted the ceremonies, which included readings by the finalists who were in attendance (me at the left), with actress Meira Gold doing an excellent job filling in on the readings for the finalists who were unable to attend in person. The winner in the adult fiction category was Guy Gavriel Kay (pictured here on the right, along with myself and fellow finalist, Hayden Trenholm) for his novel "Under Heaven." In the Young Adult category, the winner was Paul Glennon for his novel "Bookweirder." Full details on the winners and the short-listed works, and some more photos from the evening can be found here on the Sunburst site. Congratulations to Guy and Paul for their well-deserved wins. And thanks to the Sunburst society for all of their hard work and to Authors at Harbourfront for hosting the awards. I'm proud to have been a finalist for Canada's only juried award for speculative fiction.

Publishing a Short Story Collection

Fellow author Krista D. Ball interviewed me in August 2011 on my experiences with selling my two collections and with working with small genre presses for both of those books. l've blogged this interview in the past, but have pulled the separate blog posts from the interview into one article here.

Question: In Chimerascope, most of the stories were at least nominated for Aurora Awards and one was a winner. With credits like that, why did you choose to go with a small Canadian press like ChiZine?

Interview: Publishing a collection (part 3 of 3)

Krista Ball continues her three-part interview with me on my experiences in publishing my two collections and working with small presses. Part 3 is below or you can also read it on Krista's blog. Here are the links to the earlier posts in the series:
Part 1
Part 2

Question: What are three things that people need to consider before going with a small press?

First is reputation. If you're considering a small press, check out their authors and contact at least three of them. Ask them about their experience with the press. How involved were they in the publishing process? Did they get cover input? What about the quality of the editing and copyediting? What about promotion? Where were they reviewed? Scan the awards ballots and see which presses are showing up regularly. And check out some of their books, especially their covers, and their author list. Any big names on their list? Would you like to be included on that list, or have you not heard of anyone that they publish?

Interview: Publishing a collection (part 2 of 3)

(Krista Ball continues her three-part interview with me on my experiences in publishing my two collections and working with small presses. Part 2 is below or you can also read it on Krista's blog. Part 1 is here.)

Question: Did you go the agent route? Why or why not.

For a collection? Nope. No need to and no advantage in doing so. Since I wasn't targeting the big NYC houses, an agent wouldn't have done me any good. I could research the small presses as well as they could, and could submit to those directly myself. Even if I had foolishly tried to target the big publishers, an agent wouldn't have been interested in trying to market a collection. They know collections don't sell, and a collection would get an incredibly small advance compared to a novel, even a first novel. So from an agent's point of view, that translates into a lot of work with no chance of success and for very little pay even if they could sell it. From my point of view, an agent was not going to do anything for me with a small press that I couldn't do better myself.

Question: What are the top 3 best things about a small press?

Well, for the two presses I worked with, I could list more than three. But most of my points would come down to retaining an involvement and degree of control over your book. With both collections, I had input on who should write the introduction, the stories to include, the order of their appearance, editing and copy-editing, promotion, etc..

Interview: Publishing a collection (part 1 of 3)

Fellow author Krista D. Ball interviewed me recently on my experiences with selling my two collections and with working with small genre presses for both of the books. The discussion went longer than we expected so Krista is posting the interview in three parts on her blog. I've posted part 1 below, or you can check out Publishing a Short Story Collection (part 1) on Krista's blog as well.

Krista's first question: In Chimerascope, most of the stories were at least nominated for Aurora Awards and one was a winner. With a strong list of credits like that, why did you choose to go with a small Canadian press like ChiZine?

True, the stories in Chimerascope have a lot of award credentials. "Scream Angel" won the Aurora, while another nine of the sixteen stories were Aurora finalists. "By Her Hand, She Draws You Down" was also a Best New Horror selection, and several more received honourable mentions in the Year's Best Fantasy & Horror. I could talk similar numbers for my first collection, Impossibilia, which had another Aurora winner ("Spirit Dance") and an Aurora finalist in its three-novelette line-up.

But if I pick up any collection, I'd expect to see award credits for the stories. A collection is supposed to represent an author's best work. But unfortunately, regardless of awards, a "big" publisher will simply not be interested in publishing a collection, unless you are a Name (which I'm not). The strategy for how an author should market a collection changed from when I started writing to when I was ready to market Impossibilia in 2008. And it's changed again since I published Chimerascope just last year, thanks to eBooks and indie publishing options.

Please vote for Chimerascope for the Aurora Award

The voting ballot is now available for the 2011 Aurora Awards, the official awards of the Canadian SF and Fantasy Association. I am thrilled that this year my first full collection, Chimerascope, is one of five finalists under the category "Related Work." Your vote would be truly appreciated.

Why Does Chimerascope Deserve Your Vote?

Fair question. I'm a little biased, but here are some reasons:

  • It is currently also a finalist for the Sunburst Awards, Canada's only juried award for speculative fiction, sharing the ballot with the likes of Guy Gavriel Kay, Robert J. Sawyer, and Charles de Lint.
  • Earlier this year, Chimerascope was on the final ballot for the national CBC "Bookies" awards, 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 around the world.
  • 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 download a free ebook of any story in Chimerascope? Just grab your free coupon code and make your selection in my bookstore

How to Vote

The voting process this year involves two steps (but two simple steps, honest): Step 1: Go to the Aurora Membership page If you didn't participate in nominating for the Aurora's earlier this year, then you need to click on the "Register" link at the bottom of the above page. Registration is free and is a one-time process only. In future years, you will not need to register again, and it saves the Aurora volunteers the work each year to validate that you're eligible to nominate and vote. It also allows you to receive updates and info on the Auroras if you wish. All registration information is solely for the use of Aurora voting and will never be shared with other groups. If you did nominate anything for the Auroras earlier this year, then you're already a registered member. Just enter your email address that you used in that process and your society number that you were assigned at registration in the boxes on this page. This will log you in and take you to your membership page, where you can vote. If you've forgotten or lost your society number, then click on the link "Forgot your Society Number?", and it will be emailed to you. Step 2: Vote At the bottom of your membership page, you will see either a "Buy now" or a "Vote now" link. If you're registered for SFContario, the convention that is hosting the Aurora Awards, your voting fee is already included in your membership, and you'll see the "Vote Now" link at the bottom. If you're not attending SFContario, you'll see a "Buy Now" link. Click on that to pay the $5.50 voting fee via PayPal or credit card. Either way is both quick and secure. You will then be taken to the actual voting ballot page. Follow the instructions (remember this is a preferential ballot -- your first pick is #1, second #2, etc.). You don't need to vote in all categories, and you don't need to enter a vote for all entries in the categories that you do vote in. To vote for Chimerascope, page down to the category "RELATED WORKS" and enter your vote. Any Canadian citizen (not necessarily living in Canada) or permanent resident may vote. The voting period closes October 15, 2011.

About the Auroras

This will be the 31st year that the "Auroras" will be presented. On a per-capita basis, the Aurora Awards have the largest voter turnout of any national SF award in the world, exceeding that of the American-dominated Hugos, the Japanese Seiuns, the British Arthur C. Clarke Awards, and the Australian Ditmars. Each year, a different convention or group hosts the awards ceremony.

Buying links for the Sunburst Awards short-list

I blogged earlier about my collection Chimerascope being chosen by the jury for the 2011 Sunburst Awards short list for adult fiction. SF Scope has now kindly published the full shortlist with buying links on Amazon for all of the finalists. So if you want to check out some of the best Canadian speculative fiction from 2010, click away!

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

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