Chimerascope

Another nice review of Chimerascope

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!

Chimerascope makes a Top 50 list for best SF&F books of 2010

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!

Nominations open for the 2011 Aurora Awards

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):

2011 Aurora Awards

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.

CHIMERASCOPE is on the final ballot for the CBC "Bookies"

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.

And Still More Love for Chimerascope

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!

Innsmouth Free Press reviews Chimerascope

It just doesn't get old. Here's another great review for Chimerascope, this time from Innsmouth Free Press. Here are the highlights:

"[T]here is not only something here for everyone, but something good for everyone, as Smith consistently displays his comfort and competence, working within multiple genres. ... Smith’s characters tend towards regular men and women caught in desperate situations, often fallible, sometimes likable, but always portrayed with, if not sympathy, then enough clarity that the reader may understand why the characters behave as they do. ... Ultimately, genre fans eager to read work by a talented author, who consistently writes top-notch prose, will be well-pleased to see the strange beasts lurking within Douglas Smith’s Chimerascope."

Read the whole review here, and if you're interested, check out the buying links for Chimerascope here, including the ebook versions.

Chimerascope makes a "Best of 2010" list

Cory Redekop, who earlier this year gave my collection a starred review in Quill & Quire, has picked Chimerascope for Best Short Story Collection in his personal "Best of 2010" list. Here's what he has to say:

"A sterling set of tales spanning the triple genres of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. 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."

Thanks, Cory! He also includes works by several other ChiZine Publications authors, including:

Before I Wake, by Robert J. Wiersema
The World More Full of Weeping, by Robert J. Wiersema
The Thief of Broken Toys, by Tim Lebbon

Check out Cory's full "best of" list here.

Special Kindle pricing offer for CHIMERASCOPE

For a limited time, the Kindle version of my latest collection, CHIMERASCOPE (ChiZine Publications), is available at a special price of $2.99 on Amazon.com and £1.71 on Amazon.uk, a 50% savings from the prior Kindle price. And, as with all CZP ebooks, these are DRM-free. So why the drop? It's an experiment, quite frankly. I follow the ebook trends closely, and the one thing that I'm convinced of is that no one in the industry has yet to figure out, to cite an Economics 101 term, the elasticity of demand for ebooks yet. Meaning that no one knows the sweet spot for pricing ebooks. I believe that, unless you're a household name author, the key to driving ebook sales for your work right now is to keep the unit price low. Dropping the price on anything will increase sales. That's a given. But will that increase in unit sales offset the per unit price drop? If this 50% price cut increases ebook copies sold by more than 50%, then this was a smart thing to do. If the increase in ebooks sold is less than 50%, then...well, not so smart.

Interview at the TORONTOIST

Claire Horsnell interviewed me for the Torontoist website a while back, and the interview is up on the site now. The interview is a wide-ranging one, covering early influences, favourite writers, use of myth in fiction, my recently completed first novel, dystopian futures, corporate power, Avatar, the "By Her Hand..." movie, and, of course, Springsteen. And Claire does a great job of making me sound way smarter than I am.

Here's an excerpt:

"Most science-fiction, fantasy, and horror fans can point to an early discovery period during which they came to their genre, but for prolific Toronto writer Douglas Smith, author of the recent short story collection Chimerascope, it seems fitting that he had not one, but two significant exploratory phases for his field. 'When I was eight, a friend introduced me to Robert A. Heinlein’s young-adult SF novels,' Smith recalls. 'They were essentially rocket and ray-gun books aimed at young boys. I devoured all of those, but then stopped reading the genre. Then in Grade 11, I had to do a paper in English comparing the works of multiple authors. Amazingly, the teacher actually included a group consisting of Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Ray Bradbury, which, of course, was the group I picked. That assignment got me back into reading SF and fantasy.'

Read the full interview on the Torontoist site here.

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