Welcome!

"One of Canada's most original writers of speculative fiction." —Library Journal

"The man is Sturgeon good. Zelazny good. I don't give those up easy." —Spider Robinson, Hugo & Nebula Awards winner

"A great storyteller with a gifted and individual voice." —Charles de Lint, World Fantasy Award winner

"His stories are a treasure trove of riches that touch your heart while making you think." —Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo & Nebula Awards winner

"Stories you can't forget, even years later." —Julie Czerneda, multi-award-winning author and editor


Hi! Thanks for visiting. I'm a multi-award-winning Canadian author of speculative fiction, published in twenty-seven languages and thirty-six countries.

My books include:

My latest: the multi-award-winning urban fantasy trilogy, The Dream Rider Saga (The Hollow Boys, The Crystal Key, and The Lost Expedition);

The Heroka shapeshifter novels, The Wolf at the End of the World and The Wolf and the Phoenix (in progress);

The short story collections, Chimerascope and Impossibilia; and,

The writer's guide, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction.

I'm a four-time winner of Canada's Aurora Award, most recently in 2023 for The Hollow Boys, as well as the juried IAP Award for the same book. I've been a finalist for the Astounding Award, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Bookies Award, the juried Alberta Magazine Award for Fiction, Canada's juried Sunburst Award, and France's juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane.

You can buy my books at all major retailers. For free ebooks, discounts, special offers, early news of new releases, and more, join my monthly mailing list.

Enjoy the site! Feel free to send me an email with any questions or comments. Thanks for visiting!

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2024 Aurora Awards Voting Now Open!

Welcome to a special blog post for my Canadian fans.

Voting for the 2024 Aurora Awards is now open. The Auroras are fan-voted awards recognizing the best of Canadian SF & Fantasy published the previous year. Any Canadian citizen or permanent resident may vote for the Auroras.

As I wrote recently, I am thrilled that this year's ballot includes two of my published works:

  • The Crystal Key: The Dream Rider Saga, Book 2 (Best YA Novel)
  • "If I Should Fall Behind" (Best Short Story)

I'm writing to ask you to consider voting for me.

Below, I explain how to vote as well as how to download the Voters' Package containing your complimentary copy of ALL the works on the ballot, including:

  • 10 novels
  • 7 graphic novels
  • 5 novelettes
  • 5 short stories
  • ... and more!

But first, let me tell you a bit about my two nominated works.

The Crystal Key (The Dream Rider Saga, #2)

The sequel to The Hollow Boys (winner of the 2023 Aurora Award) has received universal praise, with a 4.8⭐ rating on Amazon and 5.0⭐ on BookBub, plus garnering these raves from top book review sites:

"The richly inventive Dream Rider adventure continues... [with] the Smith hallmarks of crack dialogue, fun sleuthing and puzzle-solving, a strong through-line of emotion, a swift pace…and a principled refusal to settle for the familiar. ... This thrilling superpowered urban fantasy series continues to grip." —BookLife (Editor's Pick)

"The engrossing second installment ... Smith continues to demonstrate an ability to expertly weave multiple complex fantasy elements into a cohesive whole. … This fast-paced story delivers in a big way." —Blueink Review (★ Starred review)

"The sequel to the excellent The Hollow Boys ups the ante for adventure and suspense and continues to deftly fuse superhero and fantasy tropes. ... A fun and engrossing superhero sequel." —Kirkus Reviews

"An ethnically diverse cast and strong female characters. Smith's take on superheroes and serials is both modern and original ... High adventure leavened with romance and mystery. … Everything that made The Hollow Boys work and turns it up a few notches." —Ottawa Review of Books

If you haven't read The Crystal Key, see below to learn how to get it in your complimentary copy of the Voters' Package.

"If I Should Fall Behind"

This story first appeared last year in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, one of the premiere markets for speculative fiction in the world.

Recently, it was also selected for The Year's Best Canadian Fantasy & Science Fiction, which will be coming out later this year.

Some selected reviews:

“One of my very favorites of the year. ... [The ending’s] an emotionally satisfying cap on a tremendous tale, a tale which itself is a tremendous cap on this issue of F&SF ... Exceptional.” —Tar Vol’s Recommended Reading List for 2023

“The story has great emotional appeal and the plight of the two lovers is sure to touch the reader’s heart. … [A] powerful tale.” —Tangent Online

To read "If I Should Fall Behind," see below to learn how to download your complimentary copy of the Voters' Package.

How to Register to Vote

To vote for the Auroras (and to access the Voters' Package of nominated works), you must be a 2024 member of the Canadian SF & Fantasy Association, the body that administers the Auroras.

(Note: If you nominated works earlier for this year's awards, you're already registered and can skip this step. Just jump down to "How to Vote.")

To register for 2024, go here and click on "Not a Member Yet?"

Enter your info, then select a username and password. (If the password box contains black dots, hold down "DELETE" to clear the box, then enter a password.)

Registration costs $10 CAD, which not only lets you vote, but also download the Voters' Package of ALL the nominated works: 17 novels, 5 novelettes, 5 short stories, and more! That's a pretty amazing deal, imo.

Registration for voting (and access to the Voters' Package) closes at midnight July 6.

How to Vote

Once you're registered, log in to the Aurora Awards site, then go to the Member's Home page.

From there, click on "Voting" to access the 2024 Aurora voting ballot.

The Auroras use a ranked voting method (more info here).

To vote, sort your choices from 1 (your favourite) to 5 (your least favourite), by dragging your selections with your mouse (or finger for touch screens).

Drag your choices above the voting line (the line that says, “No pick underneath this line will be counted”).

As you do this, your choice will display its ranking. If you make a mistake, just move your choice to a different position or back below the voting line.

You do not have to rank all works in a category, and you do not have to vote in all categories. But I would truly appreciate if you would consider voting for my two nominated works:

  • The Crystal Key: The Dream Rider Saga, Book 2 (Best YA Novel)
  • "If I Should Fall Behind" (Best Short Story)

Submitting Your Ballot

When you've ranked all your choices for the categories you’re interested in, click the “Send Ballot” button at the bottom of the form. This will lock and submit your selections.

Do NOT submit your ballot until all your selections are done. Unlike the nomination process, you will not be able to edit your ballot once submitted.

Also, if you close your ballot before submitting it, your choices will be cleared and not saved, and you will have to start again.

In other words, don't start to vote until you know everything you wish to vote for and can complete your voting in one session.

Remember, for your ballot to count you must click the “Send Ballot” button at the bottom of the form.

Voting closes on Saturday July 13 at midnight.

 

The Voters' Package

The Voters' Package contains electronic versions of all nominated works, made available through the generosity of the nominees and publishers so that voters may read the nominated works and make an informed decision when voting.

Once you've registered to vote, you can download the Voter Package from the Member's Home page (or directly here).

Access to the Voters' Package closes at midnight Saturday July 6, the same day registration closes and a week before voting closes

~~~

Thanks for any consideration you might give to voting for my nominated works.

Regardless, thanks for being a fan and supporter of my writing.

2024 Aurora Awards Ballot Announced!

The final ballot for the 2024 Aurora Awards has been announced, and I am thrilled that it includes two of my published works from 2023:

  • The Crystal Key: The Dream Rider Saga, Book 2 (Best YA Novel)
  • "If I Should Fall Behind" (Best Short Story)

The Auroras are fan-voted awards recognizing the best of Canadian SF & Fantasy published the previous year. Any Canadian citizen or permanent resident may vote for the Auroras. You can view the full 2024 ballot here.

Voting for the Auroras opens on Saturday June 8 and closes midnight Saturday July 13.

So you can't vote yet, but you can download the Voters' Package containing your complimentary copy of ALL the works on the ballot, including:

  • 10 novels
  • 7 graphic novels
  • 5 novelettes
  • 5 short stories
  • ... and more!

Pretty sweet, eh? To access your copy of the Voters' Package, all you need to do is register to vote for this year's Aurora Awards. Read on!

How to Register to Vote

To vote for the Auroras (and to access the Voters' Package of all the nominated works), you just need to be a 2024 member of the Canadian SF & Fantasy Association, the body that administers the Auroras.

[Note: If you nominated works earlier for this year's awards, you're already registered and can skip this step. Just jump down to "The Voters' Package."]

To register for 2024, go here and click on "Not a Member Yet?"

Enter your info, then select a username and password. (If the password box contains black dots, hold down "DELETE" to clear the box, then enter a password.)

Registration costs $10 CAD, which lets you vote but also download the Voters' Package of all the nominated works (17 novels, 5 novelettes, 5 short stories, and more). Pretty amazing deal, imo.

Registration for voting (and access to the Voters' Package) closes at midnight July 6.

The Voters' Package

The Voters' Package contains electronic versions of all nominated works, made available through the generosity of the nominees and publishers so voters may read the works and make informed decisions when voting.

Once you've registered to vote, you can download the Voters' Package from the Member's Home page (or directly here).

Access to the Voters' Package closes at midnight Saturday July 6, the same day registration closes and a week before voting closes

~~~

I hope you'll take advantage of this great opportunity to read the best works of Canadian speculative fiction from 2023.

I'll email you again when voting opens on June 8, to tell you more about my nominated works and to explain how to vote in the Auroras.

Until then, happy reading! And as always, thanks for being a fan and supporter of my writing.

Launch Day for Playing the Short Game 2nd Edition!

Playing the Short Game ed 2 coverIt's launch day!

The fully revised second edition of my writer's guide, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction, is now live and available for purchase from all major retailers. If you pre-ordered your book, you should receive it shortly.

The original has been called "a classic in the field" by no less than multi-award-winning author and editor, Kristine Kathryn Rusch. But that first edition came out a decade ago in 2014, and ever so much changes in any decade, including short fiction markets and how best to sell to them.

This second edition addresses every change in the short fiction landscape in the past decade. In her brand new intro, Kris says “Doug has gone through this new volume carefully, updating every possible detail. That makes this second edition as indispensable to the short fiction writer as the first.”

This new edition is available in ebook, paperback, and (new for this edition) hardcover. The ebook release price is US$4.99, but that will be going up in the next couple of weeks. Buy it here in your preferred format from your favourite retailer.

Newsletter Membership Drive

I'm running a subscriber membership drive for my monthly newsletter. Sign up and get a free ebook of an award-winning short story.

Each month, you'll get updates on my writing projects, contests, promotions, discounts in my store, along with another free short story ebook. You'll also get first chance at being beta and ARC readers for my new books.

I'll never spam you or share any of your email or personal information.

Urban Fantasy Storybundle

Urban Fantasy Storybundle promo imageHere's another Storybundle, this time containing eleven urban fantasy novels from award-winning and best selling authors, curated by multi-genre UK author, Arizona Tape.

The City Lights and Magical Fights bundle is available now and runs until May 15 at midnight EDT.

Storybundles are always amazing deals, available worldwide. With this one, for just US$5 (or more, if you're feeling generous), you'll get the basic bundle of these four ebooks:

  • Valkyrie 101, by Arizona Tape
  • Dark Fangs Rising, by C. Thomas Lafollette
  • Death At Peony House, by Krista Walsh
  • Rise Of The Shade, by Lia Davis

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $20, you get seven additional ebooks, including my own The Hollow Boys (so a great way to get into my series, plus grab a bunch of other great urban fantasy tales at the same time for a great price):

  • Cloaked Magic, by L. A. Boruff & Daphne Moore
  • Curse of the Vampire, by Stephanie Mirro
  • The Hollow Boys, by Douglas Smith
  • A Supernatural Midlife, by Lacey Carter Anderson
  • Supernatural Retrieval Agency, by Laura Greenwood
  • Twisted Familiar, by L. M. Hatchell
  • Water Witch, by Gina Kincade & C. D. Gorri

Check out the bundle here. For full details, read Arizona's blog post on the bundle. But don't delay. The bundle only runs until May 15 at midnight EDT.

Fierce Fantasy Promo

Fierce Fantasy promo imageHey, fantasy readers, you'll like this one.

From epic to urban, check out the Fierce Fantasy promo being hosted by BookFunnel and BookMojo for a chance to stock up on 100+ fantasy reads.

Some titles are free, some are discounted. Some are box sets or complete series. With this many titles, you'll have plenty to choose from.

The promotion is live now and can be found here. But don't delay on this one. It ends on April 30.

Interview on Hamilton's Morning Live TV show on CHCH

CHCH TV logoIf you know me, then you also know that mornings are not my favourite time of the day.

So when I was invited to appear on Hamilton's Morning Live TV show on CHCH-TV, my first reaction was "Hey, cool!" followed immediately by "Wait. Morning show? Define morning."

Turns out morning meant being at the studio for 7:20am. Groan.

But I showed up and on time. I even managed to be more or less coherent and give the impression of being awake (I think) as host Adam Atkinson interviewed me about The Dream Rider Saga trilogy and where the idea for the series came from.

You can check it out here and see for yourself.

The Write Stuff: An Ebook Bundle for Writers

The Write Stuff Storybundle 2024 imageMulti-award-winning author and editor, Kristine Kathryn Rusch is curating a Storybundle of hand-picked writing guides, on both the creative and the business side, available starting today and ending on April 18 at midnight EDT.

The new edition of my Playing the Short Game is one of three "exclusives" in the bundle, meaning this is the only place you can get those books right now.

Storybundles are always amazing deals, available worldwide. For US$5 (or more, if you're feeling generous), you'll get the basic bundle of four ebooks:

  • A Freelancer's Survival Guide to Maximizing Your Success, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • Becoming an Everyday Novelist, by J. Daniel Sawyer
  • Researching History for Fantasy Writers, by Dayle A. Dermatis
  • Life Along the Way, by B.A. Paul

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $20, you get five more ebooks and a video lecture, for a total of 10, including three StoryBundle exclusives:

  • The Pop-Up Series Workshop: Fear of Success, by Dean Wesley Smith
  • The Productive Indie Fiction Writer, by Tracy Cooper-Posey
  • A Book in Hand, by Mark Leslie Lefebvre (Exclusive)
  • Playing the Short Game, 2nd Edition, by Douglas Smith (Exclusive)
  • Make Me Read! by Dean Wesley Smith (Exclusive)
  • Kickstarter for Authors, by Anthea L. Sharp

For full details, read Kris's blog post on the bundle. If you're a writer and serious about improving your craft and business knowledge, you need to check it out this excellent bundle.

Playing the Short Game, 2nd Edition: Available for Pre-Order

Playing the Short Game ed 2 coverMy writer's guide, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction, has been called "a classic in the field" by no less than multi-award-winning author and editor, Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

The first edition of the guide came out a decade ago in 2014. Ever so much changes in any decade, and that includes short fiction markets.

So I'm publishing a fully revised second edition that addresses every change in the short fiction landscape in the past decade. In her brand new intro, Kris says “Doug has gone through this new volume carefully, updating every possible detail. That makes this second edition as indispensable to the short fiction writer as the first.”

The ebook, paperback, and hardcover editions will release on all major retailers on May 15. You can preorder the ebook now from your favourite retailers for the special pre-release price of US$4.99.

However, if you don't want to wait, see this blog post for a way you can get the new edition now, plus a bunch of other excellent writing guides.

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