More on George Monbiat's study of wolves in Yellowstone

I blogged earlier about a fascinating TED talk that George Monbiat gave concerning his studies into the amazing and widespread effects that occurred from the reintroduction of a very small number of wolves to Yellowstone National Park in the US. 

I have a particular personal interest in efforts around the world to try to reverse the negative impact of humankind on animal habitats. This issue was one of the themes in my novel The Wolf at the End of the World, and this study was both encouraging and counter-intuitive in many ways. Who would have guessed that bringing back wolves could impact the flow of rivers in an area?

If you are interested in this topic yourself, here is another shorter film on the same subject, narrated by Monbiat himself. 

Story review: Scream Angel

Scream Angel ebook coverI blogged earlier here about a new reader and reviewer, Ken McKinley, discovering my work for the first time by coming across my story "Out of the Light" when it was reprinted in an anthology. He enjoyed that story enough for him to go looking for some more. Here's an extract of his review of my SF novelette, "Scream Angel": 

My introduction to Douglas Smith has been a very rewarding one. I stumbled upon his work in a compilation called Best New Werewolf Tales. The story was Out of the Light and it was excellent. This caused me to dig deeper. Who was this mysterious author that I hadn’t heard of before, did he write anything else, and was it as good as Out of the Light?


Well, I now have two of those three questions answered. I can’t say that I know him, but I did find more of his stories on Amazon and after reading Scream Angel, I can tell you that answer is yes for the final question. ... the world needs great story tellers and I feel that Smith deserves to be recognized as such. ...


In a wildly inventive and imagnative story, human emotions of loss, desparation, and love bubble to the surface. I’m usually not a huge fan of heavy sci-fi/fantasy. Most of the time, it requires such a bloated set up to be able to explain everything. I tend to tire of it because many authors have a hard time getting the balance right. ... I can honestly say that Smith does an excellent job in balancing the story and makes for an extremely enjoyable read. I loved the unique characters and premise of the drug, Scream.


The other thing that I found enjoyable is the brief explanation at the end of the story on how he came up with the idea of Scream Angel. It lent a personal touch to the whole thing and allowed the reader to have a glimpse into the creation of it all. I may not know the author, but i’m enjoying getting to know his work. 5 out of 5 stars.

Thanks, Ken!

You can read the full review here. "Scream Angel" first appeared in the anthology Low Port in 2003. It won the Aurora Award in 2004 for best short fiction. It's the lead story in my collection, Chimerascope, and is also available as a stand-alone ebook

Story review: Out of the Light

Out of the Light ebook coveI don't think it gets any better for a writer than to have a reader discover your work for the first time (assuming they like it <grin>). Ken McKinley writes the review blog Into the Macabre and recently discovered my urban fantasy shapeshifter story "Out of the Light" when it was reprinted in Best New Werewolf Tales (Vol.1). He enjoyed the story enough to write a review. Here are the highlights:

It’s Friday the 13th and I discovered a new author today through his fantastic short story, "Out of the Light." ... Such a wonderful and fresh take on the whole werewolf/shapeshifter legend. The storytelling is crisp with vibrant colorful characters that easily appear in your mind. Nice to meet you, Mr. Smith. We’ll be seeing each other again…soon. 5 out 5 stars.

Thanks, Ken!

You can read the full review here. "Out of the Light" first appeared in Dark Wisdom Magazine in 2007. The story is included in my collection, Chimerascope, and is also available as a stand-alone ebook

Convention appearance: Ad Astra 2015 (Toronto)

I'll be attending Ad Astra in Toronto again this year from April 10-12 at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel at 600 HWY-7 E in Richmond Hill (Hwy 7 and Hwy 404). Ad Astra is a long running and excellent con that traditionally has had a strong literary focus. 

Here is my schedule of panel appearances and readings, all conveniently scheduled back-to-back-to-back (sigh) on Saturday night:

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!

Reading event: WordJammin' 2015

This is very short notice, but if you're in Toronto, I'll be one of ten authors doing readings at the inaugural WordJammin' 2015 event, being held Sunday March 15 (tomorrow) at the Yellow Griffin Pub at 2202 Bloor Street West (just east of the Runnymede subway stop) from 2-6 pm. I will be reading at 3:15pm.

No charge, plus there will be book giveaways and books available to purchase at specially discounted pricing. More info here. Hope to see you there!


Interview: Young Explorer's Adventure Guide

Young Explorer's Adventure Guide coverI posted earlier about my story "Jigsaw" appearing in the new young-adult science fiction anthology, The Young Explorer's Adventure Guide, from Dreaming Robot Press. One of my fellow authors in the anthology, Vanessa MacLellan, has kindly been doing a series of interviews on her blog with the other authors. My turn just came up, and you can read the interview here

Again, this is a great YA antho focusing on stories with female protagonists. The book is now available from Amazon.

Foreign Market Listing Updates

For the writers who follow this blog, I've just added three new non-English markets to the Foreign Market List: Visionarium (Austria), SF Comet (China), and Eridan (Croatia). Check them out on the FML.

Bookstore Discounts for US Thanksgiving

Turkey cartoonCanadian Thanksgiving is a distant memory, along with warm fall temperatures and leaves on the trees. But US Thanksgiving is next week, bringing the annual craziness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

So I thought I'd join the annual flood of sales by offering my web site visitors a discount of 35% off of all ebooks in my online bookstore. Just use the coupon code TURKEY35 when you check out. You can use it as many times and on as many ebooks as you like, from now until Dec 2. 


Bringing Diversity to SF: The Young Explorer's Adventure Guide

Young Explorer's Adventure Guide coverI'm thrilled to announce that I'll have a story in a wonderful and important new SF anthology, The Young Explorer's Adventure Guidefrom Dreaming Robot Press.

Aimed at middle grade readers, the anthology's goal is to bring greater diversity to science fiction, a genre that remains dominated by white males, both in terms of writers and characters in SF. This anthology is the first in a planned annual series, and this edition will predominantly feature stories with strong female characters as their protagonists.

The project is being funded by a Kickstarter campaign. They've reached not only their initial goal required to produce the anthology, but also the first three of their stretch goals. The second stretch goal meant my story, "Jigsaw," will be included (woo hoo!). "Jigsaw" first appeared in 2004 in the anthology Odyssey, edited by Julie Czerneda, and features a young female geologist on a spaceship who must solve a planet-sized problem to save her crewmates before time runs out.

Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair: My Report

Inspire! TIBF 2014 panelAs I mentioned earlier, I was one of the author presenters this weekend at INSPIRE!: The Toronto International Book Fair. Yesterday, I had the great pleasure to be on a panel on the Spark Stage at the TIBF with friends and fellow writers, Julie Czerneda and Stephanie Bedwell-Grime, and got the chance to meet Ottawa writer, Andrew Barton, who ably moderated our panel on "Science Fiction: The Future Ain't What It Used to Be." We had a lively and fun discussion with plenty of interesting questions from a packed crowd. Here's a pic of the panel in progress taken by Crystal Huff, who was at the Fair promoting the Helsinki 2017 WorldCon bid.

TIBF 2014 SFWA boothBefore and after the panel, I signed books and helped staff the SFWA booth with fellow SFWA authors from our panelists and other SFWA authors. Here's a photo of the motley crew. Left to right, that is Stephanie, Julie, me, our Canadian SFWA rep, Ottawa writer Matthew Johnson, and Andrew. Not in the picture but also staffing the booth all weekend was Jaym Gates, the SFWA Communications Director. Thanks to another writer friend, Mike Rimar, for taking the photo, and a special thanks to Matthew for coordinating the SFWA booth on behalf of all of us.

Earlier in the day, I managed to catch William Gibson being interviewed about his latest novel, The Peripheral, on the main stage. All in all, I was quite impressed by this inaugural TIBF. Everything was professional and well organized. The volunteer staff were consistently friendly, enthusiastic, and helpful, both for the panel and through the entire weekend. I look forward to another TIBF in 2015.


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