Douglas Smith's blog

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!

"Spirit Dance" to be reprinted (yet again) in a new anthology

I just resold "Spirit Dance," the first story I ever wrote and first I ever sold, to the upcoming anthology, The Beast Within #2. This is the 30th sale for this tale of shape-shifters, love, shadowy government agencies, and the environment. "Spirit Dance" is included in my collection, Impossibilia. You can read an excerpt here and reviews here. Here's the cover from its original appearance in the Canadian anthology series, Tesseracts. This story started my fiction career, and it's great to know that the tale still has legs (especially since my first novel, "Spirit Dreams," is based on the characters from "Spirit Dance.")

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):

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.

Czech Mag IKARIE dies and XB-1 is born

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that I resell a lot of my short fiction as translated reprints to non-English markets. One of my favourite foreign markets has always been the long-running Czech mag, Ikarie. These are two sample covers from issues where I've had stories appear. Sadly, Ikarie has folded after 20 years and 247 issues. Its last issue was published in November 2010. I had one more story published in Ikarie before it passed away ("Doorways" in their July 2010 issue. I'll post the cover when I get my contributor copy). But the good news is that Ikarie's editors are starting a new magazine, XB-1. And from my selfish perspective, the even better news is that they will be publishing one of my stories, "State of Disorder," that had been planned for Ikarie before its demise in their inaugural issue. See the cover to the right. Best of luck to the editors on the new mag!

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!

Locus Poll Award: Let's show CZP authors some love!

Locus is one of the major news sources for SF and fantasy, and if you're a Locus subscriber then voting is free, so give it a look. Vote for what you enjoyed and spread the word!

Locus Poll

And if I could suggest, here are the 2010 titles from ChiZine Publications, the most excellent publisher of my recent collection:

Chimerascope by Douglas Smith (collection)
Chasing the Dragon by Nicholas Kaufman (novella)
Thief of Broken Toys by Tim Lebbon (novella)
A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files (fantasy/first novel)
Katya from the Punk Band by Simon Logan (thriller/SF? novel)
Cities of Night by Phil Nutman (collection)
Nexus: Ascension by Bob Boyczuk (SF novel)
Sarah Court by Craig Davidson (SF novel/collection?)
In the Mean Time by Paul Tremblay (collection)
Major Karnage by Gord Zajac (SF/First novel)
Hair Wreath by Halli Villegas (collection)
People Live Still in Cashtown Corners (novella)

...and of course, ChiZine Publications for best Book Publisher. Well, duh...

ChiZine Publications to Host Online Review Contest

Toronto-based ChiZine Publications, the most excellent publisher of my collection, Chimerascope, will begin holding a monthly contest to encourage readers to post reviews on Amazon and GoodReads for the opportunity to win CZP eBooks. The press release from CZP follows:

“Reviews are one of the most important ways of getting the word out about our books,” says CZP Marketing Manager Laura Marshall. “We not only want to increase the interest in what we’re doing, but we want to encourage readers to take our stories seriously and join the conversation. Seeing reader responses is what keeps things interesting for us.”

To participate:

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.


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