Chimerascope by Douglas Smith

The first full collection of short fiction from award-winning writer, Douglas Smith


Chimerascope [ki-meer-uh-skohp] — a story of many parts…

A young artist hungers to draw you.
A dinner conversation takes three lifetimes to finish.
A geologist faces a planet-sized, eons-old puzzle to save her crew.
The hero of the Fall of Earth must choose between love and revenge.
A mysterious dancer leads a businessman to a most exclusive nightclub.
A man is born each day into a new life—only to die each night.
A sentient aurora threatens the last of humanity.
A Norse god’s bar in Toronto hosts an unplanned family reunion.
A woman descends into insanity—or is it the end of the world?
A house as big as the world.

Chimerascope is Doug’s first full collection of short fiction, containing sixteen of his best stories, including an award winner, a Best New Horror selection, and eight award finalists. Sixteen stories of fantasy and science fiction that take you from love in fourteenth-century Japan to humanity’s last stand, from virtual reality to the end of reality, from alien drug addictions to a dinner where a man loses everything.

Finalist for the Sunburst Award, the Aurora Award, and the Canadian Broadcast Corporation’s “Bookies Award

Douglas Smith

“Doug Smith is, quite simply, the finest short-story writer Canada has ever produced in the science fiction and fantasy genres, and he’s also the most prolific. His stories are a treasure trove of riches that will touch your heart while making you think.” —Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author

“One of Canada’s most original writers of speculative fiction.” –Library Journal

“A great storyteller with a gifted and individual voice.” –Charles de Lint, award winning author

Douglas Smith is an award-winning author of speculative fiction, with over a million words of fiction sold and a hundred and fifty stories in thirty countries and two dozen languages.

He has twice won Canada’s Aurora Award for speculative fiction, and has been a finalist for the international John W. Campbell Award, Canada’s juried Sunburst Award, the CBC Bookies award, and France’s juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane.

Doug has published three collections of short fiction:

CHIMERASCOPE (published in print by ChiZine, 2010) – Finalist for the Sunburst Award, Aurora Award, and CBC Bookies Award

IMPOSSIBILIA (published in print by PS Publishing, 2008 and in ebook by Lucky Bat Books just last month) – Finalist for the Aurora Award

LA DANSE DES ESPRITS (published in print by Dreampress, 2011) – Finalist for France’s Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane

An independent film producer recently released a multi-award winning short film based on Doug’s story “By Her Hand, She Draws You Down.” Films based on his stories “A State of Disorder” and “Memories of the Dead Man” are also in the works.

Learn more about Doug at: or follow him on Twitter:

Reviews of Chimerascope


“Smith’s writing, evocative yet understated, gracefully brings to life his imagined realms.” — Quill and Quire *Starred Review*

“Smith paints his worlds so well that you are transported within a paragraph or two and remain in transit until the story ends.” –Broken Pencil, The Magazine of Zine Culture and the Independent Arts

“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.” –Cory Redekop

“Douglas Smith is an extraordinary author whom every lover of quality speculative fiction should read.” –Fantasy Book Critic

“Smith is definitely an author who deserves to be more widely read.” –Strange Horizons

“I’ve yet to read a work of his that wasn’t beautifully written, but more than that, his stories resonate with a deep understanding of the human condition as well as a characteristic wry wonder… Stories you can’t forget, even years later.” –Julie Czerneda, award-winning author and editor

“An ambitious and adventurous new writer.” –Gardner Dozois, author and editor

“Smith is a master of beginnings … some of the most well-crafted hooks you’ll find anywhere: deft introductions to the characters and their not-quite-familiar worlds packed into just a sentence or two that draw the reader in. As for the endings … Smith’s tendency is to forego the shocking twist for endings that feel satisfying and right, a trade-off that I’ll take any day.” –Canadian Science Fiction Reviews

“…Chimerascope is a massively enjoyable trek through the far-fetched, the horrifying, and the flat-out weird, all filtered through Smith’s remarkable imagination and prodigious talent. … Although Smith’s tales may centre on the fantastic, what is immediately notable is his steady grasp of character, which lends humanity to even the most absurd situations. The stories in this collection traverse genres and styles — from outright horror to witty surrealism to martial-arts mythology — without missing a beat. … ‘The Dancer at the Red Door,’ with its mix of oblique horror, urban fantasy, and monsters equipped with pincers extending ‘from each side of a slit-like mouth,’ recalls Clive Barker at his most disturbingly fanciful. … The closing story, the post-apocalyptic narrative ‘Memories of the Dead Man,’ contains echoes of Stephen King. Chimerascope is a sterling set, with nary a weak or disposable entry. Smith’s writing, evocative yet understated, gracefully brings to life his imagined realms.”  Quill and Quire (Starred Review)

“From a bittersweet tale of love amid the savagery of human galactic conquest (“Scream Angel”) to a postapocalyptic story of a righteous gunman known only as the Dead Man (“Memories of the Dead Man”), the 16 stories in this collection showcase the inventive mind and immense storytelling talent of one of Canada’s most original writers of speculative fiction. Covering the spectrum from sf (“Enlightenment”) to horror (“By Her Hand, She Draws You Down”) to fantasy (“The Boys Are Back in Town”), Smith writes with a keen eye for detail and atmosphere, crafting each story with wit and perception. VERDICT: Twice winner of Canada’s Aurora Award, Smith writes stories that will appeal to fans of such literary sf writers such as Jack Vance and Gene Wolfe.” — Library Journal

“Smith is obviously a gifted writer in the genre of science-fiction. … Smith paints his worlds so well that you are transported within a paragraph or two and remain in transit until the short story ends — a challenging feat to be sure. Smith takes common science-fiction topics, such as love between alien races, and manages to find a new way to have his tales unfold. … Smith tells them with a flair that breathes life into his characters. … [The] familiar traits that drive human needs and wants — such as ambition, pride, love, hate and fear — are what piece these stories together and give them a life of their own.” —Broken Pencil, The Magazine of Zine Culture and the Independent Arts

“Smith’s second collection (after 2008’s Impossibilia) delivers an entertaining selection of stories that deftly span multiple genres, often milking surprisingly original tales out of tired tropes. The Zelazny-inspired “The Boys Are Back in Town” nicely toes the line between quirky humor and pathos. “State of Disorder,” featuring a classic mad scientist out for revenge, is a neat twist on time travel and quantum physics. “Jigsaw,” a young adult tale, is a fun romp involving aliens and continental drift. The best of the bunch, “By Her Hand, She Draws You Down,” is a haunting variant on the vampire legend with an understated and brutal ending.” — Publishers Weekly

“An engaging and entertaining volume, pieces of whose content resonate after the book is finished.” —Booklist

Chimerascope confirms for me what Impossibilia affirmed, namely that Douglas Smith is an extraordinary author whom every lover of quality speculative fiction should read. Rating: A+” — Fantasy Book Critic

“Smith’s voice proves one of the more endearing features of this sampling of his work, which holds true even in his individual story prefaces—an authorial vice that can be distracting, but in Smith’s hands remains charming. … Throughout Smith shows a real gift for truly “cinematic” description…with arrestingly inventive premises in a field where really interesting new ideas are harder and harder to find. … [Chimerascope] speaks volumes of his range and future potential. … Smith is definitely an author who deserves to be more widely read.” —Strange Horizons

“A superb collection… Spanning a wide spectrum of classic sci-fi, stories inspired by mythology, and post-apocalyptic fiction, this is a collection you’ll want to own and re-read. … It’s a complex mix: one of the many reasons this collection succeeds so powerfully.” —Ideomancer Magazine

“An absolutely stunning short story collection of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, one of the best I’ve ever read.” — Corey Redekop, award-winning author of Shelf Monkey

“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.”  2011 Sunburst Award jury

“There 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.— Innsmouth Free Press

“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.” — Sleepless eReader

“I found Smith to be an especially talented storyteller. His characters ring true, and he creatively crafts worlds and situations that I found haunted my thoughts long after I had finished reading.”  —Fluidity of Time

“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. …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.” —Terry Grignon, Golbing book reviews

“I remain in awe of the range of writing he has produced, and how often his stories have merited award nominations or received awards.” —Bureau 42