By: Douglas Smith* | Other books by Douglas Smith*
Published By: Douglas Smith
Published: Nov 22, 2012
ISBN # 9780991800704
Published By: Douglas Smith
Published: Nov 22, 2012
ISBN # 9780991800704
Word Count: 102,000
Available in: Epub, Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.prc)
DescriptionChimerascope [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".
Reader Rating: Not rated (0 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating: Not rated
From Quill and Quire"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. ... 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."
From Robert J. Sawyer, award winning author"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."
From Library Journal"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. Smith writes with a keen eye for detail and atmosphere, crafting each story with wit and perception."
From Broken Pencil Magazine"Smith paints his worlds so well that you are transported within a paragraph or two and remain in transit until the story ends. ... 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."
From Sunburst Award Jury"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."
“One of those natures that the ancient fables tell of, as that of the Chimera or Skylla or Kerberos, and the numerous other examples that are told of many forms grown together in one.”
— Plato, Republic 588c (trans. Shorey)
Chi•mer•a (ki-meer-uh, kahy-meer-uh) noun
1. A fire-breathing monster of Greek mythology, commonly represented with a lion’s head, a she-goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail. The Chimera ravaged Lycia before being killed by Bellerophon with the aid of Pegasus.
2. Any imaginary creature made up of grotesquely disparate parts.
3. An impossible or foolish fantasy.
-scope (skohp) suffix
1. An instrument used for viewing or examination.
Chi•mer•a•scope (ki-meer-uh-skohp) noun
2. An instrument, in book form, used for viewing a disparate (but hopefully, not grotesquely so) collection of impossible (but hopefully not foolish) fantasies.
3. Or not...
The book you are holding doesn’t breathe fire, nor does it harbour (to the best of my knowledge) any plans to ravage Lycia. Yet assembling this book, my first “full” collection of short fiction, made me feel like I was building a chimera.
Now, writers are used to building fantastic creatures. We call them stories. We construct them from the pieces of ourselves that make us who we are — all the accumulated detritus of a lifetime of experiences, good and bad, happy and sad, remembered and imagined.
These story creatures remain caged inside our heads and our souls, until we write them into freedom, releasing them into the world, unleashing them on an unsuspecting humanity. And then we do it again. Another story. Another metaphorical monster ready to ravage some symbolic Lycia.
The problem comes when we try to recapture these beasts and squoosh them into a larger creature of the imagination called a story collection. The resulting creation often consists of, as per definition #2, “grotesquely disparate parts.”
But maybe they do fit. Maybe you can’t see the stitches where I’ve sewn these tales together, one after another, back to back, in some supposed order, to build the bigger beast. Or worse (from the writer’s perspective), the larger creature may be only too coherent.
I’m sure that I have themes that I deal with repeatedly in my writing. Perhaps the creations that are my stories, assembled together here in this chimera that you hold, will reveal that larger creature, a thing built from loves and hates, dreams and fears, prejudices and paranoias. I just can’t say that this larger creature appears clearly to me.
I know that I write about characters that I care about and like to spend time with. I know I write about love — lost, found, and lost again. I know that my preferred ending is bittersweet, because that’s how I see life. I write about myths, because they have endured for a reason. I write about people with things inside them, because we all have things inside us.
In short, I write about a lot of things, which makes this book the chimera that it is.
When I was assembling this collection, I found, to my surprise, that I couldn’t include all the stories that I wanted to. So some stories will have to wait for the next collection, if there is one. What I’ve included here are my own favourites and favourites of fans who have been kind enough over the years to tell me so. All of the stories, save one new one that appears here for the first time, have appeared in professional magazines and anthologies. This collection includes early stories through to more recent ones, and spans just over a decade of my writing. It includes a mix of SF, fantasy, horror, and surreal, sometimes in the same story. And, in case you believe that awards are any indication of merit, it includes one Aurora Award winner (a Canadian thingy), nine Aurora finalists, a Best New Horror selection, and three Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror honourable mentions.
I struggled with how to arrange the stories. By genre? Mood? Style? Date written? Date published? In the end, does it matter? I mean, you’re going to read them all, right? Right?
Well, in the end, I had to put them in some order. So, since this collection is an assemblage of disparate parts, I went with a disparate ordering as well. I’ve arranged them more or less chronologically, with most of the older stories in the first half, but I’ve tried to alternate stories in terms of genre, mood, and length. So as much as possible, the stories will move from fantasy to SF to horror and back again, from sad to upbeat, from dystopic futures to hopeful ones, from love lost to happily ever after.
And hopefully, assembled as they are, these many forms will grow together into one.