Chimerascope Kindle µ Ebook


  • ebook
  • 332 pages
  • Chimerascope
  • Douglas Smith
  • English
  • 07 February 2014

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ChimerascopeAnother Goodreads giveaway title I was notified on April 09 2010 that it should arrive in 4 6 weeks and thank yuhGot it in the mail today April 28th It has to wait a bitJune 29 2010Douglas Smith starts Chimerascope ki meer uh scope with an award winning story “Scream Angel”; which starts with an award winning line “They stopped beating Trelayne when they saw that he enjoyed it”Right from the start I was hookedIn all there are sixteen stories that dip their feet in fantasy science fiction and horror I don’t know if I have a favorite because they were all very good But if were written about the Deadmen I’d hop on for the rideA lot of writers find a stylistic formula for story telling that works for them and stick with it The best can switch gears seemingly at will and tell their tales in different ways; like working with the whole spice cabinet instead of dousing everything with garlic Douglas certainly uses the whole spice cabinetThe artist in ‘By Her Hand She Draws You Down’ is revealed carefully with a delightful twist Big G is expertly portrayed in ‘Going Harvey in the Big House’ ‘The Dancer at the Red Door’ is a great distraction for the real story Each story has a memorable uality about itI generally shy away from stories that use names with apostrophes in the middle as an effort to lend a far away feel So I cringed a little when I got to ‘Enlightenment’ and read “They’re dead now the Be’nans Ta’klu was the last to die” The subject death of those two lines kept me going and I found that even that tired use of apostrophes can’t keep a good story downEach story starts with comments from the author He talks of inspiration publication awards and personal thoughts which set the reader up with an appetizer before the next course I wish writers would do thatThe only thing this collection lacks is deadwood These are all award winningwinnable tales There is something for every taste included between these coversThanks Doug for entertaining me Jury selection for Sunburst Award short listAurora Award Finalist for Best CollectionCBC Bookies Award Finalist for Best Collection Chimerascope a story of many parts A dinner conversation takes three lifetimes to finishA geologist faces a planet sized eons old puzzle to save her crewThe hero of the Fall of Earth must choose between love and revengeA man is born each day into a new life only to die each nightA sentient aurora threatens the last of humanityA house as big as the world These are some of the stories you will encounter in Chimerascope the first full collection of short fiction from multi award winning Canadian author Douglas Smith Sixteen engaging 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 Douglas Smith offers a brilliant collection of sixteen short stories all award nominations or winners I understand this is his second published short story collection but for me this is my introduction to the authorWhere some authors may offer reflections upon similar themes Smith's short stories are certainly fitting to their respective title giving a range of distinct characters in various situations that are colorful sometimes whimsical sometimes horrifying in the realm of speculative fiction I think with the variant tones within the work its easy to be pulled into the stories in themselves some striking those of different flavors than others For me some of the strongest stories came across in the award winning Scream Angel which depicts an interesting variation of addiction in a drug where lust and violence produce the same exhilration the sweet but melancholic The Red Bird the potent horror By Her Hand She Draws You Down one of my personal favorites and even the tantalizing allusions within The Dancer at the Red Door Probably the only story in this collection that didn't strike me as much as the others was New Years Eve which draws upon the Y2K fears before the turn of the millenium but even that I found to be well written for its respective genreI think those who want a strong collection of short stories in the realm of fantasysci fi with wonderfully imaginative settings characters and the ability of those stories to stick with you should give this collection a go I'm definitely going to look into Smith's work beyond this as wellOverall score 45 Last year I had the opportunity to read and review ‘PS Showcase #5 Impossibilia’ by Douglas Smith Had I been seeking fault in the slim anthology I might have simply lamented the fact that there were only three stories Of course three stories from Douglas Smith are to be treasured but like most human beings I acknowledge and indulge in the sin of greed I wanted My wish was granted and I did receive three hundred and thirty two pages of ‘Chimerascope’ is the first full collection of stories by Canadian Science Fiction and fantasy author Douglas Smith The anthology features a wonderful introduction by Julie Czerneda another author whose writing I really enjoy Her words properly describe Douglas Smith’s devotion to his craft through both his characters and stories; I really couldn’t say it any better No matter who or what he’s writing about his effort and care is always clearly evident There is also a fine introduction by the author himself in which he defines the title of his anthology ‘Chimerascope’ He likens assembling the collection of stories to ‘building a chimera’ and the manner in which we view it as the scope Of course his explanation is a lot elouent than mine There are sixteen stories in this collection and the author takes the time to not only introduce each one but often comments afterwards as well To me one of the pleasures of reading an anthology of short stories is reading author’s comments on their own work I enjoy hearing about the inspiration behind the stories and what the writer hoped to achieve afterwards often echoing the thoughts I have been left with It’s a richer experience It is rare to find a collection where all the stories resonate and truthfully not all of these did for me But I read all of them in an effort to appreciate the breadth of Mr Smith’s imagination and talent His mind wanders far But though I normally pick my three favourite stories to talk about when reviewing an anthology I honestly had a hard time choosing only three this time Now this does happen a lot I’m addicted to short stories I love them Though my uest for the perfect short story has been resolved several times many many times I keep looking for I acknowledged my greed earlier remember? I have chosen my customary three but I’m sure no one will mind least of all Mr Smith himself if I mention just a couple others as well The first story of the collection is called ‘Scream Angel’ This is one I want to mention The first story in any anthology is carefully chosen This is where the reader will either put aside the volume or eagerly move on I enjoyed ‘Scream Angel’ and it did remind me of the reason I loved the author’s writing his characterisation attention to detail and recurring themes of love faith and redemption It also encouraged me to turn the page and read That’s a lot of praise for one of the stories that didn’t make it into my top three There’s a wealth of such experiences in this collection My first favourite is ‘The Red Bird’ In the simplest possible terms I loved this tale It had a definite beginning middle and end and while there were parts I’d love to see expanded the life of Shirotori for example it works beautifully as it is In the author’s own words ‘‘Red Bird’ is a fable set in what might or might not be late fourteenth century Japan’ It has the feel of a myth or legend about a boy who finds that his destiny is closely entwined with the destiny of a people But rather than repeat a tale we’ve all read before the author has written something subtly new The boy has a personality all his own He has a good relationship with his mentor finds love becomes a father and also has his trials This story is filled with all the elements of a longer tale Honestly I could have read it forever The ending was that perfect combination of sadness and hope My second favourite was ‘By Her Hand She Draws You Down’ The author notes this is his first horror story and it’s creepy A young woman has an unusual artistic talent one that frightens her boyfriend To tell you anything would be to rob you of the pleasure of finding it all out for yourself The ending had me chewing on my lip even though I thought I knew what would happen I didn’t really know Which is just how it should be Before talking about my last favourite can I just uickly mention ‘The Last Ride’? Valkyries Need I say ? Really it’s a good good story and exemplifies the best elements of Douglas Smith’s writing A Valkyrie falls for her hero gives up her immortality for him then has to make that inevitable and awful choice afterwards As always even for such a brief time there is so much life in these characters I don’t bother to marvel at how uickly I come to care for Douglas Smith’s people any it’s a given Hands down my favourite story in this volume was ‘Going Harvey In The Big House’ I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of a city that encompasses what we know of the known world JG Ballard wrote a couple good stories along this theme as did David Wingrove I’m sure there are others In Douglas Smith’s version the ‘House’ is well conceived but as always it’s his characters that drive the story Big G is pitch perfect Every aspect of his personality is just spot on Though he’s not a completely accessible character portrayed as being not as intelligent as a usual protagonist he is completely there and three dimensional and his reactions and motivations are plausible It works The ending is just right It couldn’t have been any other way and I agree with the author’s summary comments regarding such What is the story about? Big G discovers that there is a sky outside the ‘House’ and the story covers his growing realization that the world consists of than four walls and the daily routine that has been instilled into him since birth More than the truths that have been fed to him by those who are supposed to have all the knowledge The final two stories ‘A Taste Sweet And Salty’ and ‘The Dead Man’ are also both wonderful entries I had to just uickly mention them ‘Taste’ has a flavour that lingers and ‘Dead Man’ was a wonderful example of the places this author is unafraid to go Tempting as it is to sit here and tell you about these stories I really must and would rather encourage you to go out and read this volume for yourself It is an experience well worth any effort reuired As always I look forward to from Douglas Smith Yes I am waiting for review written for and originally published at sfcrowsnestcom This is a collection of short stories that was almost perfectly geared to my reading tastes I only had one story that didn't really appeal to me but the rest had me very intrigued I would read a story or three in a sitting because I just wanted to enjoy reading this book over a longer period of time instead of diving straight through it I'll probably be re reading this in the near future because I enjoyed it so much I love Douglas Smith's stories they are always a great mix of fantasy science strong characters and a compelling storyline This is a collection of short stories all of them of good uality I particularly liked The Boys are Back in Town Out of the Light Enlightenment and A Taste Sweet and Salty But don't let me bias your choices they are all great stories and there is something there for everyone Douglas Smith is an outstanding writer Then again Roy Halladay is a Cy Young Award winning pitcher but he can't throw a change upThe Chimerascope collection highlights Smith's prodigious strengths but by exposing weaknesses that I wouldn't have known about no less bring up here if only his best works had been included This doesn't happen very often but the flaws in this book have to do with the editing than the writingThis anthology is my first exposure to Smith so here's what I take away He is a fundamentally strong author who commands sparse yet evocative description and presents characters who are uniue enough to be believable yet archetypal enough to shoehorn into the short story format The most amazing thing about his craft is the way he takes an experimental ignore all the rules approach to selecting a POV then executes it flawlesslyWhat takes me out of his stories though is trope Smith does SF a whole lot better than he does fantasy The first and last stories are absolutely Chimerascope's best and that at least should accrue to editor Julie Czerneda's creditLet's look at the last one first Memories of the Dead Man is a retelling of Mad Max That's not a slam; it's a compliment The lone damaged hero riding to the rescue was already a moneymaker to the eighth century scop who wrote Beowulf The main issue I had with Dead Man is that the main character Bishop had what were in essence supernatural powers which weren't really necessary and we don't know the extent of them until the climax My nit is that a character who calls himself Bishop is chasing after a bad guy who's referred to as Pope an intentional choice and a bad oneScream Angel lives in a universe where humanity has taken to the stars and ruled by a greedy and all consuming Corporation exploits the plentiful life around it This was pretty standard sci fi even before Ridley Scott took the first lens cap off to film Alien But the reason why it was so familiar is because damn it it works And it works as well as ever when Smith is at the keyboard His seuel Enlightenment wasn't as successful because it devolves into metaphysical mumbo jumbo that seems out of place in the far future settingAre we detecting a pattern?When Smith is writing real science fiction whether it's far future or post apocalyptic he is at his best which is really really good But when he lapses into fantasy he is at best hit or miss The Red Bird is an interesting Japanese themed adventure that is one of the better fantasy stories By Her Hand She Draws You Down is a compelling dark fantasy that could be mainstream horror if it had a dash grue but better that it doesn't New Year's Eve is a uarter century too late to ualify as cyberpunk and you can't even call this science fiction any since the real science around virtual reality is a whole lot cooler than what we Smith shows us here Doug for 400 you can get Xbox with a Kinect controller and two games I didn't like The Boys Are Back in Town because a the mythological gods hang out in a bar has been done to death Patrick Thomas for one revisits this every few months and b mythological gods make horrible heroes and villains in contemporary settings because the author can pretty much make up their strengths and weaknesses as he goes along; as Bruce Campbell might say Good? Bad? I'm the one who's omnipotentMost annoying of all was The Dancer in the Red Door It's a paint by numbers urban fantasy and I knew what I was in for as soon as I realized that the fabulously rich immensely powerful protagonist was named Alexander King which couldn't be trite if his middle name were WellhungOn the plus side State of Disorder was one of my favorites Again it's familiar territory but it's sci fi territory Set in the present day it shows how a person's fortunes can change as the result of small happenstances It asks the uestion What if I can go back and change the happenstances that made my life less than optimal? We've all asked that A lot of us have written stories about that Smith does it with eual copious measures of heart and brain Going Harvey in the Big House is far future sci fi that's hard to describe without spoiling the ending let's just say it's worth itUltimately I'm giving this book four stars Two thirds of the stories are well worth the read so on average the collection as a whole is A shorter or better selected Douglas Smith anthology would've gotten five out of five from me I certainly look forward to where his work might take me in the future Beautifully created worlds Highly recommend this book Each story left me with something to think about days later Really enjoyed this collection of short stories This book is like one of those dishes you order at a restaurant or a dessert at a cafe you need to savor it slowly to allow every mouthful to dissolve and taste each bit of flavor It was phenomenalWhat drew me in with this one is not just the gorgeous cover but also the title When I was reading it in class I had people ask me what it was about because the title caught their attention The contents of this book are of course the true hidden gem and I'm so surprised that this book is not hugely popular it has so much to offerI'm a lover of fantasy and sci fi though not the kind of sci fi that is so futuristic that I'm compelled to reach for a dictionary every couple of sentences In several of the stories the two aspects are intertwined very well and it's a completely new level of storytelling You get everything here from alien species to a completely different look at the Norse gods to a romance in China during the 14th century Each one is a totally new world that just draws you in and what I loved even was that many almost all of the stories were set in Canada specifically in Toronto It's just a personal thing however because I find there aren't enough books that are set in Toronto which has so much ground to be tilled for the eager author It would be a lie if I said that I loved every single one of these stories because I didn't and that's something which happens rather rarely But from every story there was something to pull out a description a character the thought embedded into the story Several of them made me tear up one actually made me full on cry Maybe I'm just a sensitive involved reader however I don't think this wouldn't happen to a handful of other people who read this A story a day that's what this literary doctor prescribes It would be an overwhelming impact if you read the whole book or even a majority of it in one day as hard as it would be to resist that temptation Let yourself percolate after each one and the impact will be even greater I could keep singing praises about this one but you really need to pick it up in order to understand what I'm talking about If I was ever a teacher I'd definitely choose this book for my class to read no matter how much they'd groan or refuse It's a book anyone could read and at least in my opinion everyone SHOULD


About the Author: Douglas Smith

Robert J Sawyer award winning authorA great storyteller with a gifted and individual voice —Charles de LintHi Thanks for visiting I'm a multi award winning Canadian author of fantasy SF horror supernatural and the ever popular undefinable with over a hundred story sales in thirty five countries and twenty six languages around the worldI have won Canada's Aurora Award for speculative fiction three times and have been a finalist for the international Astounding Award Canada's juried Sunburst Award the CBC Bookies award and France's juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob MoraneMy book length works include