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Chimerascope Paperback – November 15, 2012
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Digging Into Literature
Explore literary analysis with this featured resource from Macmillan.
--Quill and Quire (*Starred Review*)
"The stories in this collection showcase the inventive mind and immense storytelling talent of one of Canada's most original writers of speculative fiction."
"Smith's second collection delivers an entertaining selection of stories that deftly span multiple genres."
"An engaging and entertaining volume, pieces of whose content resonate after the book is finished."
"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+"
--The Fantasy Book Critic
"A massively enjoyable trek through the far-fetched, the horrifying, and the flat-out weird, all filtered through Smith's remarkable imagination and equally notable talent. --Quill and Quire (*Starred Review*) (added by author)
The stories in this collection showcase the inventive mind and immense storytelling talent of one of Canada's most original writers of speculative fiction. --Library Journal (added by author)
Smith's second collection delivers an entertaining selection of stories that deftly span multiple genres. --Publishers Weekly (added by author)
An engaging and entertaining volume, pieces of whose content resonate after the book is finished.--Booklist (added by author)
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+ --The Fantasy Book Critic (added by author)
Doug Smith is, quite simply, the finest short story writer Canada has ever produced in the science fiction and fantasy genres. His stories are a treasure trove of riches that will touch your heart while making you think. -----Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of HOMINIDS
An ambitious and adventurous new writer. --- --Gardner Dozois, author and editor
An ambitious and adventurous new writer. -----Gardner Dozois, author and editor
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Top Customer Reviews
My favourite in the collection was "Scream Angel," with my new favourite first line: They stopped beating Trelayne when they saw that he enjoyed it. I surprisingly also liked "By Her Hand, She Draws You Down." I generally don't like horror, so it was a surprise to have enjoyed this one as much as I did.
The 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 more to do with the editing than the writing.
This 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 unique 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 flawlessly.
What 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 credit.
Let’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 one.Read more ›
Another of Smith's strengths is structure. I'm in awe of his ability to choose just the right voice, POV, and timelines for his stories. He includes enough details to show the reader the depth of each world without bogging down the story in description. No matter how short the story, their worlds feel fully formed. Best of all, Smith's stories have endings! I realize how funny that might sound but there seems to be this disturbing trend now of short stories that have no real conclusion. The last page arrives and the reader is left with ...no resolution, good or bad. This drives me batty and, in my opinion, is a mark of lazy storytelling. Smith's stories may not always end happily but there is always a resolution.
It's difficult for me to choose a single favourite out of the collection but because I like dark protagonists "Scream Angel" and "Memories of the Dead Man" probably top my list. "State of Disorder" ranks a close third for its deliciously nasty villain, complex plot, and lovely twist.
Many of these stories were award winners and rightfully so. If you love speculative fiction, short stories, and masterful storytelling, Chimerascope needs to be on your bookshelf.