Saturday, May 1, 2010

Chimerascope by Douglas Smith

Well, this was definitely a different kind of read.   I had bought this book for my library's collection (and I suppose I should clarify here - I work in a public library, and develop various parts of our collection.  SF/F is one of them), and grabbed it when it came in.     I wasn't familiar with this author, but I was intrigued by the idea of short stories --- and the title.  I love the word chimera.     What I found here completely met my expectations.    

But first, let's see what Goodreads has to say about what's in this book:  "Chimerascope-a story of many parts. 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 man is born each day into a new life-only to die each night. A sentient aurora threatens the last of humanity. A 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 award-winning Canadian author, Douglas Smith. 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."

And here's what I thought:   I like short stories, especially if I'm not familiar with an author, because I get to sample what their writing style is like, how well they build their characters, and how wide their range is.   Admittedly, I didn't love all of the stories in this collection, but I'm okay with that.   However, for the two I skimmed, I completely fell into the worlds in some of the other stories.  Scream Angel was especially horrifying and compelling, and I wound up re-reading it again after I had finished the book.  Some of the stories felt more fleshed-out than others, but Smith does a quick intro to each story, indicating when it was written, etc., and I found this really helpful.   However, 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.     Definitely a book I'm going to add to my "want" list.


WonderBunny said...

Sounds interesting. I do have a rough time with short stories. They leave me thirsting for more and it isn't there so I in the end, I wind up disappointed.

I liked the chimera thing too.

Jen said...

I like short stories once in a while (because I can read one, put the book down, pick it up again and not feel completely lost). But I know what you mean about thirsting for more -- I'm going to look for more by this author now. :)

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