Chimerascope

Chimerascope - Douglas Smith 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 author.Where 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 more 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 genre.I think those who want a strong collection of short stories in the realm of fantasy/sci-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 well.Overall score: 4/5