cover image Chimerascope


Douglas Smith. Chizine, $16.95 (332pp) ISBN 978-0-9812978-5-9

Smith’s second collection (after 2008’s Impossibilia ) delivers an entertaining selection of 17 stories that deftly span multiple genres, often milking surprisingly original tales out of tired tropes. The Zelazny-inspired “The Boys Are Back in Town” nicely toes the line between quirky humor and pathos. “State of Disorder,” featuring a classic mad scientist out for revenge, is a neat twist on time travel and quantum physics. “Jigsaw,” a young adult tale, is a fun romp involving aliens and continental drift. The best of the bunch, “By Her Hand, She Draws You Down,” is a haunting variant on the vampire legend with an understated and brutal ending. Even the occasional subpar story is worth reading for Smith’s innovative use of classic genre concepts. The introductions all provide nice context, though Smith occasionally overexplains in afterwords. (Mar.)