Spirit Dance

Author: Douglas Smith
Pages: 75
Language: English
ISBN: 9781458001542
Publication date: 24/05/2018
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A shapeshifter must battle his own past to save a friend...

The Heroka are an ancient race of shape shifters, drawing their powers and vitality from their animal totems. Gwyn Blaidd, a Heroka of the wolf totem, has been a recluse ever since a deadly battle years ago with the Tainchel, the covert government agency that hunts the Heroka—a battle that cost him the only woman he ever loved.

But when Gwyn is asked by the head of the Heroka to stop an old friend from killing a powerful logging baron, it begins a chain of events that will force Gwyn to again confront the Tainchel—and his own dark past.

Note: includes an afterword by the author and excerpts from many of his other stories


- Year's Best Fantasy & Horror honorable mention
- One of 50 top stories of the year by Internet SF database rankings


'A vivid and wonderfully written tale about Native Canadian spirits, in the vein of Thomas King.' —Challenging Destiny

'The characters are intriguing and the story beguiling. I would like to read more about these characters.' —SF Crowsnest Book Reviews

'Works on both intimate and epic levels (including a great, high adrenaline battle between armed humans, shape-shifters and forest animals). ... Smith's Heroka are expertly realized and an interesting take on the shape-shifter mythos, and each individual character within the story is just as carefully and finely crafted. Relationships are complex and many-layered, as Doug is able to weave a rich back-story into the lives of his characters... Love, sex, action, intrigue, humour, the complexities of life, tragedy of death, and wonder of rebirth are all packed into 'Spirit Dance'.' — Rainbow Dragon Recommends

'An [example of] the author’s ability to place the possible and impossible side by side to excellent effect in an action packed story.' —Hellnotes

'An adventurous tale that's propelled by character drama ... If this was a Hollywood movie, this would be your blockbuster film, complete with adrenaline-pumping action, expensive special effects, and even a sex scene or two to lure in a mainstream audience.' —Bibliophile Stalker

'Draws on North American Indian myths, particularly the idea of shapeshifters... Smith once more creates a credible and sympathetic protagonist, Gwyn Blaidd, [who] returns to his old stomping ground to help out some fellow shapeshifters who have become embroiled in a conflict with a large logging concern.' —The Fix

'Does interesting things with a love triangle, were-animals and CSIS. (!)' —Christian Sauvé
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Douglas Smith is an award-winning Canadian author described by Library Journal as "one of Canada's most original writers of speculative fiction." His fiction has been published in twenty-six languages and thirty-two countries. His work includes the urban fantasy novel, The Wolf at the End of the World, and the collections Chimerascope, Impossibilia, and La Danse des Esprits. His non-fiction guide for writers, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction, is a must read for any short story writer.

Doug is a three-time winner of Canada's Aurora Award, and has been a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award, CBC's Bookies Award, Canada's juried Sunburst Award, and France's juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane. A short film based on Doug's story "By Her Hand, She Draws You Down" won several awards at film festivals around the world.

His website is www.smithwriter.com and he tweets at twitter.com/smithwritr

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