Those of you wishing to locate Dave’s most recent publications are welcome to look on newsstands and in traditional, brick-and-mortar bookstores. Checking the bibliography page is a handy way to learn what has just appeared and is therefore probably still in print. Selected out-of-print paper editions are listed for sale on the flea market page.
A large portion of Dave’s work has been available in the recent past in electronic form, particularly through the Fictionwise website. These works as well as additional material will soon be re-released. In the meantime, they are temporarily unavailable. The following blurbs describe material that was available in the past and will be available in the future. In the meantime, thanks for your patience.
Dennis Short, a Navy corpsman stationed in Hawaii after a tour of Vietnam, is looking forward to his two-week sojourn to the island of Kahoolawe. The island, just off Maui, is uninhabited. It is used strictly as a heavy-ordnance target range by the U.S. military. Sent along as the medic of a team of forward observers whose job it is to coordinate the bombing, strafing, and shelling of the range, all Short anticipates doing is working on his tan, watching the fireworks, and, on days off, getting in a little fishing and hunting on an exclusive, untamed preserve.
But this trip is not like the other visits to Kahoolawe that he has enjoyed. From the first day, he is plagued by an oppressive sense that he is being manipulated. And beginning the first night, he slips into a dreamlike world populated by beings of myth who tempt him, frighten him, force him to become part of their battles with each other. As when he was in Vietnam, Short has little control over his circumstances, no clear understanding what the players want, and no idea how to remove himself from their violent struggle.
Kahoolawe becomes the stage on which ancient, archetypal conflicts are played out. The daytime world is full of bombs and unnerving companions, and the herd of feral goats that roam the island behave with an uncanny aura of strategy and calculation. The nighttime world is more frightening still.
Short thought his tour of war was over, but another has taken its place.
“...a searing, haunting, frightening tale.” --David Bradley, The New York Times Book Review
“Piper in the Night is my favorite kind of book, an intense, carefully constructed short novel that blurs the boundaries of location and time. I am delighted to see Dave Smeds venture into the territory of the surreal, and I guarantee you this: Long after you've finished reading Piper in the Night, you will wonder whether you read it, dreamt it, or lived it.” --Janet Berliner, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Children of the Dusk
“Nebula Award nominee Smeds should only enhance his reputation with this well-crafted dark fantasy set during the Vietnam War. Mixing distinctly diverse elements into a coherent story with a success that would have eluded most genre authors, Smeds has created one of the better fantasies to come out of the Vietnam experience.” --Publishers Weekly
A rich, adventure-filled high fantasy novel, The Sorcery Within is also a portrait of culture clash. With only her twin brother to accompany and support her, a woman warrior from a beleaguered kingdom must live among a tribe of fierce desert nomads as a man, because in the nomads’ culture, only men can be warriors, and women are regarded as soulless. Both the twins and the nomads must adjust, for each side holds keys to the salvation of both their peoples.
“A remarkable book...head and shoulders above the others.” --Orson Scott Card, Science Fiction Review
“One of the finest pieces of fantasy I’ve read in the last few years...as close to perfect as you are going to find!” --Chuq Von Rospach, OtherRealms
“Fascinating...well-crafted...exotic.” --John C. Bunnell, Dragon
Alemar and Elenya struggle to defend their homeland against their arch-enemy’s most powerful mage. A young warrior stolen from his home and culture must come to accept his role as the chief weapon against the sentient dragon whose armies threaten the entire civilized lands of Tanagaran.
“Dave Smeds writes fantasy with the inventiveness and rigor of the best sort of hard science fiction. His story of a world being conquered by a Hitlerian dragon is so real that when you set it on the same shelf with woodsy-elvesy fantasies, within a week they crumble into dust. Most of all, though, what impresses me is the way Smeds makes all his characters deep enough to have the illusion of life, a bit of magic that most fantasy writers never quite master.” --Orson Scott Card, F&SF
“The Sorcery Within was one of the best first novels I’ve read...I’m happy to say The Schemes of Dragons avoids the sophomore letdown. Smeds has built a complex society into the book, with many things happening in different areas at the same time. While this book is technically a sequel, the story it tells stands alone, so there’s no need to read The Sorcery Within to enjoy it to its fullest. I recommend this strongly.” --Chuq Von Rospach, OtherRealms
The above two books began the trilogy The War of the Dragons. When the pair appear next, they will be accompanied by the conclusion to the series, The Wizard’s Nemesis.
A superb gathering of Dave’s short works called Embracing the Starlight has been issued by Dark Regions Press in cooperation with Tachyon Publications. It is available in two formats. The trade paperback ($15.95) contains twelve works including one story never before published. The book includes a foreword and substantial individual-story introductions. Purchase it from your favorite regular book source, or buy direct from Tachyon. ISBN 1-888993-32-4. There is also a signed, hand-made, hardcover edition, limited to 26 copies and priced at $100. This volume contains thirteen works, only nine of them common to the trade paperback edition. ISBN 1-888993-33-2. Only a few copies are left. Inquire.
“I just hope that someday I’ll have half so many stories that are half as good.” --Fraser Ronald, SFReader.com
“Embracing the Starlight displays a broad versatility of style and craft, always grounded in an emotional bedrock. My favorite piece is “A Wife of Acorn, Leaf, and Rain,” but they are all strong, polished stories. Smeds’s themes? Do what you need to do for yourself, I guess. Be strong, do good. Smeds is a writer who helps you see what is in the mirror every morning.” --Jay Lake, Tangent On-Line
This short novel for kids, especially girls age 9-12, draws upon Dave’s extensive experience as a martial artist. Not available at this time in print, Karate Girls #1: The Bully will be among the works soon re-released in ebook format.
Rochelle Tyler is not looking forward to starting seventh grade in a new and unfamiliar town. An encounter with a bully on her very first day deflates her even more. But when she discovers a new girls-only karate class taught by a woman sensei, she begins to believe life can improve...and then she begins to understand that she deserves it.
First in a projected series of tales exploring the friendships, turmoil, challenges, and successes of a special group of young women as they begin to come of age.
This short biography of martial artist and actor Chuck Norris, published by Rosen Publishing, NY, January, 2002 and targeted for sixth-grade reading level, was produced for use in elementary school libraries and is not readily available at bookstores, but it can be special-ordered from Amazon.com and other web-based book retailers, as well as from the publisher’s website, rosenpublishing.com.
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