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Aurora Award Finalist story from a multi-award winning author.

Dr. Lucius Rainer, head of research at GenTech, is dead. But to Jack, it seems that his old mentor still lives on through his house. Certainly, Rainer's strange island retreat exudes the personality of its late owner: isolated and eccentric, brooding and uninviting.

But when GenTech learns that the house holds a working model of Rainer's final project, Jack discovers that the house shares one other trait with its former owner. Dangerous.

The house will open only to Jack's biometrics, and will only allow two very specific people to accompany him: Wendy, Jack's now ex-wife, and Deak Sanderson, Wendy's new lover and Jack's former rival at GenTech.

As the three of them explore the house and its secrets, Jack discovers that some doors--in this house and in life--should never be opened.


"This story has a cunningly satisfying conclusion. I find a good short story falls into two categories: There is the complete story, the novel miniaturised, which is a nearly perfect art form. These are hard to capture but constantly illustrated by such writers as Douglas Smith." --SF Crowsnest Book Reviews

"The puzzles and the final invention that they hint at are intriguing ... Smith ties [the story's] denouement's metaphorical significance in well with the technological concept at the center of the plot." --The Fix


"Doug Smith is, quite simply, the finest short-story writer Canada has ever produced in the science fiction and fantasy genres, and he's also the most prolific. His stories are a treasure trove of riches that will touch your heart while making you think." --Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author

"One of Canada's most original writers of speculative fiction." --Library Journal

"A great storyteller with a gifted and individual voice." --Charles de Lint, award winning author

Douglas Smith is an award-winning Canadian author of speculative fiction, with over a hundred short story publications in thirty countries and twenty-five languages.

His collections include Chimerascope (2010) and Impossibilia (2008), as well as the translated fantasy collection, La Danse des Esprits (France, 2011). His first novel, The Wolf at the End of the World, will be released in 2013.

Doug has twice won Canada's Aurora Award, and has been a finalist for the international John W. Campbell Award, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Bookies Award, Canada's juried Sunburst Award, and France's juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane.

A multi-award winning film based on Doug's story "By Her Hand, She Draws You Down" will be released on DVD this year, and other films based on his stories are in the works. Doug's website is and he tweets at

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