Donald Firesmith


Donald Firesmith is a multi-award-winning author of speculative fiction including science fiction (alien invasion), fantasy (magical wands), and modern urban paranormal novels.

Prior to recently retiring to devote himself full-time to his novels, Donald Firesmith earned an international reputation as a distinguished engineer, authoring seven system/software engineering books based on his 40+ years spent developing large, complex software-intensive systems.

He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife Becky, his son Dane, and varying numbers of dogs and cats.
You can learn more about the author by visiting his personal website:

His magical wands and autographed copies of his books are also available from the Firesmith’s Wand Shoppe at:

Smashwords Interview

What do your fans mean to you?
Fans (i.e., readers who enjoy my books) are my only true measure of success as an author. Although I write books I would like to read, I enjoy seeing them in print, and the occasional royalty checks are all very nice, books need readers. I would much rather have happy readers than fame or royalties.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I can't remember the first story I ever read, especially as my mother read to me from before I could even talk and I learned to read early. What I mostly remember is that I read huge amounts of science fiction in high school (some 70+ books my freshman year). My three favorite authors were the three grand masters: Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert Heinlein. I also read a lot of Asimov's popular science books and we corresponded quite a few times. I was also greatly influenced by the Tolkien Trilogy. I must have read it 20 times. In fact, I liked it so much that when I spend a year going to school at Ludwig Maximillian University in Munich my Junior Year in college, it was the only English-language book I took with me.
Read more of this interview.

Where to buy in print


Hell Holes
A series of books involving an invasion of demons via huge hell holes appearing in the permafrost above the Arctic Circle.


A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams
You set the price! Words: 19,470. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2020 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
An anthology of uncanny short stories to read late at night from the award-winning author of the Hell Holes series and The Secrets of the Hawthorne House.
Hell Holes 3: To Hell and Back
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 102,160. Language: English. Published: October 30, 2020 . Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Science fiction » Military
The thrilling conclusion of the Hell Holes trilogy in which teams consisting of US Special Forces, members of the Tutores Contra Infernum, and scientists travel through Hell Hole portals to the demons' homeworld to take the war to Hell itself.
The Simulation Theory of Consciousness (or Your Autonomous Car Is Sentient)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 21,600. Language: English. Published: October 22, 2019 . Categories: Nonfiction » Science & Nature » Life Sciences / Neuroscience
(5.00 from 1 review)
This short book argues that every cyber-physical system (that is, every software-reliant physical system) that creates and executes a real-time simulation of itself and its environment is conscious in the sense of being subjectively aware of that simulation. In other words, autonomous vehicles are sentient.
The Secrets of Hawthorne House
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 98,690. Language: English. Published: October 1, 2018 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
Matt's life changes when a family of "witches" moves into the dilapidated Victorian mansion next door. The Secrets of Hawthorne House is the story of an unlikely friendship, the clash of two radically different cultures, hidden magic, and a search for the lost Hawthorne treasure.
Hell Hole: The Official Screenplay
Price: Free! Words: 28,070. Language: English. Published: April 7, 2018 . Categories: Screenplays » Sci-Fi, Screenplays » Horror
This movie script for the full-length feature film, Hell Hole, is based on Donald Firesmith's science fiction novel, Hell Holes: What Lurks Below. When a strange hole opens up in the Arctic and ravenous demons emerge, a scientist, his estranged wife, and a member of an ancient secret order must team up to close the hole and save humanity.
Hell Holes: Demons on the Dalton
Series: Hell Holes. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 55,750. Language: English. Published: May 6, 2016 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
(4.00 from 1 review)
In this exciting second modern paranormal fantasy book in the Hell Holes series, the three survivors of a research team sent to discover the cause of the mysterious hell holes flee south along Alaska's Dalton Highway from an army of invading demons.
Magic Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 144,010. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2016 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Found after being accidentally left behind on a Scottish train by a young witch traveling to her first year at the secretive Isle of Skye School of Magick, Magical Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore is an actual textbook in the the history, making, and use of magic wands. It covers both theory and practice, with chapters on magical woods, crystals, metals, and cores from magical beings and beasts.
Hell Holes: What Lurks Below
Series: Hell Holes. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 102,160. Language: English. Published: January 16, 2016 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
(4.00 from 6 reviews)
When an oil company sends a scientific team to investigate one of dozens of huge holes that have mysteriously appeared overnight in the tundra of the North Slope of Alaska, they discover a far worse danger lurking below, one that threatens to destroy us all...

Smashwords book reviews by Donald Firesmith

  • Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 - 6) on Oct. 07, 2016

    The debut novel by Australian Renee Scattergood, Shadow Stalker Part I (Episodes 1-6) is also the first book in the Shadow Stalker young adult paranormal fantasy series. It tells the story of teenager Auren, who is raised by her somewhat mysterious uncle Kado and who discovers that she is not only a shadow stalker (people with uncommon paranormal abilities) but also marked for death by an evil foreign emperor. While the book shares several characteristics with similar tales of children who learn that they have unknown special abilities, what makes this series special are (1) the author has created an interesting world with its own geography and cultures and (2) the concept of shadow stalkers is both interesting and innovative (no spoilers so I won’t tell you how). This book is thus much more than your typical high school heroine with her standard group of friends. The main characters are interesting and well-developed, the pacing keeps the action going, and the prose descriptions bring the setting vividly to life. I also very much liked the idea of the self-fulfilling prophesy and the risk it poses to the characters and their world. Now that I have finished the first book, I definitely look forward to reading the second book and will be following this author as the series progresses. Recommended. P.S. As of the writing of this review, the ebook is a free download. Enjoy!