Thursday, January 19, 2017

"Another Girl, Another Planet" to be released Feb.1st

Latest word from WordFire Press is that the formal release date for "Another Girl, Another Planet" is Feb. 1. In view of that, here's the prologue again, to whet your appetite:


There is a small valley ten kilometers from the joint Mars colony, not visible from the surrounding desert, in the heart of the Melas Chasma in the Valles Marineris. As you approach it you will see three crosses—one a traditional Latin cross, and two Celtic crosses.

One of the Celtic crosses is next to the Latin cross. The other Celtic cross sits off to the side. It’s obviously a small graveyard. And you’re the first person to see this lonely place since I was there in 1985.

You want to know what I know about it?

I know everything. I dug those graves. By hand.

Do you want to know why?

Sit down; I’ll tell you.


It's already available via Baen Ebooks. Here's the link.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Agile Writers Conference

It's only 12 days until the Agile Writers Conference, being held at the Holiday Inn at the Richmond Airport.

Agile Writers helps beginning writers create their first-draft novel, memoir, autobiography, or screenplay. I will be giving the seminar on The Importance of Dialogue.

Here is my description:

The spoken word preceded the written word. It is possible to write a story – at least at short lengths – in all dialogue. Man’s first storytellers regaling colleagues around a campfire used dialogue, and when the story was passed along, it became all dialogue – until it was written down after writing was invented.

The skills needed to listen and study dialogue will be reviewed, as well as the best ways to train your listening skills.

Participants will learn:

The difference between dialogue and simply using a transcript.

Things to avoid, such as excessive slang or phonetic spelling; and/or when to use them (sparingly).

Dialogue style to drive the plot, such as by showing social class or background.

When a paraphrase will do better than a direct quote.

How to avoid info dumps (“As you know, Bob.”

How to make dialogue sound realistic.

How to train your dialogue skills (Hint: Sit in on a trial).

The various points of view and how they related to dialogue (First Person, Second Person, Omniscient).

The related subject of internal dialogue, and train of thought.

Tricks you can use with dialogue (such as when the narrator knows less than the reader).

Here is a link so you can sign up.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Scribble, scribble...

I spent the last quarter of 2016 in a very time-consuming household move. The distance - 46 miles - was just long enough to be painful but not long enough to require professionals.

Along the way I got very sick at one point from all the dust that was stirred up, and another time I dropped a piece of furniture on my foot - both cases required a doctor's visit.

It's taken weeks to accomplish the move and unpacking. In the meantime, I got no fiction writing done, and my submissions conveyor belt ground to a halt.

However, things are getting back to normal. I have written a new story, revised an old story, and I wrote 2,500 words today on another new story.

And as of tonight I have 16 stories in various slush piles, so I'm back to my old pace.

I'm looking forward to picking up some new publications in 2017. Since I write for my own enjoyment (and of course the enjoyment of my fans) I'll submit to any publication with a pulse. It's a habit I copied from the late Jay Lake.

Things will get off to a strong start soon with the release of my first novel "Another Girl, Another Planet" from WordFire Press shortly, but I intend to keep up my usual pace with short fiction.

I had nine short stories published last year, starting with "Captain of the Clouds" on Jan. 1 by Aurora Wolf and ending with "If You Were a Dinah Shore, My Love" by the Curious Gallery podcast on Dec. 26.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The terrible cover

Here's a funny, true story that could only happen to me:

As many of you know, my real job is as a small town newspaper editor. About ten years ago I was working for a semi-weekly (2x a week) newspaper in Bowie County, Texas.

One of my regular duties was to attend and report on the deliberations of the local school board. Now, there are a number of subjects that a school district deals with which, under Texas law, can be discussed behind closed doors for reasons for privacy. Student discipline and personnel matters are two of the most common reasons for an "executive session".

I was a board meeting when the members had to leave and deliberate in private, which meant myself, members of the public and the school district staff had to wait in the board room and kill time. Knowing from the agenda this was planned, I brought a book I could read while waiting.

I've done this a number of times, and as I have a large number of books at home I had picked an anthology pretty much at random and began to read it, held up in front of my face, while waiting for the school board members to return.

After a few minutes, I became aware that the other people in the room were looking at me with the strangest expressions. It hit me like a flash:

"Oh, crap, what's on the cover of this book?!"

I knew - being a reader of s-f and fantasy - there was a distinct possibility the cover was pretty wild.

I turned the book around, and chuckled. Yes, this is the photo of the cover.

I apologized to the other people and explained that no, I wasn't reading a book on Satanism, but science fiction. And I stashed the book.

I will still sometimes take a book with me to read in similar circumstances - but I always remember to look at the cover!

Not worth the pixels...

A comment or opinion on the Internet is as trustworthy as the reputation of the person who made it.

Which is to say anything posted anonymously or under a pseudonym is probably a lie or bullshit.

Latest reviews

"It’s possible that you haven’t run into the stories of Lou Antonelli. Since 2003, he’s been publishing delightful short tales of alternate history all over the nooks and crannies of the SF world. Thanks to Fantastic Books, we now have 28 of these little gems in one place. "Many of Antonelli’s stories have an unexpected twist ending. And many of them are what he calls “secret history” stories, which aren’t exactly alternate history—they’re set in our familiar history, but there’s always some element that contemporary observers missed. " -

- Don Sakers, The Reference Library, Analog July-Aug. 2014

A better path develops for a distraught man in “Double Exposure” by Lou Antonelli (debut 6/11 and reviewed by Frank D). Jake is about to end it all. He has been trying to keep his high maintenance wife happy for decades and has needed to embezzle to satisfy her spending habits. Now, on the verge of indictment and abandoned by his spouse, he buys a gun. Before he pulls the trigger, he spies a Kodak one-day photo hut. Curious, he pulls up to the window. They are holding pictures of him and his last girlfriend from 30 years before. The package is a lot thicker than it should be. Double Exposure” is listed as an Alternative History story but I would classify it as a Magical Realism tale. It is set as a second chance tale, a look into a life that should have been. The author is inspired by his memories of the old photo huts (I remember them) and of their disappearance. A cool idea (photos of another life), one that I could imagine would make for a great anthology.

- Frank Dutkiewicz, Diabolical Plots

“Great White Ship”: A traveler stuck waiting for a flight strikes up a conversation with an old airline employee. The Old Timer tells him a story of a Great White Airship that arrives from a most unusual destination. The story of a craft from an alternate reality and how it got there is only the precursor to the final act. This is one of my favorite stories from this site. I have a great passion for lighter-than-air craft and their potential as a future means of transport, which opens the story. The author uses this speculation to launch into an engaging tale. As fascinating as the main story line is, the alternate history premise that accompanies it is just as worthwhile. This story was well written and very well thought out. It is well worth the read. Recommended.

- James Hanzelka, Diabolical Plots

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