Sunday, July 24, 2016

Good news greeted with silence

Signed the contract this morning for "The Yellow Flag" to be published online by Sci Phi Journal on August 1st.

This is the story than went from start to acceptance in four hours.

Here's an interesting sidelight: I discussed this story at the recent LibertyCon during a panel, and later mentioned it both here and on my blog, "This Way to Texas", a week ago on July 17.

File 770 picked up the link last Sunday, with the comment "FAST WORK. Did Lou Antonelli maybe set a record?"

Make of it what you will, but while the people who comment on Flie 770 are usually quite free with their opinions, there wasn't a single comment about this. Which confirms the common observation about the people who hang out there, to wit: If you can't say anything evil about someone, don't say anything at all.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Bad news from a nice guy

Bill Crider is a genial, even-tempered man, a retired school teacher and a long-time writer of imaginative and enjoyable speculative fiction. He is prolific author and a frequent convention guest. His short story "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" is a finalist for this year's Sidewise Award in alternate history.

If you have ever met him or know him, you know he is always friendly, helpful, and approachable.

Like so many other of his friends, I was dismayed earlier in the week that he reported he had a potentially serious health problem. He posted on his blog Tuesday that his doctor ordered him to go to the hospital immediately because he thought he might be having kidney failure.

He posted Wednesday "Not kidneys. Very likely lymphoma. Biopsy tomorrow."

Bill is one of the few people of whom anyone can say "He's a nice guy" and not be suspected of the slightest sarcasm. Like so many other people today, he is in my thoughts and prayers. I hope he pulls through this health alert with his flags flying and his usual friendly grin.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

An oldie but goodie

Hey there, Lou Antonelli fans! I thought I'd link to this today.

The January 2009 issue of Ray Gun Revival is still available on-line. It includes my short story "The Silver Dollar Saucer", which was reprinted in both of my collections - "Fantastic Texas" and "Texas and Other Planets" - as well as the 2013 "Raygun Chronicles" anthology.

The story was originally accepted for publication by the Amazon Shorts program in 2007, but the fine print said authors accepted for the program had to also have books available through Amazon. My first collection, "Fantastic Texas", wasn't published until 2009, so Amazon withdrew the acceptance.

Amazon Shorts was Amazon's first attempt at publishing short fiction, and ran from 2005 to 2010.

"Ray Gun Revival" gave it a good home, and it's been popular ever since. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

It can be done

Those of you who attended the panel on short stories at LibertyCon that Friday may recall I mentioned that I wrote a story, submitted it, and received an acceptance in four hours.

That story is "The Yellow Flag" and it is being published on-line by Sci-Phi Journal on August 1st.

With publication scheduled of "Lone Star, Lost Star" by Fiction on the Web on July 31st, "The Yellow Flag" will be my 100th short story publication.

My 99th and 100th short story publications on two successive days.

By the way, "The Yellow Flag" was written the afternoon of May 6, 2015. It is the third story I have sold to Sci-Phi Journal; thanks goes to Publisher Jason Rennie.

As best I can remember, it is only the third story I have ever sold on its first submission. The first was "A Rocket for the Republic" in Asimov's in 2005; the second was "Double Exposure" in Daily Science Fiction in 2012.

"The technological equivalent of Pearl Harbor"

Back in the early 1990s I was the managing editor of the local newspaper in the city where the temporary headquarters of the Superconducting Super Collider were located - DeSoto, Texas.

The SSC itself was being constructed due south across the county line in Ellis County, and would encircle (underground) the county seat of Waxahachie. The labs and other facilities were supposed to move to the actual SSC site later.

Coverage of the construction of the SSC was an ongoing news item in my paper, until - of course - Congress cancelled the funding. My editorial criticizing the decision was quoted in The New York Times, and Sen. Phil Gramm quoted one of my lines in a speech, that it was "The technological equivalent of Pearl Harbor."

Years later - after I started a second career as a spec fic writer - I drew upon the experience as an inspiration and jumping off point for my short story "The Witch of Waxahachie", which Mike Resnick liked and Eric Flint bought for Jim Baen's Universe. It was published in April 2008.

Back in 2003 my wife and I bought some property in a tax resale auction as an investment. It has an undeveloped cabin, and over the years we have used it as long-term storage. We are finally selling it, and so yesterday I went to retrieve whatever was in there we wished to save.

Going through a briefcase of very old stuff, I found this button. I dusted it off and gave it a polish, and it looks good as new.

Sure brings back memories.

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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