Saturday, October 22, 2016

The spin rack is still making a comeback

As some of you may - or may not - know, I have a personal policy that, when I stop in a discount store such as Dollar General or Family Dollar, I will always buy an s-f mass market paperback to encourage them to stock the genre.

I learned from Tom Doherty in 2009, when I interviewed him for an article that was published in the SFWA Bulletin, that the people who maintain the spin rack pay attention to what types of books sell.

Almost a year ago, on Nov. 29, 2015, I wrote on this blog ("Help the spin rack make a comeback") how my efforts - at least at the Dollar General store closest to where I worked - had paid off. There were so many s-f titles being stocked they cleared shelf space for them and put all the other genres in the spin rack.

I still follow my policy, and this evening I stopped at the Dollar General store in Blossom, Texas, - which I don't think I have ever patronized before - and was pleasantly surprised to see they had a fine selection of s-f paperbacks, and I was quite happy to pick up this little gem by Harry Harrison.

The authors don't benefit much personally from these remaindered sales, but I'd like to think they have an overall uplifting effect on the genre. Who knows, some kid may spent a buck he was planning to use for a candy bar on one of these books, get hooked, and in 20 or 30 years become a great and famous author?

"Texas Leaves"

"Freedom's Light" is a forthcoming anthology from Victory Fiction publishing, It will include my short story "Texas Leaves". In this alternate history, George H.W. Bush is defeated for the presidency by Michael Dukakis in 1988. The Soviet Union never falls because Dukakis helps prop it up to insure "world stability."

In 2000 son George W. Bush makes a run at the presidency. Here's how the story kicks off:

“The fall foliage is stunning this year. Texas hardly ever sees any color in the fall."

The Governor turned to his Advisor. “Beautiful, isn’t it?”

“Yes, and it’s ironic,” said the Advisor. “The landscape looks lovely, and our future never looked bleaker.”

“Are the polls still open in Florida?”

“Yes, and President Clinton said they will stay open until everyone gets a chance to vote.” The Advisor stared at his drink. “They knew it was going to be close, they were sampling the ballots already cast, and now they’ve stolen the election. The polls should have closed 12 hours ago. People are being allowed to vote multiple times.”

“We came so close,” said the Governor. “Maybe next time.”

“There isn’t going to be a next time. After Clinton comes Gore, and he’ll crack down on us more than ever.” The Advisor stood up. “We need to face reality. After eight years of Dukakis and now eight years of Clinton, the U.S. will be just another Third World despotism under Russia’s thumb.”

“Well then, if we can’t save the U.S., then maybe Texas can save itself.”

He nodded knowingly at the Advisor

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

"Time Like a Rope"

"Time Like a Rope", published by Silver Blade magazine, is my 102nd short story publication since 2003, my seventh this year. My stories published so far this year are:

1. “Captain of the Clouds” – Aurora Wolf, January. 2016
2. “Higher Powers” – Sci-Phi Journal, February 2016
3. “The Milky Way Dance Hall” – Decision Points anthology. May 2016
4. “Lone Star, Lost Star” – Fiction on the Web, July 31, 2016
5. “The Yellow Flag” – Sci-Phi Journal, August 2016
6. “And He Threw His Hands Up in the Air” – Siren’s Call, No. 28 August 2016
7. “Time Like a Rope” – Silver Blade magazine, October 2016

Monday, October 10, 2016

My updated biography

I've already had a request for a biography for a 2017 convention. I took a few moments over the weekend and updated the biography file I keep on my desktop. I seldom use all of this, but it covers all the main points I think are of interest. Whenever I need a bio or blurb, I just cut and past to the appropriate length. But here is the whole thing:
Lou Antonelli started writing fiction in middle age; his first story was published in 2003 when he was 46. He’s had short stories published in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, India and Portugal in venues such as Asimov's Science Fiction, Jim Baen's Universe, Tales of the Talisman, Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine, Greatest Uncommon Denominator (GUD), Daily Science Fiction, Buzzy Mag, and Omni Reboot, among many others.

His collections include “Fantastic Texas” published in 2009; “Texas & Other Planets” published in 2010; and “The Clock Struck None” and “Letters from Gardner”, both published in 2014. His debut novel, the retro-futurist alternate history “Another Girl, Another Planet”, is slated for release later in 2016 by WordFire Press.

His story “Great White Ship”, originally published in Daily Science Fiction, was a 2013 finalist for the Sidewise Award for alternate history. His short story “On a Spiritual Plain”, originally published in Sci Phi Journal, was a finalist for the Hugo award in 2015.

His first professional science fiction short story, “A Rocket for the Republic” (Asimov’s Science Fiction Sept. 2005) was the last story accepted by Editor Gardner Dozois before he retired after 19 years.

“The Yellow Flag” his 100th published short story (Sci-Phi Journal Aug. 2016) set the record for all-time fastest turnaround in genre fiction. It was written, submitted and accepted between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on May 6, 2015.

A Massachusetts native, Antonelli moved to Texas in 1985 and is married to Dallas native Patricia (Randolph) Antonelli. They have three adopted furbaby children, Millie, Sugar and Peltro Antonelli..

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Lou, Louis and Luigi

Some of you may know I have a Facebook page where I post purely personal things. It uses the name "Lou AntonellI". It is used mostly for outreach to people interested in me as an author.

Originally, this page was called "Author Lou Antonelli" and the other one simply "Lou Antonelli", but I had to change it last year. When the Hugo nominations hit and the Puppy Kickers started their campaign against dissident authors, someone complained to Facebook that I was a liar because "Author Lou Antonelli" isn't my real name.

Facebook said I had to change it, but I couldn't have two Facebook pages both named "Lou Antonelli", so I changed personal one to my proper name, which is "Louis Antonelli".

(A colleague once asked - in light of the fact my middle name is Sergio - if my first name was really Luigi. Actually, although I am named for my paternal grandfather, who WAS named Luigi, my parents thankfully had the sense to bestow the English version of the name on me.)

If you are ever interested in keeping track of my personal life without any reference to literature and such, check out my other Facebook page, which can find here.. You'll read a lot about my wife, my dogs, my lasagna, and all the other stuff that is important to me.

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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