Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Man Who Traveled in Elephants

Drove to Houston Friday, attended the state power lifting meet all day Saturday. It was well worth it - our local boys won the gold medal for their size school. Another school only ten miles away - which we also cover - won the silver in their conference. Between the six local boys who attended, they took three gold medals and two silver. The last boy finished 4th.

The meet ran all day. I hit the road at 6:45 p.m. and drove home. I was back about 12:30 a.m.

OK, to science fiction. Friday I had lunch on the road in Tyler, and took a break to visit a book store after lunch. I bought an old copy of "Destinies VI", the Jim Baen anthology from 1988. It was the Robert Heinlein Memorial Issue.

I read through the book Friday evening while at the motel in Houston. I was especially intrigued to read "The Man Who Traveled in Elephants", which - it was noted - Heinlein's favorite story. No wonder I'd never read it. It's not science fiction - it's fantasy. Very sentimental, too.

Got back a couple of rejections via e-mail. "The Hideway" didn't clear the second round of reading at Andromeda Spaceways. They sent back a very long set of editor comments - very helpful. I probably will work on the story as a result. Futurismic rejected "Wish List" - also said nice things.

There's something I want to fix in the story - I had forgotten to do it earlier.

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"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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