Friday, November 11, 2005

Good Publicity

When "Rocket" came out, I sent a few press releases out to local newspapers in the East Texas area. The news release was the basis of the little blurb which ran in the September issue of the Texas Press Association newsletter, the TPA Messenger:

"Lou Antonelli, editor of the Bowie County Citizen’s Tribune, recently broke into the pro fiction writing ranks with publication of “A Rocket for the Republic,” in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine. Antonelli mentions Nacogdoches, Corsicana, Tyler, Malakoff, Athens and Eustace in the story, which is a monologue by the 200-year survivor of the world’s first space shot."

I just learned (via a Google search) that the editor-in-chief of the Tyler Telegraph also used the info in his column this past Saturday, Nov. 5:

"Science fiction with a bit of East Texas flavor?

That was a winning combination for Lou Antonelli of Bowie County in East Texas, who recently broke into the professional fiction writing ranks with the publication of the tall Texas tale, "A Rocket for the Republic," in Asimov's Science Fiction.

"Asimov's, named for science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, is the second-largest science fiction magazine in the English-speaking world.

"Antonelli said he began work on the story while editor of the Malakoff News in East Texas in 2003. The story was published in the September issue of the magazine.

"Tyler, as well as Malakoff, Athens and Eustace, all are mentioned in the story, a monologue by the 200-year survivor of the world's first space shot.

"Antonelli also had four stories recognized with honorable mentions in the 2005 edition of "The Year's Best Science Fiction," published by St. Martin's Press of New York City.

"The writer said he came up with the idea for "Rocket" while day- dreaming about how a community once was named Science Hill in Henderson County. An alliterative title and a desire to write a story with a Texas "voice" led to the first draft, which was written while he still lived in Eustace.

"The story is set in the early Texas frontier and also mentions Corsicana and Nacogdoches."

When I had my reading at the New Boston Public Library Oct. 18, one of the attendees said she had seen the same article in the Nacogdoces paper, so it was apparently used there, also.

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Latest reviews

In a spare, swift, convincing narrative style, conveying in a deadpan voice a wide array of sometimes Paranoid suppositions about the world, Antonelli juxtaposes realities with very considerable skill, creating a variety of Alternate Worlds, some of them somewhat resembling the constructions of Howard Waldrop, and making some sharp points about American history, race relations, dreams, and occasional nightmares in which the twentieth century goes wrong. [JC]

---From the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

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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