Thursday, November 10, 2005

The slush pile shuffle

This past week, I did the slush pile shuffle as stories came back from all four of the major venues within a few days of each other.
As I noted earlier, I got "Business as Usual" back from Stanley Schmidt. I made the corrections he noted (I had a mistake on page one and page two) and sent it to Gordon. I sent Stanley "Video Killed the Radio Star", which had been sitting around for a while cooling off.
I sent "My Ugly Little Self", which Gordon had returned, to Sheila. Ellen sent back "The League of Dead Nations". I sent her "The Dragon's Black Box", which had also been sitting a while. I sent "League" to Abyss & Apex, which is one of the magazines who opened for submissions Nov. 1.
Tales of the Talisman is another (I think I sent them "Prof. Malakoff". They used to be called Hadrosaur Tales.
I also sent Aeon (another mag who opened a reading period Nov. 1) "Damascus Interrupted".
I found out by checking Ralan that Lenox Ave. has gone belly-up, which means "The Man Who Ran" is freed up.
Right now I have 23 stories in magazine slush piles, and one story in the pile for an anthology. I'm also about to drop "The Hideaway" and "The Cast Iron Dybbuk" in the mail to Ellen for consideration for the horror side of the next "Year's Best Fantasy and Horror".
I picked a copy of Heinlein's "Expended Universe" cheap off e-bay for a few bucks. It came in the mail yesterday. I have it on the shelf next to me desk at work.

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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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