Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Hitting 55

I finished my latest story last night. I'm dropping in the mail to today. It's probably not "serious" or "cutting edge" enough for modern scifi tastes, but I don't care - I think it's fun. It's called "My Ugly Little Self" and is kind of a combo of Robert Sawyer (Hominids) and Isaac Asimov (The Ugly Little Boy). It's the 55th story I've written since 2002.

I updated my submissions log last night. I have 21 stories out there is 21 slush piles. I have one story in an anthology slush pile, and about four or five that have been AWOL so long I've taken them off the list. Magazines like Interzone and neo-Opsis don't seem to be replying at all any more, and some smaller venues - such as Shadows of Saturn and Gothic.net - seem to have died out.

Here is a copy of the article about my reading before the local Friends of the Library. A member of the group write it, which is what I wanted because it looks too self-serving if I write an article about my own talk:

(Bowie County (Tx.) Citizens Tribune, Oct. 26. 2005)
By Jane Morris
Special Contributor
Local journalist and science fiction author Lou Antonelli was the first speaker in the New Boston Friends of the Library 2005-2006 Guest Author Series at the Friends October meeting.
Known to many as the editor of the Bowie County Citizens Tribune, Antonelli has written science fiction for the past three years.
In that short scope of time he has received five honorable mentions in several annual anthologies.
His stories have been published in Asimov's Science Fiction in the United States - the second largest science fiction magazine in the English-speaking world - and Andromeda Spaceways, the largest magazine in Australia.
Antonelli says he wants "science fiction to be fun," and indeed his reading of his most recently published work, "A Rocket for the Republic" from Asimov's, was perceived as fun and funny by members of the Friends of the Library.
The story met with much laughter and some outright guffaws.
The story recounted the hilarious exploits of a Texas pioneer during the days of the Republic.
The story, written using Texas colloquialisms, was read by Antonelli, who is originally from Massachusetts, with a Texas accent.
The story wove historic facts such as the coming to Texas of Jim Bowie, the Runaway Scrape and the battle of San Jacinto. with an account of adventure that incorporated the technical aspects of rocket travel. It was truly a Texas tall tale.
After concluding his reading, Antonelli talked about elements of writing science fiction and science fantasy. He then donated a signed copy of the Asimov's magazine featuring his work to the New Boston library.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Reading the Rocket

I had my first public reading Tuesday night. The local Friends of the Library asked me to speak at their October meeting. I read "A Rocket for the Republic" to about two dozen ladies.
I explained a little of my personal background, and the background of the story as well as the genre before reading "Rocket". Many of the ladies in this group are also active in Texas historical and/or genealogical groups, so they ate it up.
I explained that as a non-native Texan, I probably made a better-than-average attempt to include Texas historical tidbits - because I've had to learn these things in the past 20 years I've lived here.
Mom and Patricia came along, too. Overall, everyone had a good time.
Afterwards some of the ladies asked me some questions. One lady also said she had looked up my stories on the web, and had enjoyed a couple of them.
She didn't recall the titles, but after a brief description I knew they were "Silence is Golden" and "Big Girl".
She was especially impressed with "Silence", especially she 'fell" for the trick ending. I told her that "Silence" was my first story to get an honorable mention in the "Year's Best Science Fiction".
I only wish I had taken a few of the blow-in cards I have laying around at home and handed them out. I might have picked up a few subs for the magazine. But this is the first time I'd ever done this.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Update

I just updated my biblliography at my web site. I thought I'd also post it here:

Lou Antonelli has had 22 stories published since he started writing science fiction in August 2002. They are:

1. "Silvern" - RevolutionSF, June 2003.
2. "Silence is Golden" - RevolutionSF, August 2003.
3. "Comes the Juju Man" - GateWay science fiction, December 2003.
4. "S*P*P*A*M*" - Bewildering Stories, December 2003.
5. "Rome, If You Want To" - Surprising Stories, May 2004.
6. "Pen Pal" - RevolutionSF, July 2004.
7. "I Got You" - Bewildering Stories, July 2004.
8. "Flash, Boom, Bam (a flash anthology" - Bewilderimg Stories, July 2004.
9. "Doppelgangster" - Bewildering Stories, Sept. 2004.
10. "Double-Crossing the Styx" - Continuum Science Fiction, Fall 2004.
11. "The Rocket-Powered Cat" - RevolutionSF, Dec. 2004.
12. "Circe in Vitro" - Astounding Tales, December 2004.
13. "They Call It Time" - AlienSkin, Dec./Jan. 2005.
14. "Won't You Come Home, Bill Buckley?" - Bewildering Stories, Feb. 2005.
15. "Big Girl" - Ultraverse, May/June 2005.
16. "The Hideaway" - AlienSkin, June/July 2005.
17. "The Honor of the Blue Devil Patrol" - Beyond Centuari, June/July 2005.
18. "The Cast Iron Dybbuk" - June/July 2005, Andromeda Spaceways In-flight Magazine.
19. "Dialogue" - RevolutionSF, August 2005.
20. "A Rocket for the Republic" - Asimov's Science Fiction, Sept. 2005.
22. "After Image" - Surprising Stories, Sept. 2005.
22. "The Queen of Guilty Pleasures" - Bewildering Stories, Oct. 2005.

"Silence is Golden" was honored with an Honorable Mention in "The Year's Best Science Fiction, 21st annual collection (2004)"

The following stories were honored with Honorable Mentions in "The Year's Best Science Fiction, 22st annual collection (2005)"

"Pen Pal"
"The Rocket-Powered Cat"
"I Got You"
"Circe in Vitro"

Milestones:

First acceptance: "Comes the JuJu Man" January 2003.

First Publication: "Silvern" June 2003.

First Print Publication: "Double Crossing the Styx" Fall 2004.

First Foreign Publication: "The Cast Iron Dybbuk" June 2005.

First Pro Publication: "A Rocket for the Republic" Sept. 2005.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

My first public reading

Well, it's not the Library of Congress, but it's a start:

By JANE MORRIS
Special Contributor
The Friends of the New Boston Public Library will host the first program of their 2005-2006 Guest Author Series on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the New Boston Library at 7 p.m.
Lou Antonelli of Hooks will be the featured author. Antonelli has published many works of science fiction and his most recent short story called, "A Rocket for the Republic," was published last month in the prestigious Asimov's Science Fiction.
This magazine is the second largest science fiction periodical in the United States with a circulation of nearly 30,000 and has been published over 35 years.
Antonelli had four stories honored with honorable mentions in "The Year's Best Science Fiction, 22nd annual collection" anthology published in 2005 by St. Martin's Press of New York City - the most of any Texas science fiction author. Antonelli will read his short story and invite questions and discussion from those in attendance.
He will donate a signed copy of the magazine to the library featuring his story. Antonelli's talk will begin at 7 p.m. on the evening of the program; however, the Friends of the Library's October business session will begin at 6:30.
Interested community members are invited to attend both meetings.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A nice exchange

Got a rejection from Lenox Ave. today. But it was rather pretty nice, and I replied to it:

Dear Lou Antonelli:

Thank you for submitting "Insight" to LENOX AVENUE. It was well received here,
but after some thought we have decided not to accept it for publication. I love
the core idea behind this story, but the rest of the story is undeveloped, and
the prose is sometimes flawed.

I hope you'll consider us again, and I wish you the best success in placing this
story elsewhere.

Best regards,

John Schoffstall

John -

Thanks for the kind comments. "Insight" was the very first story I ever wrote back in 2002, and it shows. I'm actually quite impressed you thought so well of it, considerring it was my very first story ever submitted. I still haven't given up on it!

I'll see what I have sitting in the drawer!

Lou Antonelli

Monday, October 10, 2005

Since I mentioned it...

Since I brought it up, here's a listing from the Locus calendar:

Fri 14 Oct 2005,

* Howard Waldrop reads at Library of Congress, Pickford Theater, Madison Building, 3th floor, Washington DC, US

random thots

I spent some time on the phone getting caught up with Howard on Friday. He'll be the GOH at CapClave this coming weekend. I had originally thought to perhaps go myself, but I can't fit in the time and expense right now.
Howard is not only having a reading at the convention, but he's having a reading at the Library of Congress! What an honor! I get my first public reading Tuesday the 18th. The local Friends of the Library in New Bosotn have invited me to read "A Rocket for the Republic" at their next meeting. One of the members of the Friends of the Library read "Rocket" and - also being a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas - was quite impressed that I got my history correct. I'm putting a news item on the paper, but adding her byline as a "special contributor". I want people to know I didn't write the story.
Not quite the Library of Congress, but I'm happy for now.
Well, mom arrived this weekend. Actually it's been a quite pleasant visit so far. And I got some writing in, started a new story. I have, as usual, about 20 stories out in various slushpiles, but some of them are fairly small. Some of these stories are getting to the point I may pull them or give them to old favorites such as Bewildering or Surprising Stories.
I'm trying to avoid the writer's equivalenmt of sophomore slump. Just got to work my way through this.

Monday, October 03, 2005

More bad news

The employee on medical leave went to the doctor today. She's still out until at least Nov. 7. Being salaried, the burden of taking up the slack is falling on me. The company won't adjust its budget (since it still has to pay her while she's on worker's comp). Hmm... the problem may solve itself. If I get too overrworked, I may collapse anyway - being a 48-year old type II diabetic. We'll just tough it through as best I can. But with me working extended hours, and my mom coming for a two-week visit next weekend, heck if I know when I'll have time to write.

I mentioned two posts ago that Zoetrope returned a manuscript without so much as a cover letter. When I spent some time over the weekend getting caught up on submissions, I realized I had it wrong, it was Brutarian. I had sent them a return envelope with a change of address sticker I pulled off a magazine. I guess they thought if I was too lazy to write out the envelope, they wouldn't bother to drop in a letter.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A week goes by... quickly

I turned to my wife this morning as we were walking across the parking lot at church.
"Uhh, we didn't go to church last Sunday, right?"
"No, you were at FenCon in Dallas, remember?"
"Fencon was LAST weekend? It seems like forever!"
Yep, it's been that kind of week. The reporter who broke her arm did so the Thursday before FenCon. I assumed once that happened FenCon was toast - but the other reporter who had been on vacation indicated she actually WANTED to cover an event on Saturday that I assumed I'd have to cover, so I was able to attend Saturday and Sunday.
The reporter who is on medical leave had already done some work for last weekend's paper, but this week I had to come up with stuff to take up her slack from scratch, and that's when it got real hard.
Plus, as I indicated, we had a problem develop with the fence Thursday which I couldn't fix until the weekend.
I cover football Friday nights and have to write up the game right afterwards - which means I'm up until 3 a.m. every Saturday morning.
Of course, some idiot usually calls or phones like at 8 or 9 on Saturday morning, so I never get a chance to sleep in. However, yesterday, we didn't get bothered until 10:15 a.m. when a neighbor knocked on the door. That's so close to a normal night's sleep I was actually quite happy.
That afternoon I borrowed a sledge hammer and narrow spade from the neighbor and Patricia and I actually got the t-posts set to fix the fence. We reattached the chain link fence to the posts where it had popped loose, and attached it to the t-posts, which were set in the middle of the other posts.
In case I didn't mention why the fence had to be fixed, our neighbor had kept some sheep in the adjacent pasture and over time the ram had butted the fence so often (when he got pissed at the dogs - both my pup and the dogs that belonged to the people who lived here before) that the fence was badly bowed inwards towards our yard, so much so that the bottom was off the ground - hence my dog being able to slip out.
It was hot work, but we had it done by about 3:30 p.m. I finally was able to let the mutt out of his kennel. The look of consternation when he went back to the fence was worth it all. Hahaha!
After resting, we rewarded ourselves by hitting the Target in Texarkana, and then we pigged out at the Cici's pizza there. Ah, bliss.
Since I've gotten more sleep, I'm doing better in fighting this summer cold. I think it's obvious from the number of spelling mistakes in my last post how tired I was.
My next chore is to go over the stories that came back this week and send them off to different venues again.
More about FenCon? Hmm, it was really kind of like a job for me. Although my learning curve on this science fiction racket has leveled off some somewhat, it's still good to learn stuff from people who get around more. I don't anticipate going to any con before ConDFW in February. With my work schedule (the paper I edit is a semi-weekly, which means it had a mid-week and weekend edition - ergo, I have a 2 p.m. deadline on Friday, which makes it hard for me to sneak out for a long weekend. ) Also, until the end of the fall I MUST cover football - Friday Night Lights in Texas, you know. Back in 2003 I was able to attend Philcon, but that was because it was in December, after the football season is over and before district starts for basketball.
I'd love to go to PhilCon again, but the budget and cost of fuel probably has scotched that. However, I think just in principle I probably need to get out to the East Coast every once and a while - just to rub elbows with the publishing people.
I was glad to hear a couple of time at panels at FenCon that I'm not the only person to have noticed how dominated the magazines and publishers are by New York City. It's really obvious, if you live out where like I do, that there's a cultural thing here, and folks on the East Coast are not as sensitive and sympathetic to us writers in the vast hinter-heartland.
Steve Stirling's GOH talk Saturday night was a hoot, and I told him so in person Sunday morning. I'm reminded how inbred s-fi circles tend to be (like, refer to previous paragraph) because I got the same double-take from him as I've gotten from some other writers when I mention I've been published in Asimov's. I mean, he didn't say anything, but it was obvious he was thinking "Huh? I've never heard of you?"
I got sort of the same thing from Larry Niven, who was the GOH at last year's FenCon, when I told him I had a story accepted for Asimov's. His comeback was, "Well, I bet you hope that isn;t the only story you sell!"
I had just sold "Dybbuk" to Andromeda, which I proceeded to tell some, but some fan butted in and I don't think he ever heard my reply. Oh, well.
Mike Resnik was also a guest at FenCon this year, and I didn't attend any panels he was on and I never met him. But when I go to a Con I go to lean. not to kiss up to authors.
I'm such a newbie in the s-f field I don't know many people well enough to socialize with. Howard's probably my best bud and he lives in Austin. But Howard's just an overall decent human being.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Flown Home

Gordon returned "The Witch of Waxahachie." He said he likd the spirit of the story, but it didn't work for him overall. I'll send it to Sheila next.

Sheila also sent back "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" this week. She also had good things to say. It'll go to Gordon next.

I had a first today. Zoetrope sent back "The Silver Dollar Saucer" without any kind of cover letter at all.

My summer cold has returned, and I've had a few days this week where it's been real hard to work. I'm probably getting run down because of the extra work having to cover for the employee out on sick leave. What can you do?

Thursday I was so shaky I almost fell over a number of times, and at one point I used a walking stick to get in and out of may car. No way I can take a sick day, with one person already out sick.

The speculative literatur foundation had a traveling grand application due the 30th, but it's all I have been able to do tom keep up with my normal work, so I had to let that slide

Other things are also piling up to sap my strength and time. Solace has figured out to how to escape from the yard, but I didn't have the time to fix the fence Friday. There are days I can't do any yard work because I leave before dark and come home after dark.

I bought some t-posts to fix the bottom of the fence, but I don't have a sldegehammer - I'll have to borrow one from a neighbor. In the meantime he is staying in a kennel indoors and being taken for walks.

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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