Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Farewell to the Little Blonde

Well, I was in Dallas at ConDFW Saturday and Sunday. I was on two panels Saturday; one at 10 a.m. on "Escape from the Slush Pile Part Two: Periodicals"; the other at 2 p.m. on "World Wide Writing: Using the Internet to Further Your Career". I was the moderator for the first panel; that's the second time I've chaired one.
Got a nice eboboo when I visited the literature table and noticed the posters for SoonerCon. I am one of the guests they listed. That's the first time I've been on a flyer.
Picked up lots of good info -especially about the upcoming WorldCon in LA, as well as future WorldCon bids.
Weekend ended on a down note, though. Late Sunday, as the wife and I were getting ready to go to bed, we sent our 13-year old Golden Cocker Spaniel outside. When she didn't bark to be let back in, I went outside to look for her.
She had gone over to her favorite spot in the yard to nap - which wasn't so unusual, since she has been known to want to sleep outside at night when it was warm.
But it wasn't particularly warm that night, and when I nudged her, I realized she had taken the Big Snooze.
Bless her little furry blonde heart, she must have felt it coming on, and went down to her favorite spot to "sleep".
We should have such a quick end. She went out like a classy lady.
We've gone from two dogs to none in a month in a half.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Going to Dallas this weekend

Well, I'll be in Dallas this weekend as a guest of ConDFW V. I'll be on two panels, both on Saturday.

The first will be in Panel Room 2 (Magnolia) at 10 a.m. "Escape from the Slush Pile Part Two: Periodicals": Hosted by Lou Antonelli, Dusty Rainbolt, Christopher Fulbright, Teresa Patterson, and K.D. Wentworth. Industry pros discuss periodicals and magazines as a route to breaking into the fiction market.

The second will be in Panel Room 3 (Mesquite) at 2 p.m. "World Wide Writing: Using the Internet to Further Your Career": Hosted by Lou Antonelli, Renee Brown, Scott Cupp, Rhonda Eudaly, Rie Sheridan and T.M. Wagner. How can you use online markets to get your stories read? What sites really work and what sites merely lurk? Is there a difference between the fiction that works for the web and fiction that works for the page?

This will be the third time I've attended ConDFW. It was the first Con I ever attended, in 2003. I also was able to make it last year, in 2005.

I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The original ending

You know, I had a thought since I posted "A Rocket for the Republic" on my web site. When Gardner accepted it, he didn't change anything, except the ending.
I still have the original version of the story on a backup disk. So I thought, in case anyone is interested, as sort of a historical curiosity, to print the original ending. It was actually shorter than the final version - but I think you would admit the end product was better.
The first line here is the last line that remains the same, where the change happens:

"Well, here I am at 200. I guess it's time to come clean, huh? "
"So what do you think of that story? You gonna write it up?
"You gonna tell who? Who the hell's Doe-zwah? That some Cajun
friend of yours?"

OK, the original ending was my way in keeping in the spirit of the story - which is what would have happened if some poor schmuck small town newspaper editor (like me) stumbled across the story. The ending, of course, is true to what would have happened if the story had been told to ME.
But I have to admit, in the long run, the ending we worked up was better.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Another gig

I received word yesterday that I have been invited to be a guest at FenCon, which will be held in Dallas Sept. 22-24.
Not only did they post my bio, but they're touting myself (and Deborah Leblanc) as first-time guests on their home page - which is a nice egoboo.
I first met Deborah at a workshop sponsored by NETWO (Northeast Texas Writer's Organization) in Winnsboro, where I used to live, in the spring of 2004. She was a presenter.
Last summer, we were the sacrificial lambs whose readings were scheduled opposite George R.R. Martin's at Conestoga in Tulsa. Ouch!
This is the fifth gig I've gotten so far this year as a guest.
FenCon will have a suite at ConDFW the weekend after next, so I will probably take the opportunity to drop in and thank them in person.
Over on my web site, where I've republished "A Rocket for the Republic", I enabled the option for people to leave their opinions.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

"Rocket" flies again

In case anyone out there in the great blogosphere hasn't read the story yet - or for those of you who want to read it again - I've posted "A Rocket for the Republic" on my web site:

http://www.cedarhillsentinel.com/default.asp

I went back and read my contract just to be be sure I wasn't breaking any agreement by electronically republishing the story, but it looks like I'm in the clear. The electronic rights only extend for the month the magazine was on the newsstands. Just to be sure, I emailed Sheila Williams to double-check, but she confirmed what I supposed.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I am not Joe Lansdale!!!

If you read the previous post, you know who Edward Morris is. I emailed him later and thanked him for his kind comments. We''ve had a very nice exchange, and one observation he made just cracked me up:

"Honestly, my first thought was that 'Lou Antonelli' was a pen name for 'Joe-R.-Lansdale-trying-his-hand-at-very-creditable-sf', but I see I was wrong. "

It never occurred to me that I'd be mistaken as Champion Joe's s-f doppelganger, but now that I think of it, it makes perfect sense, because Joe has such a "Texas" sense in so much he writes, and of course, "Rocket for the Republic" is the best steampunk tall tale alternate/secret history ever written set the in the Texas Republic. Of course, it's probably the only steampunk tall tale alternate/secret history ever written set the in the Texas Republic...

Lawrence Person emailed yesterday. The next Turkey City workshop in Austin is slated for March 18. Of course, I accepted. Bruce Sterling will be in Austin and Lawrence got him to volunteer to be the guest author again. Bruce hosted the first Turkey City I ever attended in Oct. 2004.

I've replied to Lawrence and volunteered to bake a lasagna for lunch. As those of you who've had the pleasure of eating my lasagna know, it is the Platonic Ideal of the dish.

As we say in Texas, "It ain't bragging if you can do it."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

This is great!

Posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 03:00 am:   
I was googling around the web - trying to keep up with my press, as it were - when I found this on the TTA discussion board. It was in a thread on writing with the subject "Show or Tell?". The comments were by a fellow named Edward Morris and posted Jan. 31, 2006:

#

One pearl of wisdom that I took from an absolutely loathsome 'New Yorker'-has-been college Fiction teacher was that if something's too told and needs more scene, it's too told and needs more scene and there's nothing else to be done.

Lou Antonelli's "A Rocket For the Republic" (Asimov's, Sept. 2005) is entirely 'told', and in vernacular, no less. I was going back through it bit-by-bit, trying to get technical and cut open the golden goose and all that... and it shouldn't work. The aforementioned New Yorker idiot would tear it to pieces. "Too told, more scene."

Yet it does work, to such a degree that it sent me into mad gales of laughter reading it on lunch break at work... because Antonelli threw in enough misdirected fictional rope-a-dopes and one-two punches that, while the reader focuses on the narrative, several other technically brilliant things are going on.

#

Bravo, Mr. Morris - one of the best, if not the best, analyses of the story written to date! You found me out! You hit on a lot of the inner direction I had in writing the story.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Four and counting

Well, in the past few days I picked up a couple more guest gigs. ConDFW said I could join the panels, and I also heard from SoonerCon in Oklahoma City. Together with my previous acceptances at AggieCon and Conestoga, that brings the total to four cons through July.
ConDFW in 2003 was the first Con I ever attended. Now three years later, I get to be a guest. Wow.
I mailed in my application for SFWA membership today. You need three pro-level sale to be a full member; I waited a while after the publication of "Rocket" to see if any more pro-level sales would be forthcoming, but I decided it was time to get off the stick. With only one qualifying sale, I get to be an associate member, which from all my investigations, gets me all the benefits and information except I don't get to vote in official elections.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Latest convention news

AggieCon has posted the biographies for its regional guests. Here's mine from their web site:

"Lou Antonelli has had 22 stories published since he started writing science fiction in August 2002. A journalist by profession, he is the editor of a semi-weekly community newspaper in East Texas. He is a graduate of two Turkey City workshops. He earned four honorable mentions in "The Year's Best Science Fiction, 22nd annual collection" (2005), published by St. Martin's Press, and one honorable mention the previous year.

"A Rocket for the Republic" was Lou's first SFWA-level sale. It also was the last story Gardner Dozois accepted for Asimov's before retiring after 19 years as editor. Tangent Online said of this story published by Asimov's Science Fiction in Sept. 2005: "Steam Punk fans who long for a wholly American twist on the genre will enjoy this story."

"Lou has had stories published in RevolutionSF, Bewildering Stories, Surprising Stories, Continuum Science Fiction, Astounding Tales, AlienSkin, Ultraverse, Beyond Centuari and Andromeda Spaceways In-flight Magazine.

I received word recently that ConDFW may still have some spots available. I'd be very happy to be a panelist there. Still awaiting word.

The Asimov's Readers' Poll closes today. I've been pulling for "Rocket". Hope it gets a respectable showing

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

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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