Sunday, May 20, 2007

Twisted Tongue, and IROSF

The U.K. magazine Twisted Tongue has come out with its May issue. This is a first for me, because it has TWO of my stories, a short called "Insight" and a flash called "It's Wonderful, Life".

http://www.twistedtongue.co.uk/

The latest issue of the Internet Review of Science Fiction went up on Wednesday. It features an interview called "The Ones to Watch" about five aspiring writers. The idea is to come back and track their progress once a year. I am one of the five.

http://www.irosf.com/

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Third Issue of Sentinel S-F

The third issue of Sentinel S-F went live on Tuesday. The pro slot goes to Jay Lake, with his fun fantasy "Fire-Heart and Rose-Lips". As usual, I reserve the semi-pro slot for myself with "The League of Dead Nations". David L. Gray gets the newbie slot with "Collateral Damage".

Of course, Jay Lake needs no introduction. Dave is probably best known around regional conventions for doing his "Buzz Blaster" radio plays. He read an earlier version of "Collateral Damage" at Fencon last fall in Dallas, and then he submitted the story to me at ConDFW in February. I'm very pleased with both stories.

A.R. Yngve, a Sentinel S-F fan, was kind enough to take our existing logo and tweak it for a much better appearance. I'm very grateful.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Nice comment

I was ego-googling for fun (certainly not profit) and found one of my stories was mentioned on a Ray Bradbury-themed blog by a fellow named Robert Blevins. The subject was Bradbury stories where the protagonist is a writer.

http://raybradburyboard.com/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=8881014801&f=6891083901&m=2751062603&r=9401039013#9401039013

"I like 'S.S.P.A.M' by Lou Antonelli. It's the story of a discouraged writer who exchanges email messages with a little girl from the future."

I guess he must have read it at Bewildering Stories back in 2003. It was also republished in the BSW anthology.

I posted and thanked him for the vote of confidence and added - not to nit-pick - that the title is actually "S.P.P.A.M."

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Another nice piece of news

I got an email from Tim Miller, chairman of Fencon, the Dallas con that is being held in November. They've asked me to submit a story for their program book. This is a first for me. I'm honored, especially since Connie Willis is the GOH.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wow! Another great review

Tangent online on Tuesday came out with its review of the second issue of Darker Matter, and - wow - they loved "Avatar". This is what Alasdair Stuart wrote:

"Lou Antonelli’s story, "Avatar," begins at the end, decades after a nuclear war. Doc Damon and Professor Ledkins are members of staff at the University of Texakarna, the capital of the new, if heavily damaged, Texas. It’s implied, although never stated outright, that in this world the Cuban Missile Crisis turned into all-out war, and much of America is in ruins. Decades on from the war though, scientists are patiently working to recreate mankind’s knowledge and Damon and Ledkins think they may have a solution to a very big problem indeed. What they find instead manages to not only turn the "post world war III" genre on its head but also to comment on one of the oldest and least interesting SF tropes with a good deal of compassion and warmth.


"Antonelli’s story is hard work, at least at first. The war and the state of the world takes up much of the front end and is presented in a fairly unabashed info dump, albeit one which functions well for the character. That aside, there’s a lot to enjoy here from the peaceful, if ramshackle, University life Ledkins enjoys to the genuinely surprising ending. This reviewer is an unashamed fan of historical enigma fiction and Antonelli marries that with one of the oldest SF tropes in the book to create something new and quietly, intellectually heroic."

Mr. Stuart got everything - how I went out on a tightrope trying to do something new with the old post-Apocalyptic trope, how I went for the usual Antonelli twist ending ("genuinely surprising"), how I dropped the hints about how in this alternate world the Cuban Missile Crisis resulted in WWIII, and how I use the "unabashed" info dump.

This may be the best single review a story of mine has ever gotten. Tangent didn't like "Rocket", too! Nice encouragement.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Very nice review

I do sometimes take great breaks from this goofy blog, because:

1. I hate blogs. They're too much like work - my work, being a journalist.

2. I have a constant battle with carpal tunnel syndrome, and when I'm trying to shed (work) load, it's a logical thing to dump. Besides, I have my own web site, Sentinel S-F.

But I have to admit, this is something to make note of. I got my copy of SF Crowsnest in my email two days ago. It's one of the two monthly s-f newsletters I get (the other is Ansible). I saw a fellow named Rod McDonald reviewed the second issue of Darker Matter, the April issue. He was very positive on the webzine in general, and then said about my story:

"However, my favourite was 'Avatar' by Lou Antonelli. This is a story about Texas by an author from Texas. Only it is set in an alternative reality in the early 21st century, some forty plus years after a nuclear war had ravaged America and presumably the Soviet Union as well. Antonelli is of an age to have been around in the early sixties when everyone more or less expected the probability of a nuclear strike. Being of the same age, I can understand his concerns. The heroes in the story are geriatric guys involved in genetic research, a relevant issue especially with the high mutation rates caused by radiation. This is a worthwhile story and one which you should definitely read!"

Well, I guess he liked it.

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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