Tuesday, January 29, 2008

From the Sayings of Chairman Lou

Between writing journalism and writing s-f and fantasy, I prefer writing s-f and fantasy... because it usually makes more sense. But you can make a living writing journalism...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Some nice words

Not much writing accomplished this week - I'm more like a retrenchment phase after getting through the begining of the book - but I have a couple days off coming up and espect to hit the keyboard hard again.

On Monday, Rich Horton, in his blog The Elephant Forgets, wrote up (along with his many other compendiums) some comments about a few online fiction sources during 2007, and he was nice enough to mention Sentinel SF:

"Sentinel SF is a project of Lou Antonelli. Like Spacesuits and Sixguns, they had webhosting problems, and the archive is gone, and it's not clear whether the site will return. But in 2007 I saw some 13 stories, all short, 6 short-shorts, about 22,000 words total. There was some quite interesting work from Antonelli himself, and from Howard Waldrop, Jay Lake, and Steven Utley. (One notices a distinct Texan flavor there!) 2 of 13 stories (I believe) were by women, and most of the stories, as I recall, were SF -- perhaps 10?"

Rich also went over Planetay stories, and said he felt "Fermi's Fraternity" was of the two best stories he saw. Thanks, Rich!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Couple of Lists

In the past couple of days a couple of lists have been been released. i'll repring them here in case anyone is interested.

First, the Nebula preliminary ballot has been released:

Novels

Ragamuffin, by Tobias Buckell
(Tor, Jun07)

The Yiddish Policemen's Union, by Michael Chabon
(HarperCollins, May07)

Species Imperative #3: Regeneration, by Julie E. Czerneda
(DAW, May06)

Vellum: The Book of All Hours, by Hal Duncan
(Del Rey, Apr06 (Macmillan hardcover Nov05 (UK)))

The Accidental Time Machine, by Joe Haldeman
(Ace, Aug07)

The New Moon's Arms, by Nalo Hopkinson
(Warner Books, Feb07)

Mainspring, by Jay Lake
(Tor, Jun07)

Odyssey, by Jack McDevitt
(Ace, Nov06)

The Outback Stars, by Sandra McDonald
(Tor, May07)

Strange Robby, by Selina Rosen
(Meisha Merlin Publishing Jul06)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling
(Scholastic Press, Jul07)

Rollback, by Robert J. Sawyer
(Analog, Feb07 (serialized in Oct06 through Jan/Feb07 issues; Tor book, Apr07))

Blindsight, by Peter Watts (free Creative Commons versions)
(Tor, Oct06)

Novellas

"The Helper and His Hero," by Matt Hughes
(F&SF, Mar07 (Feb07 & Mar07))

"Fountain of Age," by Nancy Kress
(Asimov's, Jul07)

"Stars Seen Through Stone," by Lucius Shepard
(F&SF, Jul07)

"Kiosk," by Bruce Sterling
(F&SF, Jan07)

"Memorare," by Gene Wolfe
(F&SF, Apr07)

Novelettes

"The Children's Crusade," by Robin Wayne Bailey
(Heroes in Training, Martin H. Greenberg and Jim C. Hines, Ed., DAW, Sep07)

"A Flight of Numbers Fantastique Strange," by Beth Bernobich
(Asimov's, Jun06)

"Things That Aren't," by Michael A. Burstein and Robert Greenberger
(Analog, Apr07)

"The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate," by Ted Chiang
(F&SF, Sep07)

"Sister of the Hedge," by Jim C. Hines
(Realms of Fantasy, Jun06)

"The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs Of North Park After the Change," by Kij Johnson
(Coyote Road, Trickster Tales, Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, Ed., Viking Juvenile, Jul07)

"The Sun God at Dawn, Rising from a Lotus Blossom," by Andrea Kail
(Writers of the Future Volume 23, Algis Budrys, Ed., Galaxy Press, Sep07)

"Safeguard," by Nancy Kress
(Asimov's, Jan07)

"Alastair Baffle's Emporium of Wonders," by Mike Resnick
(Asimov's, Jan08)

"Tonino and the Incubus," by Peg Robinson
(Helix: A Speculative Fiction Quarterly, WS & LWE, Ed., Oct06 (Fall06 issue -- #2))

"Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter," by Geoff Ryman
(F&SF, Nov06)

"The Fiddler of Bayou Teche," by Delia Sherman
(Coyote Road, Trickster Tales, Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, Ed., Viking Juvenile, Jul07)

"Not of this Fold," by William Shunn
(An Alternate History of the 21st Century, Spilt Milk Press, Sep07)

Short Stories

"Unique Chicken Goes In Reverse," by Andy Duncan
(Eclipse 1: New Science Fiction And Fantasy, Jonathan Strahan, Ed., Night Shade Books, Oct07)

"The Padre, the Rabbi, and the Devil His Own Self," by Melanie Fletcher
(Helix: A Speculative Fiction Quarterly, WS & LWE, Ed., Oct06 (Fall06 issue -- #2))

"Always," by Karen Joy Fowler
(Asimov's, May07 (apr/may07 issue))

"For Solo Cello, op. 12," by Mary Robinette Kowal
(Cosmos, Mar07 (Feb/Mar07))

"Titanium Mike Saves the Day," by David D. Levine (F&SF, Apr07)

"The Story of Love," by Vera Nazarian
Salt of the Air, Prime Books, Sep06)

"Captive Girl," by Jennifer Pelland
(Helix: A Speculative Fiction Quarterly, WS & LWE, Ed., Oct06 (Fall06 issue -- #2))

Scripts

Children of Men, by Alfonso Cuaron, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus, and Hawk Ostby
(Universal Studios, Dec06)

Pan's Labyrinth, by Guillermo del Toro
(Time/Warner, Jan07)

The Discarded, by Harlan Ellison and Josh Olson
(Masters of Science Fiction, ABC-TV, Apr07)

Blink, by Steven Moffat ()
(Doctor Who, BBC/The Sci-Fi Channel, Sep07 (Aired on SciFi Channel 14 Sep07))

The Prestige, by Christopher Nolan and Jonathon Nolan
(Newmarket Films, Oct06 (Oct 20, 2006 -- based on the novel by Christopher Priest))

V for Vendetta, by Larry Wachowski and Andy Wachowski
(Warner Films, Mar06 (released 3/17/2006 -- Written by the Wachowski Brothers, based on the graphic novel illustrated by David Lloyd and published by Vertigo/DC Comics))

World Enough and Time, by Marc Scott Zicree and Michael Reaves (Star Trek: New Voyages, http://www.startreknewvoyages.com, Aug07 (Aired 8/23/07))

Andre Norton Award

Vintage: A Ghost Story, by Steve Berman
(Haworth Positronic Press, Mar07)

Into the Wild, by Sarah Beth Durst
(Penguin Razorbill, Jun07)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling
(Scholastic Press, Jul07)

Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog, by Ysabeau S. Wilce
(Harcourt, Jan07)

Note that the Novel, Short Fiction, and Script juries may each add one work to the final ballot in their categories; the Norton jury may add up to three works to the Norton final ballot.

The Nebula Awards weekend will be April 25-27 in Austin.

The other major list I sww is the TOC for Gardner Dozois' annual anthology:

FINISTERRA, David Moles
LIGHTING OUT, Ken MacLeod
THE OCEAN IS A SNOWFLAKE, FOUR BILLION MILES AWAY, John Barnes
SAVING TIAMAAT, Gweyneth Jones
OF LATE I DREAMT OF VENUS, James Van Pelt
VERTHANDI'S RING, Ian McDonald
SEA CHANGE, Una McCormack
THE SKY IS LARGE AND THE EARTH IS SMALL, Chris Roberson
GLORY, Greg Egan
AGAINST THE CURRENT, Robert Silverberg
ALIEN ARCHEOLOGY, Neal Asher
THE MERCHANT AND THE ALCHEMIST'S GATE, Ted Chiang
BEYOND THE WALL, Justin Stanchfield
KIOSK, Bruce Sterling
LAST CONTACT, Stephen Baxter
THE SLEDGE-MAKER'S DAUGHTER, Alastair Reynolds
SANJEEV AND ROBOTWALLAH, Ian McDonald
THE SKYSAILOR'S TALE, Michael Swanwick
OF LOVE AND OTHER MONSTERS, Vandana Singh
STEVE FEVER, Greg Egan
HELLFIRE AT TWILIGHT, Kage Baker
THE IMMORTALS OF ATLANTIS, Brian Stableford
NOTHING PERSONAL, Pat Cadigan
TIDELINE, Elizabeth Bear
THE ACCORD, Keith Brooke
LAWS OF SURVIVAL, Nancy Kress
THE MISTS OF TIME, Tom Purdom
CRATERS, Kristine Kathyrn Rusch
THE PROPHET OF FLORES, Ted Kosmatka
STRAY, Benjamin Rosenbaum & David Ackert
ROXIE, Robert Reed
DARK HEAVEN, Gregory Benford

The novel is coming along great. I'm actually enjoying my own story.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The book

The question of which short story to proceed with was decided on New Year's day by a visit to the local Hastings book store. Now, I've had a book outline for a while, but I hadn't been able to get started for a simple reason - I couldn't come up with a good title. While browsing the shelves, I guess a conflation of titles came together into something original - and appropriate, given the subject of my book. I began writing up the outline that night and I've been working on it ever since. So the answer to the question was: None. Write the book.

Today was my birthday (51st). I invited friends from work over for some home-made lasagna. Beforehand, I had to make a last-minute run to pick up some supplies. As I passed the supermarket paperback book rack, I saw a copy of "Variable Star". So I bought it.

Overall, not a bad week at all.

On New Year's day, I began writing my great s-f novel. On my birthday, I bought a copy of Robert Heinlein's last s-f novel.

Sounds like John Scalzi, don't it? (wink)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Pubs in 2007

I guess I should make a note, here on Jan. 1, of my stories that were published in the year just past:

"The Amerikaan Way" - Atomjack magazine, March 2007
"Avatar" - Darker Matter, April 2007
"Insight" - Twisted Tongue, May 2007
"It's Wonderful, Life" - Twisted Tongue, May 2007
"Fermi's Fraternity" - Plantetary Stories, September 2007
"Body by Fisher" - FenCon IV Souvenir Program Book, September 2007
"My Ugly Little Self" - Twisted Tongue, December 2007

Atomjack and Planetary Stories are ezines. Darker Matter (based in the UK) was also an ezine. It ceased after five issues. Twisted Tongue (also based in the UK) is one of those pdf POD publications. The Fencon Souvenir Book was print (obviously) and had nce art.

Personally, I liked "The Amerikaan Way" very much, but Avatar (also an alternate history) got the best notice and reviews.

Sentinel SF - The Year in Review

Despite sputtering to a halt by the end of the year, Sentinel S-F published five issues in 2007. Here is a recap:

January 2007

"Cavers" by Paul Carlson
"Kindermarchen" by Howard Waldrop
"Two Men in a Cave Without a Net" by Lou Antonelli

March 2007

"Mr. Wyatt in Darkest Africa" by Steve Utley
"The Zeitsev" by Michael Hart

May 2007

"Collateral Damage" by David Gray
"The League of Dead Nations" by Lou Antonelli
"Fire-Heart and Rose-Lips" by Jay Lake

July 2007
"Day of Heroes" by Terry Bramlett
"Persona non Grata" by Cynthia Ward
"Deviation from a Theme" by Steve Utley

Sept. 2007 (all flash issue)

"Spin" by Paul Carlson
"The Case for RFID" by Sue Lange
"Something Apollonius Rhodius Left Out" by Berrien Henderson
"The Scrawl of Cthulu" by David Marshall
"Don't Forget to Write" by Dan Pearlman

All stories were original except in the case of the pair by Steve Utley, which were reprinted from small pubs in the '70s.

Readers Poll

Sentinel S-F Readers' Poll

Sentinel S-F had five issues in 2007, in January, March, May, July and September. They included ten original short stories (as opposed to flashes).

What was your favorite Sentinel S-F short story of the year?
"Cavers" by Paul Carlson
"Kindermarchen" by Howard Waldrop
"The Zeitsev" by Michael Hart
"Collateral Damage" by David Gray
"Fire-Heart and Rose Lips" by Jay Lake
"Day of Heroes" by Terry Bramlett
"Persona non Grata" by Cynthia Ward
"Two Men in a Cave Without a Net" by Lou Antonelli radio" name="poll" value="10">"The League of Dead Nations" by Lou Antonelli

View Results

Create your own myspace poll

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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