Sunday, April 27, 2008

Back from Austin

I left Friday afternoon to attend the Nebulas Weekend in Austin. Because my roommate left earlier Friday, I took a bus and caught up with him. We drove back up together in his car.

Had a great time visiting with some old friends, including Lee Martindale, Jayme Blaschke, Mel Tatum, Joe Lansdale and Ardath Mayhar, and some people I haven't seen in a few years, such as Stan Schmidt and Geoffrey Landis. I met Paul Stevens and Gordon Van Gelder, who I saw last year at various cons, and I met some people such as Walter Jon Williams, Michael Capobianco, Paul Melko and Sheila Williams that I had never met before.

The awards banquet wasn't too boring. Joe Lansdale's toastmaster speech was a hoot, and Michael Moorcock's Grandmaster speech was fascinating - to me. I bet a lot of old timers found it boring, but a lot of the history he recapitulated was new stuff to me.

The winners by the way were:

Novel: The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon

Novella: "Fountain of Age" by Nancy Kress

Novelette: "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" by Ted Chiang

Short Story: "Always" by Karen Joy Fowler

Script: Pan's Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Good news from an unexpected quarter

I got an email today I didn't expect. It began:

"Congratulations! You have been selected for a follow-up appointment at an upcoming Jeopardy! contestant search for the Dallas area, exclusively for those who successfully passed the online test. This is the next step in becoming a Jeopardy! contestant. We have reserved the following appointment for you:" and so forth.

I took the on-line test for the game show a few weeks ago and promptly forgot about it.

I had thought that my story on Ardath Mayhar had run in the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel last Sunday, but I called Managing Editor Bobbie Goodrich today and learned that, because of a scheduling mistake, it didn't run until today. I asked her to me a tear sheet.

Getting ready to leave for Austin the day after tomorrow.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thanks!

My rate of posting has slowed somewhat, as I am rushing to meet my goal of having a book completed by the time of the Nebula weekend.

As I noted previously, I published my story on Ardath Mayhar in my paper last Sunday. I sent a clipping to her, and she emailed me a few days ago.

She was very pleased with the story and said it was very accurate, "You came nearer writing a flawless interview than any reporter I have encountered so far."

"I hope to see you next week in Austin," she continued. "Thank you
for the nice write-up."

The Nacogdoches paper should be running the story this Sunday. Ardath said they sent someone oit to take their own photo.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Responsibility

I got emails this weekend from Terry Bramlett and Paula Goodlett. Terry has been nominated for a Nebula award in the novelette category for his story "Child, Maiden, Mother, Crone" which was published in Jim Baen's Universe last June.

This is the first story ever nominated for a Nebula from JBU. It's a great honor and appropriate recognition for Terry, and I'm sure he is justifiably proud.

Terry said he can't attend the awards banquet, and he asks that in case he wins, I accept the award for him. Of course, I said yes. In addition to being a fellow JBU author, I published one of Terry's stories, "Day of Heroes", last year in Sentinel SF.

Paula (who is the managing editor of JBU) also said she can't attend, and so she seconded the suggestion. So I will be representing JBU and Terry at the banquet.

Terry pooh-poohs his chances, as a first-time nominee from a relatively new publication, in the face of stiff competition from folks such as Geoff Ryman, Nancy Kress and Ted Chiang, among others - but I say, don't count the kid from Mississippi out!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mayhar story

Well, I published my story on Ardath Mayhar in Sunday's paper. It came in at over 1,200 words and was the only story on the Entertainment page. I've already sent a copy to Bobbie Goodrich, the managing editor at the Nacogdoches Sentinel. She loved it and plans to run it next Sunday.

I will offer the story through the Associated Press and if they pick it up, it will be available to papers throughout the state.

Plans are firming up for the trip to Austin the weekend after next for the Nebula weekend.

I'm hitting the keyboard hard and fast to finish up a novel that I want to have complete before then.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Day the Earth Caught Fire

My newspaper has a Spanish-language weekly edition - which I edit with the help of a bilingual staff member (I don't read or write Spanish myself). I use Spanish-language articles from the Associated Press on some of the pages, and in working on the section I noticed there was a photo of a street vendor in Mexico City chopping up blocks of ice - they'e having a heat wave, and it was up to 81 degrees today.

I'm using the photo in the paper, and that jogged my memory of this movie - which not only was a neat s-f flick, but just about the best movie I ever saw as it relates to the newspaper business.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Conversation with Ardath


I had about a 40-minute conversation with Ardath Mayhar on the phone yesterday afternoon. Ardath is being recognized by the SFWA as Author Emeritus at the Nebulas weekend.

Since Ardath is a regional author, I plan to write up a story for the entertainment page of my paper, and let everyone know about this recognition.

It was a very pleasant conversation, and I learned a lot. I met her at Fencon in 2004 - I had no idea that, because of mobility problems, that was the last con she attended. She was only able to be there because Joe Lansdale carried her, and it will be MoJo Joe who will be taking her to Austin later this month.

I called SFWA President Michael Capobianco to get some authoritative information on the recognition itself.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Nebula reservation


I waited until the price went up to $125, but I made my on-line reservation and payment for the Nebula Weekend last Thursday.

If you think this delay reflects a certain amount of hesitation, you're right. I have never attended a con I pre-registered for.

Back in 2003, when I first started attending cons, I pre-registered for Armadillco and Conestoga. Between the time I signed up and the event, things happened to keep me from attending,

Missing Conestoga was a bit of a disappointment. Missing Armadillocon (which in 2003 was having its 25th anniversary) was a major let-down. Of course, I also lost my money.

I had attended ConDFW that previous February on a VIP Pass (as a member of the media). I wanted to attend another con before the end of the year so much that I flew to PhilCon that December.

I didn't preregister, I just paid at the door. No problems at all. Had a great time, too.

By 2004 I started getting invites because I sold "Rocket" to Asimov's in March. So that took care of the pre-registration issue.

I did go to DilloCon in August 2004. Again, paid at the door. No problems. I got invites for Conestoga in 2006 and 2007. A couple of the best cons I ever went to.

Two years ago I pre-registered for the LA Worldcon. Within a month, my wife I and had two auto wrecks (with two totaled vehicles) and she also lost a finger when a family dog went insane and attacked her.

Needless to say, traveling to California was out of the question. Bye-bye, WorldCon.

I haven't attended a con since where I wasn't a panelist.

I guess the only reason I might be safe in that the Nebulas isn't a con. I hope.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Paternity test?


As I mentioned in my post when I was in Galveston, I attended a fund raiser auction Saturday night held by the Texas Assciated Press Managing Editors and bought an original cartoon by Etta Hulme of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It was published in 2004, and, of course, when I saw it, I immediately thought of the s-f writers I have served on panels with who actually worked on the Mars Rover.

I've scanned it on my scanner at home and here it is. It is now hanging in my office at home.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Jim Baen's Universe

I need to take moment here to tout ALL the stories in the current edition of JBU. It's a great line-up, as usual:

Table of Contents, Jim Baen's Universe, April 2008

Science Fiction Stories:

Manumission by Tobias S. Buckell

Virtually, A Cat by Jody Lynn Nye

Indomitable by Jack McDevitt

Honorable Enemies: A Jake Masters Mystery by Mike Resnick

Fantasy Stories:

Scraps of Fog by Sarah A. Hoyt

The Witch of Waxahachie by Lou Antonelli

Knight of Coins by Margaret Ronald

Serials:

Countdown to Armageddon, Episode Four by Edward M. Lerner

Fish Story, Episode Twelve by Eric Flint, Dave Freer and Andrew Dennis

Nonfiction:

Becoming Stewards of Our World: The Great Theme of the 21st Century, Part Two, Editing the Sun: A Way Out Way Out by Gregory Benford

Earth's Next Schism by Stephen Euin Cobb


Introducing Stories:


Red Tape and Cold Iron, or A Proposal for the Reintroduction of the Faery Folk to the United Kingdom by Lucy Bond

Extreme Reservations by R. J. Ortega

Classic:

Born of the Sun by Jack Williamson

Columns:

Attending Worldcon by Mike Resnick

A Matter of Symbiosis by Eric Flint

The Matrix and the Star Maker by Mike Resnick

The Toy Shop by Barry N. Malzberg

April 2008, What's New in The Future And You by Stephen Euin Cobb

Back from Galveston

Got back home from Galveston last night. It was a long drive - I think we left Galveston Island at 1 p.m. and got home at 8:30 p.m. The girls (dogs) were happy to see us!

Happy to see today that the April issue of Baen's Universe is up and live. I hope a few people like "The Witch of Waxahachie".

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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