Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Visits at 'DilloCon

Like most people, I came away from Armadillocon bemoaning the briefness of many conversations. There's just so many people to see, you just don't have enough time.

One person I was happy to meet, for the first time, was John DeNardo, the fellow who runs the SF Signal web site. He was just up for Saturday, and we chatted for a while in the lobby. I told him that his web site is one of the three news web sites I visit every day (the others being SF Scope and Locus). I commended him for a job well done.

Doug Potter is another person I was happy to meet for the first time. He's an old friend of Howard's. I guess we've never been on any panels together because he is an artist. Really friendly; he came with us Saturday night when we ate dinner at Fuddruckers.

I met Bill Ledbetter and tickled the pink out of him when I told him I tuckerized him in my upcoming novelette, "Dispatches from the Troubles," which is going to be published by GUD next spring. Guillermo "Bill" Ledbetter is the head of the American Irish Republic state police.

Bill asked, "Ooh, do I get blown up?" Which was funny, because the character actually does get blowed up by a roadside bomb. Bill said, "I always wanted to get buried in a bucket!"

Saw Steve Utley for a while, and served on a panel with him. It was only the second time we've visited; I saw him for the first time at last year's DilloCon.

I attended Maureen McHugh's reading and talked with her a bit. Had nice visits with Adrian Simmons and Tam Thompson (I don't know whether I've seen Tam since a Turkey City Workshop in 2005). Visited with James Hogan after our panel Saturday night - another all-too-short exchange.

Talked to Elizabeth Moon in the con suite. Had another short chat with Scott Cup. Tim Miller was there; I'm looking forward to FenCon next month.

Chatted more extensively with the usual suspects - Howard, Joe Lansdale, Jayme Blaschke.

Brad Denton only was able to stop by on Sunday. I mentioned again how impressed I was that "Sergeant Chip" seems to be on the way of becoming a classic. I had telephoned him after the "Mind Meld" feature ran on SF Signal because two of us had cited "Chip" as a memorable story.

Chatting in the lobby with Denton and a cluster of people led to one of the funniest exchanges of the con. I told Brad I was always impressed how well-written the story was; it was obvious how much work went into the story. Brad confirmed that. I said that - with my background in journalism - I get bored with a story after three hours.

I turned to Howard and said, "Now Howard, here, he works on a story for 20 years."

Jayme Blaschke says, "Howard thinks about a story for 20 years."

We all laugh, and Howard says, "And then I start sharpening my quill," making the appropriate gesture. It was pretty funny.


  1. It was nice to finally meet in person, Lou. And thanks again for the kind words! Now excuse me while I seek ways to deflate my ego. :)

  2. I'm looking forward to reading the whole story, not just my own messy demise! And now I'll have to keep an eye open for a good place to Tuckerize you too.


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

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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