Monday, April 27, 2009

All at once

It's fascinating that you can go for weeks, if not months, and nothing happens of interest, and then for some strange reason - WHAMMO - everyone schedules events at the same time.

This past weekend there were four different events I could have gone to. Locally, the Northeast Texas Writers Organization had a weekend retreat and workshop. On the state level, the Associated Press Managing Editors (APME) held their annual Texas meeting in Austin. Regionally, Conestoga was held in Tulsa. Nationally, the Nebula awards weekend was in Los Angeles.

I've not had much to do with the local writers group - they're mostly old people who've taken up writing in retirement. The APME conference is something the paper would have paid for; last year I was sent to Galveston, but this year the trip was cut as part of the overall belt-tightening because of the economy.

I attended Conestoga in 2006 and 2007, but skipped it last year - again, to save money - and the same applies this year. I really, really liked the Con, I've had some of my best times at a con there, but ya' can't be every place. They also moved it from July to April this year, which wiped it off my calendar very early because of the aforementioned conflicts.

I went to the Nebulas last year because they were in Austin, but otherwise there was no way I was going to schlep myself out to the West Coast this year. I hate traveling, in general.

In case you didn't see it somewhere else, here is the list of winners and honorees:

2008 Nebula and Andre Norton Award Winners
Best Novel: Powers by Ursula K. Le Guin
Best Novella: "The Spacetime Pool" by Catherine Asaro
Best Novelette: "Pride and Prometheus" by John Kessel
Best Short Story: "Trophy Wives" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Best Script: WALL-E Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter
Andre Norton Award: How a Girl of Spirit Gambles All to Expand Her Vocabulary, Confront a Bouncing Boy Terror, and Try to Save Califa from a Shaky Doom (Despite Being Confined to Her Room) by Ysabeau S. Wilce

2009 Award Honorees
A. J. Budrys -- Solstice Award
M.J. Engh -- Author Emerita
Marty Greenberg -- Solstice Award
Harry Harrison -- Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master
Joss Whedon -- Ray Bradbury Award
Kate Wilhelm -- Solstice Award

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Progress on the collection

Ian Strock emails to say the collection is in his hands safe and sound and he's proofing the manuscript. Still up in the air is the subject of cover art and publication schedule. I suggested contacting Science Fiction Trails about art; I thought the cover of issue No. 4 (which ran "Professor Malakoff") was a hoot - the robot cheating at poker.

Publication schedule is problematic, this this is the first original title they've bought. We'll keep you posted.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The latest from Fantastic

On Tuesday, SFScope published the news about Ian Strock and my book. On Thursday they published the news about other purchases:

#

Fantastic Books announces its first slew of reprints
By Kit Hawkins April 23, 2009

Publisher Warren Lapine writes that Fantastic Books has agreements with several authors to bring back into print a number of books, including:

Damien Broderick:
The Judas Mandala
The Dreaming
Uncle Bones

Linda E. Bushyager:
The Spellstone of Shaltus
Master of Hawks

Paul Di Filippo:
Fuzzy Dice

Gregory Frost:
Lyrec

James Gunn:
Human Voices
The Joy Makers
The Magicians
This Fortress World

Shariann Lewitt:
First and Final Rites
Angel at Apogee
Cyberstealth
Dancing Vac
Blind Justice
Cybernetic Jungle
Songs of Chaos
Memento Mori
Interface Masque
Rebel Sutra

Judith Moffett:
Pennterra

Kristine Kathryn Rusch:
The Devil's Churn
Sins of the Blood
Traitors
The Fey: Revival
The Fey: Changeling
The Fey: Victory
The Fey: Resistance
The Fey: Sacrifice
Traitors
Facade
Alien Influences
Heart Readers
The White Mists of Power

Dean Wesley Smith:
Laying the Music to Rest

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It is done

The collection is complete and I emailed Ian Strock the word document this evening.

Coincidentally, news about the purchase was posted on sfscope today. Here's the story:

#

Ian Randal Strock joins Fantastic Books as a freelance acquisitions editor
By Kit Hawkins April 21, 2009


SFScope Editor and Publisher Ian Randal Strock is taking on a new part-time role: he's now an acquiring editor for Wilder Publications' new sf/f imprint Fantastic Books (see this article for more on the imprint). SFScope remains his main focus, but in his extra time, he'll be reading novels and collections for the new imprint.

Strock has already acquired his first book: a reprint collection by Lou Antonelli entitled Fantastic Texas. Contents of the book will include:
Introduction by Howard Waldrop
"A Rocket for the Republic" (originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction, September 2005)
"The Witch of Waxahachie" (Jim Baen's Universe, April 2008)
"The Cast Iron Dybbuk" (Andromeda Spaceways In-flight Magazine, June/July 2005)
"Avatar" (Darker Matter, April 2007)
"Silence is Golden" (Revolution SF, August 2003)
"The Rocket-Powered Cat" (Revolution SF, December 2004
"Rome, If You Want To" (Surprising Stories, May 2004)
"Big Girl" (Ultraverse, May/June 2005)
"The Silver Dollar Saucer" (Ray Gun Revival, January 2009)
"Body by Fisher" (FenCon IV Souvenir Program Book, September 2007)
"Video Killed the Radio Star" (Aphelion, December 2008)
"Professor Malakoff's Amazing Ethereal Telegraph" (Space Western Trails No. 4, March 2009)

Prior to founding SFScope, Strock was the news editor of Science Fiction Chronicle. Before that he was the editor and publisher of Artemis Magazine, and the associate editor of Analog Science Fiction and Fact and Asimov's Science Fiction magazines. He is also a freelance editor, and on the editorial staff of Padwolf Publishing.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bad news, good news

The bad news I spent most of the weekend bed-ridden with what seems to have been an attack of food poisoning. The suspect is a roast beef hero from a local sandwich shop where I ate Saturday night. Patricia, thankfully, didn't have the same thing, and so escaped unscathed.

Good news is that Howard's introduction has arrived, so we are in the home stretch for my "Fantastic Texas" collection. I dropped Ian Strock a note to to let him know it will be on its way soon.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

In action


Here is a photo of me talking to the college students Thursday night, taken by one of the host professors.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Busy week

I haven't posted much this week because I have been busy writing the intros to each story in my collection "Fantastic Texas", as well as doing the editorial revisions.

I spoke to over 50 students who attended the screening of "Fahrenheit 451" at Northeast Texas Community College last night (Thursday). Although there was some chatter at the start of the movie, the teens got quiet and actually payed close attention to the movie. The only time they hooted was during the scene when Montag was on the run and a quartet of policemen go looking for him using jet packs. The special effects look so bad now...

The two professors who hosted the s-f film series said the finale far and away was the best attended screening.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bad news

Insurance company says our roof is kaput, and it will have to be replaced.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Aww, hail!


Nasty storm blew through town last night, and dropped golf-ball sized hail on the house. I had to run outside and pull my car in the garage while getting my brains knocked out. I normally park in front because we have a semi-circular driveway. I like to pull in and drive out, and also parking there keeps people from using it as a turnaround (we're on a fairly busy street).

Took a picture of the hail with a ruler and a silver dollar for comparison.

Howard wrote and said he's working on the introduction to the collection. I'm working on my story intros and edits.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Back to basics

Not a blasted thing new to report in ther past few days, so when in doubt, back to Metropolis:

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Lullaby of the Blogosphere

You know, back during the Great Depression, when people were scrambling around for ideas on how to solve the economic crisis, there was a slew of political ideas being floated around - socialism, fascism, technocracy, social justice, social credit, and on and on.

Today, there's basically one idea left - socialism - or so it seems. Truth be told, the real story is that there simply isn't that much diversity left in the media, and it reflects a small segment of America's elite, which is statist. Libertarians - heck, even social democrats - aren't getting much air time.

The down side to this is that, if there is any kind of genuine and spontaneous original political movement in the next few years, it will seemingly come out of nowhere because the media wasn't covering it. I'm hearing all sort of rumblings about "tea parties" and the Republic of Texas movement, but nobody is covering it.

Ron Paul's campaign for president last year attracted some attention, but the media elite only reported it when it became impossible to ignore.

Hope this all turns out for the best. Meanwhile, take a look at this screen capture I came up with. It's from 1935 - the depth of the last depression - and no, it isn't a fascist party rally. It's from the "Lullaby of Broadway" dance number by Busby Berkley from "The Golddiggers on 1935".

Kinda subliminal, huh, about what was on people's minds? I wonder what's really on people's minds these days. We'll never know from the major media. I wish I knew myself.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

"Fantastic Texas"

Ian Randal Strock, acquiring editor for Warren Lapine's Fantastic Books, has bought a reprint collection of Texas-themed stories of mine, to be entitled "Fantastic Texas". I believe this is the first collection Fantastic Books has bought. The stories to be included are:

A Rocket for the Republic
The Witch of Waxahachie
The Cast Iron Dybbuk
Avatar
Silence is Golden
The Rocket-Powered Cat
Rome, If You Want To
Big Girl
The Silver Dollar Saucer
Body by Fisher
Video Killed the Radio Star
Professor Malakoff's Amazing Ethereal Telegraph

I got word in the mail yesterday. Needless to say I'm tickled pinkless. I'm now working on the editor's revisions and writing the intros to each story.

Howard Waldrop has agreed to write an intro. Bless you, Howard.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

M-Brane hits the stands

It's the first of April and issue No. 3 of M-Brane SF is out. I'm very proud of my story, the second in the line-up, "Good News for the Dead".

The TOC, copied from my pdf author's copy of the magazine, is as follows:

WALLER: Hard Frost 1, 3
ANTONELLI: Good News For the Dead 6
HOWARD: The Sufferance 10
GARDNER: See Saw 13
HAYDEN: End Day 14
McINTYRE: Embrace 19
IVKOVICH: Time Noir 20
CALCATERRA: Tripsy 30
BRILL: Sleepless Sleep 34
VAN BELLE: The Barking Death Squirrels 38

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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