Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sadness in the s-f community

The well-liked and accomplished author Kage Baker died this morning. She has cancer and reached the point where treatments became in effective. I never met her, but I knew many people who had. Too bad.

SFScope has provided a little publicity for Fantastic Texas, listing it among books received.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Well, another first

Like some other people, I carry a book around to read when I have to kill time. It comes in handy when there are breaks and recesses in meetings, or I have to wait out closed door sessions.

Tonight I had to attend a meeting for a highway transportation project that included a 30-minute break as an opportunity for members of the public to view schematics and ask questions. So I grabbed the book in my briefcase and gave it a read.

BUT, this time the book I'm carrying is "Fantastic Texas". I sat down and re-read "Video Killed the Radio Star". I don't know if I'm weird, but I enjoyed the story - even though I wrote it.

This is the first time I ever took a book break with my own book...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A first

A person who bought a copy of "Fantastic Texas" at the local bookstore came by my office at the newspaper and asked me to sign it. That's the first time that's ever happened. Wow! I'm not having a book signing until Feb. 6 (at the same bookstore).

Dropped a book proposal into the email today to an agent. It's the book based on "The Witch of Waxahachie", now called "The Witch of the West".

Got my contributor's preview via email for Issue No. 5 of Abandoned Towers. It will feature my story "Across the Plains".

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Back in business

I've been pre-occupied this past week with a special project at work, the single largest special section the News Department does each year, so I've been out of pocket for a while. I'm getting back to normal.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Props from M-Brane S-F

Chris Fletcher, the publisher of M-Brane S-F, put up some nice comments about the collection and myself on the magazine's web site Sunday:

Antonelli's FANTASTIC TEXAS released

"Prolific speculative fiction writer Lou Antonelli, whose story "Good News for the Dead" appeared last year in M-Brane SF #3, has a new book out, titled Fantastic Texas, from Fantasic Books/Wilder Publications. It can be found by way of Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and some details about it are posted here as well. Lou's work has long been well-regarded by readers, and he has appeared in dozens of magazines and anthologies in recent years."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Predators and Editors poll

Looks like "Professor Malakoff" came in a respectable 9th in the Predators and Editors readers poll. Glad to see that. It was one of my better received stories on 2009.

Sending out emails to drum up support for "Fantastic Texas". Just got in the promotional business cards.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

For the record

I've seen other authors do this, so I guess I will, too: Here are my publications during 2009:

"The Silver Dollar Saucer" - Ray Gun Revival - January 2009

"Professor Malakoff's Amazing Ethereal Telegraph" - Science Fiction Trails No. 4 - March 2009

"Good News for the Dead" - M-Brane SF April 2009

"Airy Chick" - Alienskin magazine, June 2009

"Stairway to Heaven" (with Ed Morris), Encounters Nov. 2009

"Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" (with Ed Morris), The Fifth Dimension, Dec. 2009

"Twilight on the Finger Lakes", Bewildering Stories, Dec. 2009

I guess this helps people interested in making Hugo nominations. I'm not planning to do any myself, and honestly I know so few authors on a personal basis I would be shocked if I got any nominations, but there they are for the record.

All are short stories except "Airy Chick", which was a flash.

The first two, "The Silver Dollar Saucer" and "Professor Malakoff", were the last two stories to be included in my "Fantastic Texas" collection.

Science Fiction Trails is out


Science Fiction Trails No. 5 is now available. These ain’t your pappy’s western stories. Saddle up for a wild ride of western tales with a blast of science fiction featuring Lou Antonelli, John Howard, David M. Fitzpatrick, John M. Whalen, C. J. Killmer, Sam Kepfield, Jennifer Campbell-Hicks & Jack London with cover a...rt by Laura Givens. Learn more about cattle drives than you ever wanted to know, see an alternate view of the Texas revolution and more!

The lead-off story in this issue is my weird western steampunk tale "A Djinn for General Houston".

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Copies of "Fantastic Texas" arrive

Got home last night to find my authors' copies of "Fantastic Texas" have arrived by UPS. Dropped some copies in the mail, and I have to take some others to the local Hastings book store for consignment in advance of my Feb. 6 reading.

Meanwhile "Professor Malakoff" has moved up to 5th place in the Predators and Editors poll.

Monday, January 11, 2010

More huzzahs for the Professor

My efforts to drum up support for Professor Malakoff in the Predators and Editors poll seems to be working a bit, it moved up from 11th yesterday to 7th today. Here's the web site address again:

http://www.critters.org/predpoll/shortstorysf.shtml

Sunday, January 10, 2010

First review in for "Fantastic Texas"

The first reader review has been posted at Amazon for "Fantastic Texas" - four stars:

Here's a cut and paste:

#

By DAVID B. RILEY (Vail, CO USA) - See all my reviews

Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)

Fantastic Texas is a collection of Lou Antonelli's stories linked in some way to his beloved Texas. The stories are an eclectic mix. My favorite is weird western story, "The Silver Dollar Saucer." It's amazing what a silver dollar can buy. Another favorite is "Professor Malakoff's Amazing Ethereal Telegraph."

My main quibbles about the book are that it's fairly thin, only 150 pages. The price seems a little stiff for such a thin paperback. My other gripe is the interior design and layout has a clumsy, almost amateur look to it.

Still, Anotnelli is a rising star in the world of fantastic fiction. The collection of first class stories outweighs any minor gripes I may have about the package that contains them.

#

I still haven't received my author's copies myself, so I can't address the interior layout issues.

Three cheers for Professor Malakoff!!!


I checked my email this morning to find a message from David Riley, publisher of Science Fiction Trails. Seems "Professor Malakoff's Amazing Ethereal Telephraph" has been nominated in the science fiction short story category in the annual Predators and Editors Readers' Poll.

I had no idea; I didn't nominate it myself, but I went over and voted for it.

http://www.critters.org/predpoll/shortstorysf.shtml

The poll is open to the public and runs until Jan. 14.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Progress plugging "Fantastic Texas"

The semi-weekly paper in Gilmer, Texas, ran my news release about "Fantastic Texas" both in its web and print edition this week. Search indications are the newpaper in Cherokee also ran it, at least on the web.

The editor of the paper in Malakoff - where I worked when I wrote "A Rocket for the Republic" - used the news release this way in his weekly column:

Truth time … a lot of journalists are frustrated fiction authors.
Lou Antonelli may not be quite as frustrated.
Lou, the former editor of The Malakoff News, has released a collection of short stories called "Fantastic Texas." He is currently the managing editor of the Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune.
Apparently, he is pretty good. He said his stories have been cited 10 times in the honorable mentions list published annually in "The Year's Best Science Fiction" from St. Martins' Press in New York City.
In the tradition of a journalist, Lou put out a press release from which I've gathered the following information:
"Fantastic Texas" is published by Fantastic Books, an imprint of Wilder Publications owned by Tir Na Nog Press, which puts out "Realms of Fantasy," the largest fantasy magazine in the United States.
All the stories in "Fantastic Texas" are set in a Texas of some kind - although in some cases it is a secret, magical or "alternate" Texas.
A large number are set in East Texas - Lou's home for many years - in places such as Malakoff and Texarkana with stays along the way in Tyler and Nacogdoches as well as mythical cities such as Pineville and Chalybeate Springs.
A web site with summaries of the stories in the collection can be found at www.fantastictexas.blogspot.com.

My efforts to entice Hastings to buy the book are probably stymied by the fact it is not a returnable book. On the positive side, Zane Melder at Edge Books says he wants to buy it; he is a regular in the dealer room at all regional conventions.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Signings for "Fantastic Texas" start Feb. 6

I have begun to line up my schedule of book signings for "Fantastic Texas". So far I have every Saturday in February booked up, as the Hastings Book Stores in Mount Pleasant, Waxahachie, Paris and Longview.

Mount Pleasant being my home town will host the first signing on Feb. 6 from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. I will be in Dallas the following weekend for ConDFW and Saturday evening I will drive down I-35 and have a signing in Waxahachie from 5-7 p.m. Then back to East Texas for signings in Paris from 2-4 on Feb. 20, and then I will be at the Longview Hastings Feb. 27.

There will be a New Authors' Night at the Barnes & Noble in Tyler in March, and I should also be there. Although B&N is the country's largest chain, there are a lot of Hastings here in Texas (the company is based in Amarillo) and they are easy to deal with. "Fantastic Texas" is available from the Ingram book distributors (which is owned by B&N) and who supplies Hastings.

Although I expect to peddle my own books at most of these signings (because I make the most money that way), at least one of the Hastings is asking the company to get the book on their list from Ingram.

Still looking into Books a Million, which has outlets in Texarkana and Longview.

Friday, January 01, 2010

The eagle has landed!

"Fantastic Texas" has been published. First, this item from SF Scope:

Fantastic Books hires SFScope editor as new publisher
By Kit Hawkins December 30, 2009

"At the beginning of this year, Warren Lapine returned to sf in a big way, setting up Tir Na Nog Press, launching Fantastic Books (as an imprint of his Wilder Publications), and planning the launch of Fantastic Stories. Almost immediately thereafter, he purchased Realms of Fantasy, announced the indefinite delay of Fantastic Stories, hired several acquiring editors for Fantastic Books, and, he tells SFScope, found himself swamped.

"Recently, he's begun delegating some of his burgeoning responsibilities, in order to keep all the pieces of his new publishing empire running properly. Last month, Douglas Cohen was promoted to Editor of Realms, taking over most of Lapine's responsibilities for the day-to-day operation of the magazine, and now he’s handed over the reins of Fantastic Books to SFScope Editor Ian Randal Strock.

"Starting immediately, Strock will be working with the other acquiring editors, and will have responsibility for the layout, design, and covers of all Fantastic Books. Strock has already completed work on several of the books that were caught up in the work overload. He'll continue to work with the other editors to see that every title already contracted for is given the attention it deserves, and is published properly as soon as possible.

"Lapine said "I chose Ian because I've worked with him in the past and he's the person I trust more than anyone else to run with it."

"Strock emphasized that his work on SFScope will be unaffected. "SFScope is very important to me, and its continual growth has been very encouraging. However, I'm reaching out to writers, reporters, and essayists who would like to contribute and build their writing resumes."

"Wearing his Fantastic Books hat, Strock said, "I still have several manuscripts waiting for me as an acquiring editor, and I promise to get to them very soon. I won't be looking at any new submissions until I've gone through those books and gotten up to speed with my new publishing duties. I'll make an announcement when I’m ready to start looking at new books."

The first book Strock bought when he started with Fantastic Books was "Fantastic Texas", so now it's the first book he's published. According to his blog:

"Fantastic Books has just published a wonderful collection by Lou Antonelli called Fantastic Texas. It's a mix of science fiction and fantasy set in the land the author loves: Texas. But not always this Texas."

The book is available now through the Barnes & Noble as well as Amazon web sites. I'm still waiting on my author copies, but hey, we're off!

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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