Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Putting in a good word

Friday, when I arrived for ApolloCon, I drove up the service road to a shopping mall in Humble, where there is a Chinese/Japanese restaurant, Asian City. I like Chinese food, but the Chinese restaurants in my small home town are rather crude. I was looking forward to a good Chinese meal.

I wasn't disappointed. I ordered General Tso's Chicken, and it was perfect - as good as any I had years ago when I lived in New York City and ate in Chinatown. It was the best Chinese meal I've had since I moved to Texas in 1985. I was in heaven.

Strange aside about the Con - all the chairs in the function rooms were upholstered in purple (or maybe lavender), which in addition to being ugly, is a color I detest.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Another ApolloCon report

Lee Thomas is an author I met for the first time at ApolloCon - not that unusual, in light of the fact he writes horror. We didn't share any panels, but we had some nice chats. Here is a link to his report from the Con: http://leethomas.livejournal.com/179629.html?mode=reply

Return

Got back from ApolloCon Sunday evening. Got right back in the swing of things Monday morning - the county had a groundbreaking for its all-time largest public works project, a $140 million highway by-pass loop. It was the lead story in today's paper.

I also have a guest this week - my mother-in-law is visiting - and the local Optimist Cub is having a cookout and rally Saturday (which I am coordinating). It's doubtful I will have much time to post anything about ApolloCon, but I will try later.

In the meantime, Lawrence Person posted photos, which are pretty good. Here is a link: http://www.lawrenceperson.com/?p=1746

Friday, June 25, 2010

On the road

Well, I'm off to Houston for ApolloCon. I don't own a laptop, so I probably won't be posting in the meanwhile.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Signs of life

I was despairing of my alternate history story "Dispatches from the Troubles" ever seeing the light of day. I had signed a contract with GUD last year, but after the mag put our Issue No. 5 and mentioned that Issue No. 6 - which is supposed to contain "Dispatches" - was supposedly being edited, news went blank for over a half year, and I haven't received any replies to queries.

It was puzzling because stuff was being posted on the web site, and there was talk of reading for issue 7 and 8, but I never read anything about issue 6. I find it hard to believe I missed it.

On Tuesday, they posted this update on their web site:

"We're doing our best to get to everything (slush, editor's inbox re: slush, and issues 6 and 7), but there have been a few life changes, extended illnesses, and the like—all this when we were already struggling to catch up.

"We're closing slush for two months in order to do our best by those who have already submitted, and by our readers and subscribers. We eclipsed 1250 submissions pending reply a week ago, for the first time ever. We know that this is not acceptable, especially as they're pretty much a continuous line since the end of January. We've managed to make at-the-time-significant swaths through sections of these (leaving the most promising items for more discussion), but then there's the chunk of submissions we haven't really managed a first look at, which for the most part goes back to mid-march.

"This isn't meant to be an excuse, just an explanation. We want you to understand where things are and what our goals are. We aim to have cleared our slush by September 1, except for a very small number of pieces that will likely be shortlisted. Issue 6 will have been released, and Issue 7 will be in edits. Ideally Issue 8 will be mostly sorted out as well, but that's where the short-listed will lie.

"Wish us luck? And anything you could do to help spread the word of GUD would, of course, be appreciated. Thanks to all for continuing to send GUD your best."

So that's the latest. I suppose the story is still in line to be published, which would be good, I think it's a snappy story, and something different for me - it's written completely as a series of magazine or newspaper articles and excerpts. It's also the longest thing I've ever written, except for books, of course, it's over 11,000 words long.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

MythCon schedule

MythCon 41 has released its programming schedule. I will be on two panels on Sunday (I had earlier committed to a book signing in Tyler on Saturday, July 10). They are as follows:

11 a.m. Are Fantasy and Science-Fiction Social Commentary in Disguise? Lou Antonelli, Tim Powers, Janet Brennan Croft, Shanna Swendson.

1:00 p.m. - Should Speculative Fiction be Realistic? Lou Antonelli, Shanna Swendson, Tim Powers, A. Lee Martinez

Their bio for me is as follows:

"Lou Antonelli - Author of Fantastic Texas, dozens of short stories, and recipient of ten honorable mentions in The Year’s Best Science Fiction."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

ApolloCon schedule finalized


The last tweaks have been made to the panels for ApolloCon. I had one panel added to my itinerary at the last minute due to a cancellation by another panelist. Here is my schedule ("M" denotes Moderator):

Friday. 6 p.m. - Tucson room - Soapbox Panel: Get it off Your Chest with Lou Antonelli, Rosemary Clement-Moore (M), Derly N. Ramirez II, Pat Virzi.

Friday, 10 p.m. - Scottsdale - What they know now that they didn't know then: Lou Antonelli, Scott Cupp, Melanie Miller Fletcher, Bennie Grezlik (M), Patrice Sarath.

Saturday, 2 p.m. - Tucson - Urban Legends: From Bloody Mary to the Hook Man: Lou Antonelli (M), Bill Crider, Stina Leicht, Mel White.

Saturday, 3 p.m. - Seattle 1 - Behold! A Pale Horse! Lou Antonelli (M), Rhonda Eudaly, Gabrielle S. Faust, Stina Leicht, Derly N. Ramirez II.

Saturday, 4 p.m. - Autograph table - Signing, joined by Bennie Grezlik and Lee Thomas.

Sunday, 10 a.m. - Seattle 1 - Scientific Advancement vs. Social Stigma: Lou Antonelli, Kimberly Frost (M), Teddy Harvia, Alexis Glynn Latner, Mel. White.

Sunday. 2 p.m - Seattle 1 - Though a Lens Darkly: Lou Antonelli (M), David B. Carren, Gabrielle S. Faust, Bennie Grezlik, Stina Leicht, Lawrence Person.
If you would like to check out the entire programming schedule, here is a link:

I have to say this is a great schedule for me. I don't like to travel, so my attitude is that if I schlep myself to a con, the more I have to do the better, and this is a great itinerary - six panels in three days, running from 6 p.m. Friday until 2 p.m. Sunday. They are spaced out well and on good subjects. I'm also the moderator for three of them.

Normally I wouldn't be able to take three full days for a con, because of my work schedule at a daily newspaper, but I'm taking a week's vacation and splitting it between home duties and the con.
This will be my first ApolloCon.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Encouraging rejection

I received a form letter rejection today - which normally would be unremarkable - but it was from a very large magazine, and at the bottom of the form letter, was handwritten:

"It was a pleasure reading your work. Please continue to submit fiction."

Which I consider pretty encouraging.

It was from The New Yorker.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

ApolloCon schedule

ApolloCon in Houston is coming up June 25-27, and I've got my schedule now. Here are my panels:

Fri 10:00PM - 11:00PM What they know now that they didn't know then. Scottsdale
Lou Antonelli, Bennie Grezlik (M), Scott Cupp, Melanie Miller Fletcher, Patrice Sarath

Sat 2:00PM - 3:00PM Urban Legends: From Bloody Mary to the Hook Man Tucson
Bill Crider, Stina Leicht, Mel. White, Lou Antonelli (M)

Sat 3:00PM - 4:00PM Behold! A Pale Horse! Seattle I
Derly N. Ramirez II, Lou Antonelli (M), Gabrielle S. Faust, Rhonda Eudaly, Stina Leicht

Sat 4:00PM SIGNING

Sun 10:00AM - 11:00AM Scientific Advancement vs. Social Stigma Seattle I
Kimberly Frost (M), Alexis Glynn Latner, Mel. White, Teddy Harvia, Lou Antonelli

Sun 2:00PM - 3:00PM Though a Lens Darkly Seattle I
David B. Carren, Gabrielle S. Faust, Lou Antonelli (M), Lawrence Person, Stina Leicht,
Bennie Grezlik

Monday, June 14, 2010

Publicity

While in Marshall Saturday, people mentioned that the local paper, the Marshall News-Messenger, had run an item about my visit the day before, so thanks go to Managing Editor DD Turner for using what I sent ahead.

Last week the weekly paper in the town I grew up in - Rockland, Massachusetts - also ran my news release. Today the local daily paper, the Brockton Enterprise, did the same. Here's a link to the web page:
http://www.enterprisenews.com/news/x1602635856/PAGE-2-news-notes-for-Monday-June-14

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Nice day of it

I had a nice day at Prospero's books on Saturday. It's a small independent book store in a store front in downtown Marshall. It's very nicely decorated, and a group of local people gathered to play folk music, so the atmosphere was wonderful.

It had the least foot traffic of any store I have visited, so that effected the number of sales I made, but then, I had - by far -the highest ratio of sales to people I have ever seen, so I'm very happy. The owner, Don Falke, is a nice guy and it was a pleasure to meet him.

A fellow came by from a local television station and interviewed me for five minutes; here is the result: http://mars-hall.tv/videos/72/propero's-author-lon-antonelli

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pasted from SFWA Twitter

SFWA member Lou Antonelli will do a book signing for his Texas-themed collection "Fantastic Texas" 6/12 Prospero's in Marshall, TX 12-4 pm

Thursday, June 10, 2010

More self-promotion

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I got a news release on "Fantastic Texas" on the web site of the paper in my home town where I grew up, in Rockland, Massachusetts.

I also got the same result on a web site maintained by the Dallas News suburban effort, NeighborsGo, for the City of Cedar Hill: http://www.neighborsgo.com/stories/55726

Interestly enough, I only lived in Rockland cumulatively six or seven years, but I consider it my hometown because that's where I attended high school. I lived in Cedar Hill about 14 years.

On the subject of self-promotion, I've had two people recently ask me for advice - once local, one not local but an author with the same book company. I think I will sit down and put my tips and hints on paper.

Looking forward to the visit to Marshall Saturday.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

MythCon




I will be panelist on Sunday, July 11, at Mythcon 41 in Dallas. The annual event, hosted by the Mythopoetic Society, will be held at the Crowne Plaza Suites in Dallas.


Mythcon 41 has a theme of "War in Heaven" and runs July 9-12. I previously scheduled a book signing at the Hastings in Tyler for Saturday, July 10, but when contacted by the Mythcon programming I said I was willing to help out otherwise.


My two panels will be on the subjects of to what extent, fantasy and science-fiction are just social commentary in disguise, and how realistic should fantasy be?


This will be the first time I have attended this event, it should be enjoyable.

Publicity back home

I'm looking forward to my signing Saturday at Prospero's books in Marshall. Meanwhile, the web site of the newspaper where I grew up in Rockland, Massachusetts, has run the news release about "Fantastic Texas":http://www.wickedlocal.com/rockland/newsnow/x1332189318/Former-Rockland-resident-author-explores-Fantastic-Texas

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Close to history

After my father-in-law's funeral Wednesday, the limo driver pointed out that he is buried less than 50 feet from J.D. Tippit. I walked over and looked at the officer's grave marker.

Everyone in Texas probably recalls who Officer Tippit was, but in case you don't, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._D._Tippit

It's rather strange to see a grave with that same date...

Among books received

Rick Klaw of Austin, who describe himself as a "Professional reviewer, geek maven, and optimistic curmudgeon", has listed "Fantastic Texas" among the books received at his blog, The Geek Curmudgeon: http://www.revolutionsf.com/bb/weblog_entry.php?e=2453

I like his comment, "Antonelli's another one of those wonderfully bizarre gonzo-Texas writers. I swear, something must be in the water."

Friday, June 04, 2010

Death in the family

My father-in-law died Monday, May 31, in Dallas. Patricia and I spent all day Wednesday in Dallas for the visitation, funeral and celebration at the church he attended. It has been a strain on both of us, especially since he was in a hospital for two weeks before he died. Things are just now getting back to normal.

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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