Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Barely here

My blog posting is sparse for now, as i work to finish up "Texas and Other Planets" for Merry Blacksmith Press. After losing Sunday to the brush pile fiasco, I got sick Monday, and I am just recovering, so I am behind the curve.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A day lost

Got up this morning to see a whole back corner of the yard covered in tree branches. A thunderstorm ripped through here yesterday; I assumed a large branch had given way.

But when I went over to the fence with pruning shears, I soon saw it was really a brush pile, and then I noticed some of the branches had been cut. It was easy to see a large branch had landed in a neighbor's yard, and he had chopped up the remains and tossed it over the fence into my yard.

It was a large pile, and the main part of the branch was so heavy it brought down part of my fence. I called the police.

The officer who responded looked over the pile and then went over to the next street. The person there said it was a tree than fell down in my yard.

The officer didn't buy it either, because there was no stump under the pile, the fence was crushed INTO my yard, and it was clear where his branch had broken off. I don't know what ticks me off more, the fact the guy lied so stupidly, or that he did so with such lousy English.

The officer suggested he toss all the stuff back into his yard, and I said that would be fine with me, but I said he needed to do it now. The Mexican copped an attitude when I said "now, and I warned him "I'm Italian. We invented attitiude. Don't give me that crap." And I left.

The officer stood there and watched as the guy and an accomplice threw most of the branches back over the fence. Then he left - maybe he got another call - and the pair disappreared, leaving the largest part of the branch still on my side of the fence.

After a while, I called the PD and asked if they had any idea what happened. No soap there. I got my chainsaw and sawed the branch into about eight pieces almost eight inches wide, and threw them over the fence. With the help of a visiting family member, we cleaned up the rest of the debris, and then it took three new t-posts to fix the fence.

I'll call the city tomorrow. The guy has a derelict vehicle in his back yard. There's also a camper in his yard. ICE will probably round up the bunch, anyway.

Meanwhile, a day I planned to use editing "Texas and Other Planets" went down the drain. Wonderful.

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Texas and Other Planets" Table of Contents

Here it is:

Table of Contents for “Texas and Other Planets”

"A Rocket for the Republic"
“The Silver Dollar Saucer”
"The Witch of Waxahachie"
“A Djinn for General Houston”
"Professor Malakoff's Amazing Ethereal Telegraph"
“SPPAM”
"Silence is Golden"
"The Cast Iron Dybbuk"
"The Rocket-Powered Cat"
“Silvern”
"I Got You"
"Dialogue"
"Scouts' Honor"
"Fermi's Fraternity"
"Circe in Vitro"
"Avatar"
"Pen Pal"
"Rome, If You Want To"
“Dispatches from The Troubles”

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Praise

Still working on "Texas and Other Planets". I noticed that when John Teehan posted about it on his Merry Blacksmith Facebook page last week, Bud Webster said some very nice things:

"Lou's a terrific writer, and I have high hopes for the sales on this one. I can't wait for my copy."

Thanks, Bud!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

First in the gate

Howard Waldrop has already returned his blurb to me for "Texas and Other Planets". My work continues apace, I hope to have it to the publisher by the end of next week.

Meanwhile "Fantastic Texas" is on the rotation as one of the Featured Books on the SFWA web site. That's nice to see.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fencon post-mortem

Well, I'm back from Fencon. It was very much a mixed bag. Somethings went very well, others not so well.

First off, to be honest with myself, I pretty much went into the weekend under a pall. I had a regularly-scheduled check-up the previous Monday, and the test results came in Thursday night. They weren't good. For the first time in many years, my diabetes shows signs of deteriorating. This will result in my first visit to an endocrinologist soon. Needless to say, I wasn't happy, and a bit depressed. Then again, I've never believed in ignoring unpleasant realities, and so I plan to do what it takes to keep my health on a steady upswing.

I left East Texas Friday afternoon and arrived in Dallas maybe ten minutes late for my book signing. which was at 6 p.m. Didn't matter much, nobody wanted anything signed - from me as well as anyone else, from what I could tell.

I attended the Open Ceremonies, which had some funny stuff: Con Chair Julie Barrett singing "She's a Scientist" (to Monty Python's "He's a Lumberjack") was hilarious. The video parody of Star Wars set to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" done by Music Guests of Honor Jeff and Maya Bonhoff had everyone rolling in the aisles.

But then there's the "off" stuff. Some lady in the audience had a "Borg rabbit" that kept heckling the speakers. I think it started to weird out Toastmaster Joe Lansdale out (a difficult thing to do). Spider Robinson participated in the con "virtually", via Skype, and that's how he did his bit during the Opening Ceremony.

The poor quality of the video image reminded me, at least, of how far technology still has to go. I don't know Robinson, and have never met him, but he seemed to be putting up a brave front in the face of great sadness. The death of Jeanne seems to have been a terrible blow.

I held forth in the bar with the usual suspects - Bill Ledbetter, Adrian Simmons, Kathleen Cheney, Boyd Taylor and Michelle Muenzler - and had some great conversation. I stayed for the weekend at my mother-in-law's in Oak Cliff, and I was in bed by midnight.

I was unhappy to realize the next morning that I had completely forgotten to pack any shirts. I knew I would be able to buy a shirt of some kind in the dealers room, but my first (and only) panel of the day was at 10 a.m. so I moderated the panel on "Publishing and Art Scams" wearing a blue t-shirt.

Pat Elrod was the real spark plug here; she has a wealth on information on the subject and is passionate. Lillian Stewart-Carl also had some great tales to tell, and David Anderson added good examples from the art side of the genre. The members of the audience got a good run-down of the subject.

I had fewer stories to tell, and David Harvia also hung back a bit, but overall, it went very well and the many people in attendance probably are the wiser for it.

That was my one event of the day. After I bought a FenCon t-shirt, I spent the rest of the day visiting or dozing off in a chair. I stopped and visited with Joe Lansdale in the dealers room and got caught with his latest collections, "The Best of Joe Lansdale" and "Sanctified and Chicken Fried" - good stuff there.

That evening, the previously named usual subjects, plus Rob Rogers, drove up Midway Road and up to Belt Line and had dinner at a Middle Eastern restaurant. I enjoyed the ethnic cuisine - very hard to come by in East Texas - and since I had the best view of the belly dancer, I was quite satisfied.

Sunday I had three panels scheduled in a row, from noon to 3 p.m., and my reading at 10:30 a.m., but no one attended it, so I had more time to rest. Now, all weekend the con suffered from last minute changes as panels were swapped and flip-flopped, and that really kicked in for my next panel, "Don't Quit Your Day Job" which was moved up an hour. The audience and panelists both numbered three, as Melanie Fletcher, Adrian Simmons and I gave a real "one on one" approach. The people who were there, however, heard some good stuff.

The panel on Tesla & Co. - Mad Scientists had a much larger audience. The problem here was that the moderator, Bark Kemper, and I, are much more extroverted than the other panelist, David Gray - a real nice guy, but rather soft spoken - and in the end, I started to feel uncomfortable.

The panel on Time Travel had a half dozen guests, including Moderator Robert Sawyer, Sarah Hoyt, Frank Summers, Stephen Patrick, and Bill Ledbetter. I think the audience really enjoyed it. I was a bit nonplussed to see it segue into religion, especially in a direction I wouldn't have predicted.

I left Dallas at 3:15 and was back in Mount Pleasant in two hours. That's the last con for the year. While there, I accepted an invite to guest at Conjour at the University of Houston next year, and I decided to attend Soonercon. Of course, I will attend ConDFW in February.

That's enough for today.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More on "Texas and Other Planets"


Merry Blacksmith Press already has a promotional page up for my next collection. Here's their blurb:

"From the author of Fantastic Texas comes a whole new collection of the finest short stories between the Rio Grande and the Kuiper Belt. Check back soon for a table of contents."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Looking forward to FenCon this weekend

I will be driving into Dallas late Friday afternoon and driving back Sunday evening. This will be my sixth (and final) con of the year. I attended Con DFW and MythCon, also in Dallas, ApolloCon in Houston (for the first time), Conestoga in Tulsa, and ArmadilloCon in Austin.

I think next year I will attend WorldCon in Reno, and SoonerCon in Oklahoma City, also AggieCon if I can swing it

Monday, September 13, 2010

Work continues

Howard Waldrop has also agreed to blurb "Texas and Other Planets". I dropped the TOC and other some helpful stuff in the mail to him today. Last week I sent stuff to Gardner, who has also agreed to write a blurb, and Jayme Blaschke, who is writing the introduction. Meanwhile, I'm getting the stories all collected up.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Positive sign

Got word yesterday that a story has passed the first reading at Apex Digest and has been passed along. That's a positive development, that's the first time that has happened. Apex is a quality mag and a place I'd like to crack.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Ian Randal Strock buys Fantastic Books

By Kit Hawkins
From SFScope - September 8, 2010
Ian Randal Strock is buying Fantastic Books from Warren Lapine. Strock expects the transition to be seamless, since he's been working as the publisher of the line since early this year.
Lapine founded Fantastic Books as a speculative fiction imprint of his much larger Wilder Publications. Originally, the plan was to bring out-of-print sf titles back into print through print-on-demand publishing. Under Strock's leadership, however, the company has expanded into original publications. Several single-author collections have already been published (including Lou Antonelli's Fantastic Texas, Scott William Carter's The Dinosaur Diaries, and Sarah Totton's Animythical Tales). Fantastic's first original novel, T. Jackson King's Little Brother’s World, will debut in a matter of days. And now the imprint will be a much larger part of a much smaller company, as Strock brings it under the umbrella of his own Gray Rabbit Publications LLC.
According to Strock, "The transfer of ownership, to the outside world, should be nearly invisible; mostly just an accounting change. There will be a different mailing address, and a different name signing the checks and contracts, but most everything else will look the same.
"Fantastic Books, under the Gray Rabbit aegis, will be exhibiting at this weekend's Brooklyn Book Festival, as we've planned for several months now. We'll also be at the World Fantasy Convention in October, and several other sf conventions in the coming months."
Acquiring Editors Douglas Cohen, Darrell Schweitzer, and Dave Truesdale are staying on in those capacities, and Strock expects to give them the go-ahead to start acquiring new books in the very near future. But until they say so publicly, the company is not open to unsolicited submissions.
Strock is the editor and publisher of SFScope.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

GUD issue No. 6 is published

I also got my check in the mail today, which is even better. Here is the blurb from their web site (http://www.gudmagazine.com/) The links in the TOC are to the story previews:

#

Issue 6 bounds onto the scene with a bright and blooming selection of prose, poetry, and art. Whether it's old tales retold with a new face, like an irreverent version of Sleeping Beauty, or a tale of renewal on the Wheel of Life, Issue 6 has a fresh feel to it. We're stepping through doors into unexpected places, washing our brains clean of memories, and getting a shiny coat of paint.
As always, GUD brings you the cream: haunting stories, evocative poetry, and art that you'll want to frame and hang on the wall. Issue 6 has a fantastic alternate history from Lou Antonelli that'll make you look at US/Irish connections in a whole new way. Issue 6 has weird and wonderful art from Andy B. Clarkson. Issue 6 has poetry from Rose Lemberg and Jim Pascual Agustin. Issue 6 has...way too much to summarise.

Table of contents ~
As the Wheel Turns by Aliette de Bodard
Salad Days by E. H. Lupton
How to Recover From a Hundred-Year Sleep by Sue Williams
Dispatches From The Troubles by Lou Antonelli
The Naming Braid by Lindsey Duncan
In The Garden of Rust and Salt by Ferrett Steinmetz
Annicca by Ian McHugh
Who You Talking To, Zone? by Bob Tippee
The Last Butterfly by Lavie Tidhar
What Happens in Vegas by Caroline M. Yoachim
Hateful by Lydia Ondrusek
Maisy's Many Souls by Matthew Sanborn Smith
Doors by Rajan Khanna

It's all in GUD Issue 6. Come get it.BUY NOW—$3.50 PDF, $12 Print

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Success!

Completed my project to reorganize files and pull material that will help with "Texas and Other Planets". Shuffled a lof of books and files, but I'm much better positioned to deal with genre issues for the rest of the year.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Up to my elbows

I'm spending this Labor Day weekend up to my elbows in paperwork and boxes in my office at home, pulling files and records as I get ready to assemble the introduction for "Texas and Other Planets".

The necessity of dragging up old records has pretty much compelled me to finally get after a major reorganization of my files. It's a dusty, sloppy job, but it was needed, and it is producing results.

For instance, old emails which I printed and saved show my first exchanges with authors and editors as I started to submit. I found the first form rejection from Asimov's, stamped with the date of Nov. 12, 2002. I've also dug out the rejections where Gardner wrote me critiques and encouragement.

OK, back to work.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Photo from ArmadilloCon

Posted on the photo gallery at the blog "A Dimly Lit Shadow of Doubt" is a photo and description of the panel on self-promotion:http://pic.geekitude.com/v/sf/armadillocon2010/P1100130HooverFaustEudalyAntonelliSm.jpg.html

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Latest review

Tangent 0n-line has reviewed Science Fiction Trails No. 5, which includes my short story "A Djinn for General Houston: http://www.tangentonline.com/print--other-reviewsmenu-263/225-annual/1414-science-fiction-trails-5-2010-annual
http://www.tangentonline.com/print--other-reviewsmenu-263/225-annual/1414-science-fiction-trails-5-2010-annual
In case you don't want to bother with the link, here's the pertinent part about me:

"The first reprint, by Lou Antonelli, is arguably the best story in the issue, but we don’t review reprints, so I’ll just say this concerns a “magic lamp” from the future, General Santa Anna, and a decidedly different “djinn” from the usual. (It’s really science, not magic, but remember Clarke’s Law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”)"

"Djinn" was originally published a few years ago in Surprising Stories.

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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