Monday, November 29, 2010

Heading home

Patricia and I arrived in Providence Saturday afternoon, and we had lunch at Iggy's clam shack in Warwick with John Teehan and Paul DiFillipo. John gave me the publisher's proof copy of "Texas & Other Planets". John's wife also was there. It was the first time to meet them in person, and we had a great time. I had a fresh whole fried clam platter, Patricia had a tuna grinder.

John and Paul said they wanted to meet us for lunch at Iggy's because it sits on Narragansett Bay, and it was a great view. We all took photos to commemorate the occasion.

Then Patricia and I drove to Brockton and checked into our motel. We arrived at the class reunion by 8:00 p.m. at the Rockland Golf Course. I met with some old friends from high school. Some of my best friends live too far away and didn't make it. Attendance was rather small, and none of the senior class officers attended. Patricia enjoyed talking to people who knew me in high school. The high point of the evening - for her - was when Mark Albee asked her, "Do you have as hard a time shutting him up as we did in high school?"

I brought a half dozen copies of "Fantastic Texas" with me and I signed and gifted five of them to old classmates.

Sunday I took Patricia around Rockland. We stopped at the house where I grew up, and I posed in front with my copy of "Texas & Other Planets". We drove around downtown Rockland, and ate lunch at the China Plaza, a well-known local restaurant.

That afternoon we spent some time for Patricia, and shopped at the local Talbots. We also stopped at a Country Curtains store. We ended the night at the Hanover Mall.

Today (Monday) I had an interview with a reporter at the local newspaper at 10 a.m., then I took Patricia to the Brant Rock area in Marshfield. Then we drove to Plymouth to see the Mayflower II and Plymouth Rock, We ate lunch at Wood's Seafood on the wharf; Patricia donned a bib and had a whole fresh boiled lobster. She really enjoyed it. I had a whole fried clam plate.

Then we drove an hour to Billerica to see the house where I lived from age 3 to 13. We walked to the ruins of an abandoned bridge at the Concord River. Patricia though the river was very picturesque. I also showed Patricia the elementary school I attended.

Then we drove to Medford, where we stopped at the house where I was born. Finally, we stopped briefly in nearby Malden to visit an aunt, Wilma D'Allesandro and her husband, Joe. She warmed up some Thanksgiving leftovers. I gave them my last copy of "Fantastic Texas".

We arrived back in Brockton by 6:30 and started to pack. We will leave Boston Tuesday morning, and should be back in Mount Pleasant that evening.

I hope to post photos later.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am in suburban Washington D.C. where I spent the holiday with family members. I will be flying to Providence, R.I., tomorrow, where I should have lunch with Paul DiFilippo and John Teehan, before going to the South Shore of Massachusetts for my high school reunion.

Pre-orders have started for "Texas & Other Planets" and I should get a proof copy of the book from John. I have also set up an interview Monday with a reporter from the Rockland Standard, the weekly newspaper from my hometown.

Monday, November 22, 2010

AggieCon in 2011

I will be going to AggieCon in 2011. I participated in 2006 and 2007, but then haven't been back since. I've been trying to touch base with some cons to plan my schedule for 2011, in light of the need to do some selling for "Texas and Other Planets".

I should be able to pick up the first copy of "Texas" this weekend when I reach Providence. John Teehan, as well as Paul DiFillipo, may be meeting us when we arrive at 1:30 p.m.

I took some time today to do the slush pile shuffle, since I will be out of pocket for a while. I have 16 stories out there right now, give or take a few. Sometimes it's hard to tell exactly what stories are still under consideration. When I began writing a few years ago, I never used to encounter cases where I'd never hear back from a magazine at all, but by now there's some places - Interzone is the biggest case for me - where I can't even get a rejection. Tor.com has become another one. After a while you just move on and resubmit. Either the slush pile crunch has become harder in recent years, or I'm just not important enough an author, I suppose, to even waste an email rejection on. I spent some time today sending out queries, and I got at least one answer, which was helpful.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Making plans

I made the last reservations for a rental car and the motel today. We will be staying in Virginia Thursday and Friday and then SE Mass Saturday through Monday. We will be flying from Dallas to Washington late Wednesday and flying back from Boston Tuesday. That way I will be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and attend my high school reunion Saturday night.

Note to would-be burglars: We will have a house-sitter, and the dogs will still be at home.

Looking forward to meeting Paul DiFillipo. We are flying from D.C. to Providence on Saturday. Since my hometown of Rockland is halfway between Boston and Providence, I thought that we'd start in Providence and wend our way through the region for a few days.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ready for launch


Just got word from John Teehan at Merry Blacksmith Press that he got the proof for "Texas and Other Planets" from the printer and he is going to open it for orders on Monday.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Available for viewing

The Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) has a forum where works eligible for the Nebula Awards can be posted for members to read and consider when making nominations.

I have uploaded my novelette "Dispatches from The Troubles", which was published in the Summer 2010 issue of Greatest Uncommon Denominator (GUD) magazine.

If you are an author, feel free to visit and download a copy of the story (you must be a member of the SFWA, this is a secure web site).

Monday, November 15, 2010

Off to press

John Teehan at Merry Blacksmith Press says "Texas and Other Planets" is off to the printer for a last proof, and pre-orders may be taken within a week. Great news!

Since the official publication date of "Fantastic Texas" was Dec. 19, 2009, it looks like I will have two collections published with a year.

SFWA handbook


I got my copy of the 2010 edition of the SFWA handbook in the mail today. I've never had one of these handbooks before. It looks to be a great reference source, and I plan to plunder its wealth of information, especially with "Texas and Other Planets" being published. I've learned some things from hard experience with "Fantastic Texas", but there are still tips in the handbook I see can be useful.


I will be traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday, so this looks like a great book to take on the plane and train.
The handbook was produced by John Teehan at Merry Blacksmith Press, who's also publishing "Texas and Other Planets".

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ups and downs

Didn't post for the past few days - I've had to cope with some health issues. I started a new diabetes medicine - which may or may not have some side effects, it's hard to tell.

The reason its hard to tell is because, as is so often the case, different problems intrude on one another. This week I had blood pressure problems - purely situational - and it's taking me a few days to sort the problems out. I had a problem on Wednesday with a customer that - unfortunately, as I foresaw - cascaded into such turmoil that my blood pressure must have spiked into the "death is imminent" zone. I've been watching my blood pressure like a hawk since then.

The customer didn't mean to be difficult; she was - literally - a halfwit who wanted something and I couldn't achieve it for her. When you deal with a person of genuinely limited intellectual capacity, you have two problems:

1. They don't understand you; and
2. When they don't understand you, they think it's your fault

Because they don't have the intelligence to have self-doubts, it makes it hard to communicate. In this case, after some effort (spread over two days and multiple phone conversations) we got through to her (yes, I had to ask for help from other people).

THEN the woman, who had come to the office, finds out one of the documents she had been carrying was missing, and - of course - said we lost it. We had to turn the office upside down and eventually found it, on the floor, where she had dropped it as she shuffled around.

At the point she accused of us losing the document - when I thought we had her out the door - I just about stroked out.

This was all compounded by the fact that, like so many people of severely impaired intelligence, she mumbled and spoke very indistinctly. That combined with an East Texas dialect reduced me to having to ask for a translation from natives.

I didn't dare to check my blood pressure until the next morning, and then it was 214 over 114. It's much improved, but I'm monitoring it closely.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Ker-blammo!!!

Oh, I forgot, Bill Ledbetter emailed and said he posted a comment over at the GUD magazine web site:

http://www.gudmagazine.com/blog/archive/2010/9/17/issue-6-is-ready-for-you/#comment_503

If you don't want to visit the GUD site and visit the entire entry foe the issue (which I recommend) here's a cut and paste of Bill's comments:

#

Like most of you, I was excited when the mailman brought my Issue #6 of GUD last week. But unlike most of you, I was looking forward to more than just entertaining stories, poetry and stunning artwork, because you see, this issue also announced my glorious death. State Police Chairman Guillermo (Bill) Ledbetter died spectacularly, when he and his driver were blown to bits by a terrorist bomb in Lou Antonelli's "Dispatches from the Troubles." That’s right I had been the victim of...wait for it...a drive by Tuckerization.

I first learned of my untimely death in August of 2009, when I got an email from Lou, containing excerpts from the alternate history masterpiece he had just recently sold to GUD. The key line in the email, and one that made me laugh the most, was "In a bucket" Haw! We aim to please!"

You see, Lou and I have been friends for years and at one of the many conventions we attended over that period, the conversation had rolled around to dying. I mentioned that instead of wasting away in some bed or falling dead in the street from a massive coronary, I would much prefer to be blown into bits so tiny, some poor slob would have to spend hours collecting my remains in a bucket.

So let that be a warning to you fine people. Never cross the Orange Klan and be very careful what you say around writers at conventions. Now I just have to come up with a suitable way to kill off a certain writer/editor that I know.

Ready for publication

Took a little while to look over the "final" version of Texas and Other Planets. Found maybe six mistakes, two of them on the back cover, and sent last email to John Teehan at Merry Blacksmith Press.

As I said to Teehan, if you mess too much with a story, you will start to make typos in corrections (I've seen this happen at a newspaper).

Looking forward to its publication, and I'm starting to think about some signings in December to get in there in time for the Christmas shopping season.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Almost ready

Got the (almost) final proof of "Texas and Other Planets" in the email today. Looking it over closely. Also have the cover spread. With a little luck, we might have this out in time for Thanksgiving.

Here's the text of the blurb on the back:

"Following Lou Antonelli’s critically praised first collection, Fantastic Texas, comes another collection of some of his very best. Lou is easily one of the hardest working and most recognized short story writers in science fiction today.

"This collection includes many incredible stories such as “A Rocket For the Republic,” "Professor Malakoff’s Amazing Ethereal Telegraph,” “The Cast Iron Dybbuk,” “Silvern,” “The Witch of Waxahachie” and many more! Look for stories set not in just the Lone Star state, but also on Mars, on asteroids, and in deepest space.

“Lou Antonelli is an ambitious young writer with lots of imagination and verve, who never forgets about the mysteries of the human heart.” – Gardner Dozois

“With this, his second collection, transplanted Yankee Lou Antonelli provides a useful buzz-saw for the discarded lumber pile that is current SF.” – Howard Waldrop

Friday, November 05, 2010

Convention news

I have received and accepted an invite to be a guest at Soonercon next year. So far I have also accepted invites to ConDFW and Conjour at the University of Houston.

Still admiring how good GUD looks.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Rising from the dead Thursday morning

Didn't get any sleep Tuesday night, thanks to Election Day, worked straight through to Wednesday morning and then knocked off and hit the hay Wednesday afternoon. Just reviving now.

Monday, November 01, 2010

GUD arrives

I received my complimentary author's copy of GUD in the mail today. I must admit, it's one of the best looking spec fic publications I've ever been in. It's 200 pages of all varieties of s-f and fantasy. You need to get yourself a copy. It strikes me as a publication you'd want to give a friend to show them what's going on in the genre today. It's tight, well-printed, and full of great stories.

Of course, I'm proud of my story, "Dispatches from the Troubles". It's unique among my alternate histories, and the longest thing I've ever had printed - at over 11,000 words, my first novelette.

"Dispatches" is the longest story in this issue at 35 pages, but I like to think it flies by, using the newspaper article format. It is also the finale in my upcoming collection, "Texas and Other Planets".

Latest reviews

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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