Tuesday, October 04, 2011

"Re-Opening Night"

The autumn issue of 4 Star Stories is on-line, and they've published another story of mine, "Re-Opening Night". This story is a mash-up of vaudeville and space opera, if you can believe it, that incorporates that old routine most people remember as "Niagara Falls" - Slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch.

It allowed me to dredge out and hold up to the light old racial and ethnic stereotypes, both to remind us of them and highlight how wrong they were. Some of the terminology is crude, but appropriate for the protagonists, who've been reconstituted after being disembodied in 1927. In the back of my mind I recall a story I read years ago by Brenda Clough called "May Be Some Time" about a frozen Antarctic explorer from the Robert Scott Expedition being thawed out in modern times.

Another interesting thing is how, having missed the last three quarters of the 20th Century. how much the protags missed. They missed the Great Depression, much less WWII and all else.

This is the third story 4 Star has published of mine this year, and my 58th story overall since 2003.

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"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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