Sunday, February 19, 2012

ConDFW Report

I enjoyed ConDFW this weekend, although I was there for only half the con. I arrived at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. I couldn't participate Friday - my wife and I had a reservation for a Valentine's related social event - and I had to work until 1 p.m. Saturday. Then it took longer than usual to drive to Dallas, which was being soaked by a storm.

I was scheduled to read during the 3-4 slot along with Melanie Fletcher and Linda Donahue. After I checked in at con ops I went to the room where the reading was being held. They had already gone, but I still had time to read a flash.

P.N. Ellrod, Rie Sheridan Rose and I were at the signing table from 4-5. I sold and signed a couple of copies of "Zombie Writing!" - one to Rie -and signed a copy "Texas & Other Planets" as well as "Music for Four Hands".

From 5-6 I was on the panel on Steampunk Aviation ("Fly the Friendly Dirigible Skies!") with Guest of Honor Cherie Priest, Julie Barrett, Martha Wells, P.N. Elrod and Shanna Swenson, who was the moderator. Everyone was at their best and the audience enjoyed it.

Sunday I was on three panels. I moderated two in a row, Escape From the Slush Pile from 11-12 with Jaye Wells, Chris Donahue and Cathy Clamp, who was a last minute replacement for Michael Ashleigh Finn, who had to leave the convention, and Writers to Keep and Eye on from 1-2 with Cherie Priest again, Rachel Caine and Rie Rose as Finn's replacement on this panel.

All the other panelists on the Slush Pile panel could address books, so I was the voice of experience when it came to short fiction. The Writers panel was slower than some others because it is especially hard to break into fiction these days, but in both cases by the end of the hour everyone had learned a lot and enjoyed it.

My last panel was on How to Fix Terrible Prose, with Adrian Simmons, Lee Martindale and Mel White - who was the moderator. Mel had us use the beginning of the infamous Eye of Argon as an example, which proved to be fun as well as instructive.

1 comment:

  1. It was great fun meeting you at ConDFW yesterday! Thanks for signing my copy of Music for Four Hands.

    ReplyDelete

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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