Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Never say never

Although I'm not seeking convention invites any more, on the other hand I'm not going to snub any con that is nice enough to ask me, and sure enough, I received an invite last week to attend GalaxyFest in Colorado Springs next month.

I considered attending GalaxyFest in 2012, but had to beg out because of health concerns. I already had my first bout with the flu the previous December and was badly run down as a result of that as well as working extra hours because staffing problems on the job. One thing I have learned is that, when you have working parents as employees, they often are out sick - not just when they are sick - but when their kids are sick.

The folks at GalaxyFest asked me to consider attending this year as an author, and I have decided to accept. The slate of guests looks pretty laid back, and I only have on other firm commitment this year, to ConDFW the following weekend (which being in Dallas and only two hours away is practically local). Since I'm not going to LoneStarCon in San Antonio and there really isn't an ArmadilloCon this year, I don't see a terrible demand on my time.

Strangely enough, my dislike for going to cons and getting snubbed by big shot pro authors peaked right at the time my schedule changed to where I could take a full weekend off. Since 2007 I have had a work schedule that required me to work Saturdays, which required me to often only attend cons starting Saturday night (such as I did at SoonerCon last year) or only on Sunday (which is what I did at FenCon in September), but my schedule changed as of Dec. 1st.

I have never attended a con in Colorado, so I am willing to give it a try. The guests authors at GalaxyFest seem among the nice guys, and the con got a great deal on the hotel rooms. Frontier Airways has frequent flights from Dallas to Colorado. So I am giving it a shot. I plan to take my manual typewriter and show young people how it was done at my author's table. I will be there Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 9 and 10.

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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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