Sunday, February 24, 2013

Raygun Chronicles

I want to essentially turn my blog today over to a good cause, the kickstarter campaign for the anthology Raygun Chronicles planned for publication later this year by Every Day Press. Editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt asked me if he could reprint "The Silver Dollar Saucer"; it was originally published in Ray Gun Revival in Jan. 2009.

There are eleven days left in the kickstarter campaign, and it is only at 42 percent of its goal of $8,000, so it's time to crank up the volume. Bryan send out a message via Facebook this weekend, and it bears repeating:
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Friends & Family: I need your help. Since I was a kid, I fell in love with space opera old style and that's why I wrote THE WORKER PRINCE, which got Year's Best Mention from Paul Goat Allen at B&N, and why I have remained a fan of Firefly, Star Wars, Star Trek, Farscape, Space: 1999, etc. all my life. But RAYGUN CHRONICLES, my project to bring back that kind of fun stories needs help. We have amazing talent involved. Big name pros like Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Dean Wesley Smith, Seanan McGuire, Robin Wayne Bailey, Brenda Cooper, Allen Steele, Mike Resnick, and Ann Crispin, and established talents like Michael Merriam, Peter Wacks and Author Lou Antonelli. But what we don't have is funding. We have $2830 in 4 weeks from 137 awesome people. We have amazing artwork, amazing t-shirts and rewards, but if we don't hit $8000 in 13 days, none of it happens. Projects like this are passion projects but also have opened doors for me as a professional to make a living and recover from my financial and life crises of the past four years, so I'm asking you to kindly take a look and think of someone you know, yourself or a friend, who would enjoy this, then back it and spread the word. For as little as $5 you can get the book. But it won't happen without you. If it doesn't fund, I won't have time to mount another for release this year either. So we need your support, and I hope you'll consider it. Thanks much, Bryan
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If you're turned off by the run-of-the-mill dystopian crap* that dominates s-f today, here is an opportunity to vote with little green ballots and strike a blow for true forward-looking fiction. The kickstarter web page can be found here.

* "The future's gonna suck and you do, too."

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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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