Saturday, February 02, 2013

Two cons coming up

This is my last weekend in a while when I will be in town; I am traveling next weekend to Colorado Springs to the GalaxyFest convention, and the weekend after that is ConDFW in Dallas. This particular ConDFW will mark the tenth anniversary of my first visit. ConDFW in 2003 was the first s-f convention I ever attended; I didn't know s-f conventions even existed before then.

I went years as an s-f reader without knowing there was an s-f fandom; I suppose because I didn't know any  fans (since I moved to Texas in 1985) and never ran across any. There aren't many in journalism. The only reason I learned about ConDFW in 2003 was because someone sent a news release out, and it crossed my desk at the newspaper where I worked then. In fact, I attended on a press pass.

I was flabbergasted by all the information I picked up from panels, and at the very last panel I learned from Jayme Blaschke about Revolution SF. I asked him if I could send him a story. When he published "Silvern" that June, this was his intro:

"New writer Lou Antonelli isn't really a new writer at all. A longtime newspaper editor and reporter with multiple awards from Texas Press Association in editorial, column, and feature writing, Antonelli has recently turned his hand to science fiction with impressive results, as evidenced by the following story."

The story is still archived on-line. It had a nice piece of art, too, which I've included here (The Maguffin is a silver dollar.)

My second story published in, "Silence is Golden", was published in August 2003 and was the first story of mine to receive a Honorable Mention in Gardner Dozois' annual anthology. I sold Gardner "A Rocket for the Republic" the following spring/

I think I've been able to attend at least some portion of ConDFW ever since.

This will be the first time I've attended GalaxyFest. I wanted to go last year, but health and other plans intervened ( in general, I don't like to attend cons only a week apart, it's a physical strain). They asked me again this year, and this time I was able to swing it.

I'm looking forward to getting the panel schedules for both cons soon.

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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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