Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bears repeating


I will be at the DFW Writers Conference next weekend, teaching a class on science fiction on Saturday and short story telling on Sunday. Here's a reap from their web site:

Every want to write a short story? Or wonder if shorts are viable in literature? From Aesop’s fables to the modern fables of O. Henry, as well as modern masters of the literary form such as Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut and Joyce Carol Oates, short does not equal simple or forgettable. We have invited short story and science-fiction author Lou Antonelli this year to talk about the short stories. In his class The Short and the Short Of It, Lou will discuss why short stories are popular as literature. He will also explain what it takes to write a tight, memorable short story, and how to hook an editor as well as the reader.

But we can’t leave Lou with just doing short stories. In The Future As We Know It Lou will diving into the world of the unknown. The Italians call it Science Fantasy. The German term translates as Future Fiction. In English-speaking nations we call it Science Fiction. What does Cyberpunk, Space Opera and Hard Science Fiction mean? What is the difference between Steampunk, Alternate History and Secret History? From the visions of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells to the images of Rod Serling and George Lucas, Lou will explore about the various facets of these related sub-genres, and what it takes to write in them.

A life-long science fiction reader, Lou Antonelli turned his hand to writing fiction in middle age; his first story was published in 2003 when he was 46. Since then he has had 76 short stories published in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, in venues such as Asimov’s Science Fiction, Jim Baen’s Universe, Dark Recesses, Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine, Greatest Uncommon Denominator (GUD), and Daily Science Fiction, among many others. He has received eleven honorable mentions in annual anthology The Year’s Best Science Fiction published by St. Martin’s Press for 2010, 2008, 2006, 2005 and 2004. In September 2005 his steampunk short story, “A Rocket for the Republic”, was published in Asimov’s and placed third in the annual Reader’s Poll.  His collections include “Fantastic Texas” published in 2009 and “Texas & Other Planets” published in 2010.  A collection of collaborative short stories co-authored with Oregon-based author Edward Morris, “Music for Four Hands”, was published in 2011.

He is a professional journalist and the managing editor of The Daily Tribune in Mount Pleasant, Texas. A Massachusetts native, he moved to Texas in 1985 and is married to Dallas native Patricia (Randolph) Antonelli. They have two adopted furbaby children, Millie and Sugar Antonelli. You can read more from Lou Antonelli at http://louantonelli.blogspot.com.

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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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