Wednesday, October 09, 2013


I've been working for the past few days in my role as the secretary of the SASS writers' group, preparing an updated membership list and preparing for an election. SASS - which stands for Society for the Advancement of Speculative Storytelling - is a writers group that spans from fans and unpublished, aspiring writers, to genuine pros. When it coalesced last year, one requirement that was put in the draft bylaws was that it wouldn't move forward unless and until it had at least ten dues paying members. We reached that goal this summer, but since the bylaws call for a Board of Directors of nine members - four officers and five members at large - I didn't think ten members gave us enough of a pool to draw from, but we've kept getting memberships, and with a spurt of four last week we are up to 19, so its time to solicit volunteers and nominee for offices and move forward.

I've updated the membership list and I'm working up a newsletter, which will be mailed out to everyone. Although email, Twitter and Facebook are ways to communicate with people, they seem to be hit or miss - you can never tell if and whether someone saw a message. The finality and formality of paper communications still seems to attract people's attention. We have a few hundred dollars in the bank, thanks to membership dues, so paying for postage is not a problem.

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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

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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