Tuesday, December 10, 2013

From an old teacher

Back in June, when I traveled to my hometown of Rockland, Massachusetts, to be inducted into the high school's Academic Hall of Fame, I saw some of my old teachers, including Ellen Donahue, who tried - somewhat futilely - teach me a foreign language (German).

With "The Clock Struck None" ready to be released in a little while, I was thinking of sending her a copy. I was able to get her email address from a teacher still at the school. I shot her an email this weekend.

Her reply was very nice:

"I was thrilled that you were inducted into the Academic Hall of Fame - well deserved, I think.

"I read Texas and Other Planets and was fascinated by how much history you incorporate in the stories (Yellow Rose of Texas, the San Patricio Brigade, etc.) - both history and science fiction are addictive, I find.
"When I finished the book, I donated it to the Rockland Public Library (via Mrs. Looney, who is a trustee), as they should have the works of "local boy made good"!

"Looking forward to reading more of your work."

I'm impressed she bought a copy of "Texas & Other Planets" on her own. Kathleen Looney was an English teacher at the time I was in the high school.

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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.

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- James Hanzelka, Diabolical Plots

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