Friday, December 13, 2013

"Kindermarchen"

It's nice to see Howard Waldrop's latest collection, "A Horse of a Different Color", getting great reviews. It was just released last month by Small Beer Press. One of the stories Howard included was "Kindermarchen", which I published in Sentinel Science Fiction - the website I ran in 2007. Howard made note of that in his afterword for the story:

"I wrote this the morning of Friday, July 15, 2005, at Conestoga, a late-lamented convention in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I read it on Sunday afternoon and revised it the next week.

"It was bounced a couple of places (Ellen Datlow; F&ST) before Lou Antonelli who'd always wanted to publish something of mine, bought it for his website and paid me $25.

"It was ignored by the rest of the whole world."

Well, maybe it won't be ignored so much any more. I always was impressed with it, and it's also been cited in the positive reviews the collection has received so far.

Paul DiFilippo, writing in Locus last month: "A fairy tale dark and poignant is the brief 'Kindermarchen'".

Howard also got a great review by Dana Jennings in the New York Times on Tuesday. Jennings commented

"'Kindermarchen' takes the tale of Hansel and Gretel and transforms it into a haunting fable of the Holocaust."

"Kindermarchen" is a relatively short story, only 1,600 words. When I published it, I ran a photocopy of Howard's typed manuscript through some OCR software to convert it to a text file before I cleaned it up. I'm glad I took the effort and helped the story get some attention.

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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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