Sunday, January 12, 2014

Flogging the golem

I've made an effort this Sunday and last Sunday to draw attention to "Hearts Made of Stone" and the anthology it was published in, "Song Stories". There's a number of reasons I took the time to type up over 500 email addresses to send out messages, first to SFWA Associate members on Jan. 5 and then Active members today. Here's a few:

First, I really want to commend Song Stories Press and Publisher Wakefield Mahon for making the time and effort to put together the original anthology. These kinds of projects are a labor of love, and they offer more diverse and often interesting s-f and fantasy reading material to the public. I'm glad to get more public notice for the anthology.

Second, I happen to personally like my story. Of course, all authors are supposed to like their own stories, but for some reason this one really makes me smile.

Third, as a member of the SFWA, I am able to nominate and vote for the Nebula awards. Now, one can't nominate one's own story - any publication you have a personal financial interest in - but if I am going to nominate other's people work, I'd like them to also have the opportunity to read and consider mine.

Last year Andy Duncan sent out an email soliciting support for "Close Encounters". I hadn't read the story when it was first published, so I was grateful for Andy drawing my attention to it. I read it, loved it, and nominated it. It went all the way to win its Nebula. So I have come to appreciate when a fellow author draws my attention to a story.

Good authors are good objective judges of their own stories, and I don't think anyone will solicit support for a story they don't think represents their best work. So far all the recommendations I have received this year have been spot on.

Another author directed my attention to an excellent story that was published in another small press anthology, which reminded me of the situation with "Song Stories", and made me think taking an effort to garner attention for "Hearts" would be a good idea.

A few people have expressed surprise that I belong to the SFWA when I also belong to SASS, but the two organizations have different roles, and insofar as I am not totally indigent I can afford dues for both. I get something out of both of them.

It took a number of hours to type the email lists, and after I shot I did today's mailing, I got immediate replies from a couple of people who noted I put the list in the CC slot, instead of the BCC slot, therefore allowing everyone to see each other's email. Arghh! Bonehead move, but it shows I really did it myself!

I know from last weekend a number of people read "Hearts Made of Stone" on this blog, and I hope more do so today as a result of this latest mailing. I will post a link on my Facebook page in  a few days, but since the Nebulas are an SFWA thing, I wanted to get these emails out first.

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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

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