Friday, February 07, 2014

On Clarion

The registration for the Clarion workshops are open now. One author on the SFWA web site made a long post about how great it is. I would have posted a reply to it, but really, any time anyone says anything on the SFWA forums, they get attacked. I mean, it's impossible to tell what will set some assholes off, so rather than tippy toe on eggshells I avoid commenting.

My thinking on the Clarion workshop is that it sounds wonderful. spectacular, fantabulous. I'm sure it's great, and I'm sure it's worth every nanosecond.

My only thought is that, from a personal perspective, having been born in a poor working class family, and having had to work for a living all my life - even while in college -  the last time I had six weeks off during the summer to attend a workshop was 1972, when I was 15.

I've worked full-time ever since then. I literally cannot think of a time since Nixon was president that I could have taken six weeks off for anything.

As for writing, I got by with reading the good old stuff - Heinlein, Asimov, Bester - and such, and overtime I seem to have picked up a few tricks along the way.

It must be nice to have rich parents or be independently wealthy or have government support to take six weeks off to attend a workshop. But I wouldn't know.


  1. Pretty much my thoughts as well.

  2. Hey, did you get my book?

  3. I've wondered this myself about Clarion and other long-term workshops.


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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