Sunday, April 06, 2014

Done, and done

Just completed my latest short story, "the Milky Way Dance Hall". I started Tuesday night and finished it up Saturday. First draft was over 3,000 words, but after editing it tightened nicely and dropped down to a final word count of 2,868 – in general, a good sign.

The story uses two pieces of business I heard over the years from old-timers who grew up here in East Texas. One was that years ago there was so little light pollution that at night, that not only could you always see the Milky Way up in the sky, but --according to this one fellow --you could see the glare of the Milky Way reflecting on the blacktop during the dark of the moon.

The other story I heard was that there was so little traffic on a rural road at night that the teenagers would go out and park the cars along the roadside and dance in the middle of the road to the music from the car radios.

I incorporated both these ideas into the story, which is a first-person narrative by a old man who's a teenager at the time (the story happens in 1956) and tells how he lost his date about one fateful night out there at the Milky Way dance hall.

This is my 119th short story I've ever written. I submitted it said a night; right now I have 17 stories in various slush piles.

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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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