Tuesday, July 29, 2014

ArmadilloCon overview

I had a great time at armadillo con despite my shortened schedule. I wasn't able to leave home until 7 AM Saturday. I missed my first panel, which was at 10 AM, but I was able to get there in time for my autographing in the dealer's room at noon. That went well – better than I would've expected considering I just arrived and no one knew I was there yet.

The panel at 2 PM on what it your early writing was like went very well and was attended. Lillian Stewart Carl was the moderator, and I was joined by Martha Wells on the panel.

I'd say the highlight of the convention for me was my reading at 3 PM. It had probably the largest turnout I've ever had for a one person reading. I think there were 10 people there — not bad for minor author. The best part was how well my reading of great white ship was received. There were actually gasps of amazement and pleasure at the conclusion. I didn't know I had it in me!

That took a half hour; I spent the second half reading hearts made of stone.

The panel on SASS at 5 PM also went well. Scott Cupp was the moderator and I was joined by Bill Crider and Rie Sheridan Rose as a panelist. This was the only panel I had at the convention that was held at the conference center rather than a function room. I probably need to write up a full report on this panel, especially for the members of SASS. it also went very well and what we had to say was very well received by the members of the audience.

My one panel on Sunday was on religion at 10 AM, moderated by CJ Mills. I was joined by  Alexis Glynn Latner, Ian McDonald and Amanda Palmer as a panelist. I was amazed at the attendance considering the time and day. That panel also went very well and I know those enjoyed by the members of the audience.

That's my broad brush overview report for now. I offer my usual disclaimer that if there's any strangeness in this post, it may be because I dictated it using Dragon software.

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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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