Sunday, December 07, 2014

Dim mists of history

Some of you may recall that, in the process of writing my latest collection, "Letters from Gardner", I had to buy an external floppy disk drive and go back through a box of floppies because those were what I used to back up my stories back then.

Yesterday I was going through that box of floppies when I saw a disk that caught my attention. I booted it up and saw it had photos I took at ConDFW in 2003. I completely forgot I had those photos.

ConDFW was the first convention I ever attended. I didn't even know sciencxe fiction conventions even existed before that. The only reason I knew about ConDFW was that it sent out a news release and I got it at the paper where I worked at the time.

I didn't attend the con as a fan, and I wasn't an author then. I went on a press pass - which is why I took the photos.

Now, this photo here is very important to me, because this was the last panel I attended on Sunday afternoon. That's Melanie Fletcher speaking on the right; that's Jayme Blaschke in the middle. I don't recall who the fellow is on the left. It was during that panel - which I believed was on Texas s-f  - that I mentioned I had thought about writing s-f, but at 46 maybe I was too old to start. They all told me I was wrong.

Jayme was fiction editor at Revolution S-F  at the time. I asked him after the panel if I could sent him  story. He said "of course," and that was my first published story, "Silver", published in June 2003.

1 comment:

  1. I have no idea who the guy on the left is, either. And I was at that convention.


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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

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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