Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The rules

I am reprinting here a document that was given to every panelist at the Armadillocon this past weekend. I really don't know what to make of all these rules. Numbers two, three and 14 make me wonder if, as an author, I'm particularly welcome. I mean, I didn't get paid anything to participate, except getting my registration comped. Why can't I indulge in a little self-promotion?

I wonder what led up to this? A lot of this is common sense, which makes you wonder about what kind of people are participating. Also, a lot of this seems reactionary.

HOW TO BE A GOOD PANELIST AT ARMADILLOCON

1. Don't come to the panel drunk or high.
2. Don't put any of your work on the table in front of you. Name tents only.
3. Don't mention your work during the panel except briefly when you introduce yourself
4. Do stay on topic.
5. Don't monopolize the panel. Let others talk.
6. Do smile.
7. Don't talk about politics. It makes people uncomfortable.   Don't make fun of people related to Texas including Rick Perry, historical figures or athletes.
8. Don't yell or argue with another panelist or audience member.
9. Don't lie.
10. Do face the audience. Don't turn your chair so other panelists are cut out of the conversation.
11. Do enunciate and speak clearly.
12. Don't talk louder than everyone else unless someone in the back is having a hard time hearing you. Indoor voice please.
13. Don't be a jerk.
14. Don't mention your work is for sale in the dealers' room or art show.
15. Do drink water or other beverages (no alcohol) during the panel to keep your voice happy. Don't eat during the panel. (Unless you are diabetic.)
16. Do watch your language. (There will be youngsters about.)
17. Don't make an intellectual panel about fart jokes.

MODERATORS
1. Ask your panelists to introduce themselves at the start.
2. Make sure panelists only have their name tent on the table with them and not a book fortress.
3. All panelists should speak. Equal time if possible.
4. Please repeat questions from the audience so everyone can hear.
5. Always leave 5-10 minutes at the end of the panel for questions.
6. Keep track of time. End five minutes before the hour. (Some panels have set up
7. Stop a panelist if they are talking too much.
8. Include a panelist if they are being ignored by the rest of the panel.
9. Stay on topic. If it is getting away from you, interrupt and bring it back to topic.

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.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two nominations

I recently learned , from when the SFWA published its rundown of nominations for the Nebulas, that my story "Hearts Made of Stone" received two.

I took a little time this past spring to encourage people to read the story, with the excuse to consider it for a nomination. My attitude was, if I was able to get anyone to read it, fine, if anyone wanted to nominate it, better. I thought it was a good story.

I received a couple of Nebula nominations for "A Rocket for the Republic" in 2006, and one for "The Witch of Waxahachie" in 2009.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ready for ArmadilloCon

Stocking up copies of "The Clock Struck None" in anticipation of the ArmadilloCon Convention in Austin next week. I will have a signing Saturday at noon in the dealers room, and also a reading at 3 p.m.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Lou Antonelli answers the Usual Questions

I have been interviewed for an Australian ezine in its feature "The Usual Questions". Here is a copy:

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Lou Antonelli is an American science fiction and fantasy writer

Antonelli got a late start in his fiction writing career; his first story was published when he was 46 years old in June 2003.

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

Yes, it's been a big encouragement to know people read and enjoy my work.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

The first s-f con I attended, in 2003 in Dallas. I had always been a reader, but I didn't attend a con until I was 46, and only after a press release crossed my desk at the newspaper where I worked. I attended the convention with a press pass. It was there I made the connection that led to my first submission and publication.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

Howard Waldrop. I always liked his sense of wonder and weirdness. I was very honored when he wrote the introduction to my first collection of short stories, Fantastic Texas, in 2009. He is the only author I am compared to in my Encyclopedia of Science Fiction entry.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

Howard Waldrop.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

N.K. Jemisin

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

My family. I am very much a homebody and I'd never leave them -- my wife Patricia and my three kids, who are all canines.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

To impart a sense of wonder and infinite possibilities, to make people realize that despite the large number of accidents and assholes fate foists on us, there are still wonderful people and marvelous things out there.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

When I finish a story and it all comes together and I read it again and have a Tommy Lee Jones moment: "Damn, I'm good!"

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Here is the link the actual page, if you like.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Next convention

Making plans now to attend the ArmadilloCon Convention in Austin July 26 and 27th. If you going to be in town that weekend, say hi!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Giving credit where credit is due

Apropos my Armadillocon schedule, I have to say I'm extraordinarily impressed with the programming — or at least how good they have been to me. After coming up with the original schedule, I had to tell them that because of changes in my work situation I can't attend Friday (I don't have any paid vacation time right now as a result of a change of ownership in the business where work).

They adjusted the schedule so that I have everything on Saturday and Sunday, and in place of one panel that is they couldn't replace they gave me an autographing – which is probably better for me.

One panel that I would have deeply missed was the one on SASS Friday evening, since I was one of the organizers of the writing group. But the programmers moved the panel to Saturday, so I will be able to participate!

I have to say I'm very impressed with their consideration.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

My ArmadilloCon schedule

I will be at ArmadilloCon in Austin Saturday and Sunday (only) July 26 and 27, but I have a pretty good schedule:

Sa1000CC I Need to Floss My Brain
Sat 10:00 AM-11:00 AM Conference Center
Eudaly*, Antonelli, Lalumière, Trimm, Weisman
Weird fiction isn't for everyone, but if you like it, here are some great stories.

Sa1200DR Autographing
Sat Noon-1:00 PM Dealers' Room
Antonelli, Benjamin, Rountree

Sa1400E Where Are They Now?
Sat 2:00 PM-3:00 PM Room E
Carl*, Antonelli, Hale, Wells
Authors read short snippets from their early, critique and discuss what they learned.

Sa1500SA Reading
Sat 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Southpark A
Antonelli

Sa1700CC SASS
Sat 5:00 PM-6:00 PM Conference Center
Cupp*, Antonelli, Crider, Sheridan Rose
The Society for the Advancement Speculative Storytelling

Su1000E Presbylutheran
Sun 10:00 AM-11:00 AM Room E
Mills*, Antonelli, Latner, McDonald, Palmer
Should books use real world religions or make them up? Effective uses of both.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

The perils of being prolific

I spent time last night and this morning finding new places to send a half-dozen stories that had been returned during the past two weeks. I currently have 19 stories in various slush piles, and two accepted and pending publication.

It's been observed more than once that someone who can write as prolifically as I do would've done well in the old pulp era so many years ago, but as it is today sometimes I really have to struggle to find potential venues for stories.

The number of people submitting to the few short story venue still exist, both in print and online, must be enormous. Some of the best venues don't do open submissions and at any given time any number of the better venues' submissions are closed.

The financial pressures on editors are such that few people can take time to cultivate and mentor writers like John Campbell or Gardner Dozois did.

Which is another reason why I suppose my forthcoming book "Letters from Gardner" may be interesting reading.

The dearth of short story markets being what it is, the logical thing to do would be to take a stab at an original novel. Thanks to this Dragon software, which I'm using right now, the prospect seems less daunting. I've always been dissuaded from writing at great length because of aggravating my carpal tunnel syndrome.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Holiday weekend

Well, this is my first weekend home since June 21 since I spent last weekend at SoonerCon. Time to get caught up on the my submissions list and perhaps start a new story.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Cut by half

At the start of the year the was the prospect that I might attend as many as eight conventions this year, but fate conspired to cut that number in half. The possibility of going to DetCon the NASFIC in Detroit and LonCon the World Con in London were eliminated when I lost my paid vacation days due to a corporate ownership change.

My plans to attend GalaxyFest in Colorado Springs and ApolloCon in Houston were thwarted because they conflicted with Con DFW in Dallas and SoonerCon in Oklahoma City.

So the only other cons I have scheduled for this year our ArmadilloCon in Austin next month and FenCon in Dallas in September. In both cases I will only be able to attend Saturday and Sunday because I have no paid vacation days for the time being.

I have already received my invite to participate in GalaxyFest next February, and have accepted. It will not conflict with ConDFW next year.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Back from Soonercon

That's me moderating the Sunday panel on "Disclaimers for Daydreamers" I'm at the far end, with (from left), Julia Mandala, Mike Kennedy and Mark Alfred.
Had a great time at SoonerCon this past weekend. Because of time constraints, I could only participate Saturday and Sunday, but I still got in six panels and a signing.

I was amazed to see almost all panelists at all the panels I was on. Attendance was excellent. My signing went well and I sold over half of my current stockpile of books.

One nice thing about this convention was that my wife Patricia came with me. It wasn't that much of an exertion being basically an overnight stay. It was pretty funny to hear more than one person greet her by saying "Oh, you DO exist!"

My wife is a fastidious dresser, which resulted in her being — to the best my knowledge — the only person at the con Saturday wearing pearls. I caught a few glances from cosplayers who obviously wondered "I wonder WHO she is?"

Slush Pile Mambo

Right now I have a dozen short stories sitting in various slushpiles awaiting decisions, and eight stories accepted and pending publication...