Sunday, January 04, 2015

That's gratitude for ya'

Well, after seven and a half years at the same newspaper, the current publisher bounced me on Friday. The paper changed owners last June, and really, that was to be expected. I worked hard and did a good job, but times change.

I worked seven years for a local family that owned the paper. Newspapering is never easy, but at least they cared about their employees, and tried to be considerate of them. Struggling through the Recession plus the problems peculiar to the newspaper business put the family behind the proverbial eight-ball, and they had to sell out.

I'm proud I stuck with the job as long as I did. I leave with a certain sense of liberation. It's been hard work, and I'm sure better things are in the future.

I had a nice, long talk with Joe Lansdale Saturday, the conclusion of which was that Joe said it's time for me to write a novel. I'm sure he's right. I've spent the weekend getting stuff organized, and after I secure what Ardath Mayhar would call "an eating job" - or apply for unemployment - I'll get after it.


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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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