Thursday, February 05, 2015

My ConDFW schedule

I will be at ConDFW in Dallas Feb. 13-15. In addition to these panels, author Stoney Compton and I will be sharing a table in the dealers' room.


Friday, 3pm: For Want of a Nail
Panelists: Lou Antonelli (M), Julie Barrett, Melanie Fletcher, Katherine Eliska Kimbriel, Rie Sheridan Rose
How big of a change is needed to change history? The traditional tale of losing a war due to not having a nail for a horseshoe is a perfect indicator that not much is needed. However, if you make small changes you need to be able to predict where the nail falls, so to speak. Our alternate history experts talk about how to alter history in ways which are quite subtle, but create huge results.

Friday, 5pm: Lou Antonelli, Stoney Compton


Saturday, 11am: Q&A with Sherwood Smith
Panelists: Lou Antonelli (M), Sherwood Smith
We put our Guest of Honor to the question!

Saturday, 4pm: Death of Cyberpunk
Panelists: Lou Antonelli (M), Katherine Sanger, Chris Donahue, Michael Ashleigh Finn, William Ledbetter
According to Wikipedia, Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction in a nearfuture setting, noted for its focus on "high tech and low life.” However, other genres have stolen some of Cyberpunk’s thunder: Steampunk with high tech in a unique setting, and Urban Fantasy with a more realistic nearfuture setting. Where are the new 1984 stories? Fahrenheit 451? Neuromancer? Our panelists look for answers and recommendations.

Saturday, 5pm: Larry Atchley Jr., Lou Antonelli


Sunday, 11am: Steam Powered: The Science of Steampunk
Panelists: Lou Antonelli (M), Stephen Sanders, Shanna Swendson, Michael Ashleigh Finn, Rachael Acks
Welcome to the wonderful world of fantastical gizmos! But what powers these devices? Something from Nikola Tesla? Ghost Rock? The aforesaid steam? Our panelists attempt to answer these questions and more as they describe how to write in the Steampunk genre.

Sunday, 1pm: Interstellar Archaeology: Part Two – The Debunking
Panelists: Mel White (M), Sherwood Smith, Michael Ashleigh Finn, Rachael Acks, Lou Antonelli, Scott A. Cupp
The second of two panels where we inflict discover startling artifacts of OBVIOUS alien origin. Our experts tell us how wrong the previous esteemed panelists were! Last year, Sunday’s panel thoroughly debunked Friday’s experts. Help us, they can! Confuse us, they will not.

Sunday, 3pm: Adventuring in the Age of Chivalry
Panelists: Melanie Fletcher (M), Adrian Simmons, Rie Sheridan Rose, Frances A. May, Lou Antonelli

A common thread through most fantasy novels is the armor that is worn usually dates to knights during the Dark Ages and the Renaissance. It is no surprise then that there are many novels that cover this age as well, from Arthur Pendragon to Canterbury Tales. Our panelists explore the details of this age, from the imagery of the noble knight to the realities that underlay feudalism.

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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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