Thursday, May 14, 2015

The slush pile

I didn't write any new short stories the first four months of the year while I was engrossed in writing my novel "Another Girl, Another Planet".  A week ago I began to get back to writing short fiction again. On May 6 I wrote and sent off a new story, "The Yellow Flag" - only 1,800 words - that was bought immediately by Jason Rennie at Sci-Phi Journal, who published my Hugo-nominated "On a Spiritual Plain" last year. The amazing fact was that it was only four hours from when I started the story until I submitted it and heard back from Jason. That' got to be some kind of record.

I also wrote - that same day - a flash piece which was sent off to Analog as a Probability Zero submission. I think it's obvious some story ideas were bottled up and ready to be poured out.

Since then I've caught up on my submissions, logging in all the rejections that came in since January and finding the stories new homes. Right now I have a total of 17 stories in various slush piles.

One thing I noticed, as I went back and updated my submissions log, was that my submissions turnaround seemed to slow down in the last quarter of last year. Looking back, I realized how little free time I had because the corporate drone who I was working for was working me so hard. The Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune was bought by a newspaper chain last summer, and one of the little tricks and dirty secrets of these types of operations is that they give their employees workloads that simply can't be accomplished in 40 hours, in effect making the journalists work off the clock. I think the publisher was working me to the nub hoping I'd quit, but I'm pretty stubborn and he had to finally fire me on Jan. 2.

During the last half of last year I had very little free time, an it shows in my submissions log. In the period from September 2014 until the end of the year I wrote only one short story. It's also clear from the various dates and the apparent lag times how busy I was.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mr. Antonelli,

    Just so you know, I sent you an e-mail about an anthology I'm working on. I really liked "On A Spiritual Plain" and I hope you consider working with me.


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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