Thursday, July 09, 2015


We're coming up on the tenth anniversary of the publication of my short story, "A Rocket for the Republic", in the Sept. 2005 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction. Publication schedules being what they are, the story went out to mail subscribers in July 2005. It was pretty exciting to see my name in the prestigious magazine.

The story of how I submitted 16 stories to Gardner Dozois at Asimov's in a year and half, and how he finally bought "Rocket", is chronicled in my book "Letters from Gardner", which is a finalist for Best Related Work in the Hugo awards this year. That was a time.

Gardner retired after he accepted my story, making it the last one he bought. In the spring of 2005, there was a discussion on the Asimov's discussion board regarding the upcoming issues, as the last stories from Gardner's inventory were being published. I said that "A Rocket for the Republic" was the last one he bought.

Gardner confirmed that, posting on April 17, 2005, that "Yes, Lou's "A Rocket for the Republic" was the last story I bought--I figured, hey, after buying THIS, the ne plus ultra of stories, the story of stories, there was no point in going on, and so I hung it up."

Which gave as all a chuckle.

"Rocket" was well-received by Asimov readers and came in this the next year in the annual Readers' Poll in the Short Story category.

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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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