Thursday, July 02, 2015

Spell my name right

The statement, "I don't care what the newspapers say about me as long as they spell my name right" - attributed to many historical figures over the years - has been cited as an example of the fact that, in the long run, all publicity is good publicity.

One colleague said recently that, in a few years nobody will remember the details of the Sad Puppy controversy, but they'll remember my name. I'm not so totally assured of that, but on the other hand, I definitely see signs that my name has gotten around more.

I'd like to think that communications and rejections have gotten a little more personal and polite. At least it seems that way to me. I've only had one acceptance since April 4, when the Hugo nominations were announced, but I'm getting feedback with rejections I didn't get before. Being a lone writer in a small town - and not having access to any writer's group - getting any kind of feedback from an editor is valuable.

On the other hand, I just may feel that way because of all the abuse that's been directed towards the Sad Puppies. At this point, not being called an asshole, neo-nazi, homophobe or misogynist on any given day is positive.

Since I am a fellow traveler, not a ring leader of the Sad Puppies, I've never felt the same emotional investment as other people. I do know that I have a temper that can be set off by punching the wrong button, and I've always tried to control that. Some bystanders to the ongoing controversy have noticed that, too.

When I was growing up I was called Pollyanna by my mother because I refused to punch out people who disagreed with me. My father considered any discussion that ended short of gun play as cordial. It was an atypical childhood.

In a discussion yesterday on a web site about my blog post yesterday, one person said:

"I find Antonelli a bit more reasonable than the rest of the puppies. He has stated that the slate was a big mistake, has said that he doesn’t like the use of the word SJW and has said that it shouldn’t be a SP4 next year.

"I think he’s one that it is actually possible to have a discussion with and not just getting talking points back. Main problem is that he seems to have the temper of an irritated grizzly that missed his morning trout."

In light that I am Italian, have diabetes and the body build of a bear, this is the most insightful thing anyone has ever said about me. Got me down, cold.

P.S. I still think any incarnation of Sad Puppies next year is a bad idea, and I will certainly not participate in any manner.

P.P.S. I didn't realize until after I posted this originally that some people don't know I am a first generation American. Both my parents came to the U.S. in the 1950s. My father was illegal when I was born. I am the first member of my family to be a citizen, speak English, and complete my public school education. So I identify strongly as an Italian, and in fact, I would be granted Italian citizenship automatically if I asked.

1 comment:

  1. P.S. Lou, I should add (from my comment yesterday) that your Hugo short story was quite good; there was a lot of cool stuff going on in it. I liked the different cultures, and the way you used the magnetic fields. If it doesn't make the ballot, it will simply be due to anti-slate-voting, and I will continue to look for your future nominated work.

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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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