Friday, January 01, 2016

2015? The Year in Review?

Honestly, one of the worst years in our lives. I was fired on Jan. 2 after working as managing editor of the local paper for seven and a half years - the last half year with new owners. But I assumed at some point the new owners would want their own person in the job, so I had some contingency plans, and I was working at another newspaper by Jan. 6 - but with a big drop in pay. I made up a lot of that decrease with a part-time editing job, but that ended in the fall.

My wife was forced to resign as a teacher - the local school district is pretty much a hiring agency for locals, and she was treated so shitty she couldn't take it any more. She found another job, too, but again, with a big drop in pay.

As the year ends, we are making 58 percent of what we were at the start of the year - so we're struggling financially.

And then, what I would have thought would be be a great thing, being nominated for the Hugo award twice, turned out to be the worst thing that ever happened in my life. But it helped me realize that, in the end, I really only write for myself and friends, and in literature - as in other things in life - trying to please other people is the fast track to misery.

On the positive side, the odds are probably pretty good that 2016 will be a better year - that won't be hard to do.

I will post a list of my publications in 2015 in another post later today, since that is also something traditionally done at year's end. I had six short stories published, some of them - I'd like to think - that were pretty good.

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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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