Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The Year in Review in the rear view mirror

Back on Dec. 31 I posted a short Year in Review, which mostly consisted of reviewing what a miserable year it was for us financially, with a paragraph at the end noting how much the Hugo nomination hurt.

Mike Glyer, the Lavrenty Beria of the s-f establishment (look it up), pulled out that last part and posted it his web site, File 770. I didn’t get savaged too badly, but I thought I’d run through a few of the comments:

The original post on File 770 on Jan. 2:
(13) YEAR IN REVIEW. Like on that game show, Lou Antonelli delivers the answer in the form of a question: ”2015? The Year in Review?” at This Way to Texas.
“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.”

Teresa Nielsen Hayden:
“I doubt this is true or even possible, and if it is, it’s certainly not undeserved; but Antonelli doesn’t hesitate to baste himself in self-pity. He got two Hugo nominations, lo how he suffers!

To which Hampus Eckerman replied:
“I actually believe this might be how he feels and I see absolutely no reason to denigrate a person for feeling miserable, regardless of if it might have been deserved or not. Antonelli is human and it must have been a terrible situation for him where badly miscalculated the reactions of the Worldcon fandom and also managed to create a horrible PR catastrophes right before which severely damaged his reputation.
“I guess he now feels that his career has been damaged, possibly with no chance of recuperation and it is absolutely something he is allowed to feel miserable about.

RedWombat followed up::
“He’s certainly allowed to feel miserable, and in isolation, the blog post does nothing to indicate how much responsibility he feels for that….miscalculation.
“In…ah…gestalt, I’d be surprised if he took any responsibility for his part in it, but I suppose he could surprise me. I do hope his next year is better–regardless of how much of an ass he’s been, financial instability sucks. But I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t give his commentary a little bit of a side-eye, considering.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden comes back:
“Hampus, I’d feel more sympathetic if I hadn’t watched Antonelli and the other Pups repeatedly go way out of their way to misinterpret friendly-to-neutral fannish input as further evidence of their martyrdom. They insist on it, even when doing so requires that they flat-out contradict known and easily checked facts.
“When people work that hard to embrace that unlikely a conclusion, I start doubting that it hurts, or that they don’t want to reach it.

Lexica then said:
“If getting nominated for two Hugos and not winning is the worst thing that’s happened to Lou Antonelli, I envy him.

Hampus Eckerman replied:
“Here is the thing. I’m as much as for smacking down on bad behaviour as anyone else. But this was a post from Antonelli on a very bad year that cost both him and his wife financially. It was also a post that did not attack anyone else.
“It was a post about the Hugos without lashing out. Without putting blame on others. A post only about how the experience left him feeling miserable. And I think it is ok to write those posts without getting snarky comments back.
“If it had been the usual puppy nonsense with attacking absolutely everyone else, yes, then snark would have been appropriate. But I don’t like attacking people when they’re down.

Then McJulie weighs in:
“If Mr. Antonelli is going through hard times money or healthwise, I’m sorry for his troubles. But if he wants sympathy because he just feels really bad now about the fact that his former bad actions have led him to a worse place in his life… I’m not willing to grant that.

So here are my comments by way of a follow-up:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden seems to think getting even a Hugo nomination is a big deal. Well, maybe once, but not anymore, and certainly not after 2015. Vox Day is in the process of destroying the award, and Nielsen Hayden and her chums are cooperating magnificently. I respected and admired the award once, also, but the way things are preceding, I doubt it will be around along much longer, and its respectability is already destroyed.
So, yes, catching a lot of shit over a worthless award was the worst thing that happened in my life, especially when you factor in my disappointment.

Hampus Eckerman seemed to embrace a small flicker of humanity in that pixeled cesspool, and “got it”. I’m impressed.

Finally, I made my original comments simply as s statement of fact, certainly not looking for sympathy. Like I have said in the past, don’t ever go on the internet looking for sympathy.

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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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