Sunday, March 27, 2016

"Great White Ship" being republished


Here is the line-up for the Digital Science Fiction QuickFic imprint coming out in the middle of April. This is a reprint anthology; the stories underlined will be live on their web site. This includes my Sidewise award finalist, "Great White Ship".

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Nostalgia at night

My story in the upcoming anthology "Decision Points" was inspired, at least in its beginning, by a scene in a column I published in my newspaper by a contributor, Ralph K. Banks.

The imagery stuck with me, and eventually prodded the initial setting for the story. Here is the pertinent passage:

"There actually was no dance hall building located on this road at all. Instead, what some of us called the dance hall was merely a straight flat stretch of the road that seemed wider and smoother than the rest of the road with the all around terrain mostly consisting of flat prairieland and by that time of year, harvested cotton fields.

"The cars would be parked along the sides of the roadway with one or two with good receiving radios having volumes turned up with the windows rolled down, enabling couples to dance to the radio music on the roadway pavement.

"As usual there was little traffic on this road, with the headlights of the few cars that did come our way being visible in plenty of time for the couples to clear the roadway for those cars to pass.

"And, so it went on this cool November night with the radios playing our favorite music tunes of the time and the few couples enjoying dancing on the old county road under a star-filled sky and full autumn moon.

"From the Sulphur Springs and Paris radio stations we enjoyed hearing and dancing to such tunes as Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog”, Fats Domino’s “On Blueberry Hill”; the Platters’ “My Prayer”, “Its Twilight Time” and “Only You”, and perhaps the one that was most prophetic as our curfews got close, “It’s Almost Tomorrow”."

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Speculation


Here's an alternate history thought, since today is Holy Thursday, or as it has been traditionally called, Maundy Thursday:

If Jesus had been arrested the night of the last supper - after he did the feet washing but before the Seder was served....

1. Would the Christian church have focused more on service to the poor rather then temporal power, since that was the last lesson Jesus imparted?

2. Instead of a communion supper,would the center of the Mass have become the foot washing ceremony?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How the Creative Process Starts For Me

Whenever I get an idea for a potential short story, I will jot a note down as a reminder. These notes might be made in any number of places. Every so often I gather up these notes and read them over. If I can't remember the story idea from the title I jotted down, I discard it. It has to have been good enough for me to remember from the title.

Once a year I take my typewriter and type up these notes in one neat list. This makes up a list of story ideas I can refer to in the coming months. I updated my list this morning, discarding stories that have been written up and adding new titles.

Anyway, this is how the process works for me. As the saying goes, your mileage may vary. To show what I mean, I scanned the page:

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Poor Ceausescu

Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
I've been doing research on the Cold War in preparation for my sequel to "Another Girl, Another Planet", and in the process I was reminded that Romania was the only country in the Eastern Bloc where the ruler was violently overthrown. After refusing to bow to the inevitable, Nikolai Ceausescu and his wife were arrested and unceremoniously shot on Christmas Day 1989.

In the course of my research I stumbled across the record of a "Saturday Night Live" skit that ran on Jan. 13, 1990. I remember seeing this when it was first broadcast 26 years ago.

Here is a still that shows Phil Hartman, Jan Hooks, Ed O'Neill, Nora Dunn, and Jon Lovitz as mourners during the skit called 'Ceausescu's Wake'.

The people all sound mournful as they bemoan Ceausescu's demise, saying "Poor Ceausescu!". After a while, one of them asks:

"Is he really dead?"

Someone else says, "Let's be sure."

At which point everyone pulls out a gun and starts shooting into the coffin.

As a wise man once said, being an evil dictator has great benefits and perks, but the retirement plan sucks.

Friday, March 18, 2016

It's that time of the year again

With the March 31 deadline coming up for Hugo nominations, I've been asked by a few people if I have any recommendations.

First off, when it comes to other people, no. I've always kind of thought authors should promote their own stuff. You should be proud of your own work.

My involvement last year as a double-nominee with the help of the Sad Puppies list convinced me my original impression was correct. While some other authors like to promote the works of their friends and colleagues, this just seems to lead to resentment and accusations. If anyone wants to ask me my thoughts privately, sure, I'm always willing to chat. But I'm not going to offer any public recommendations except for myself.

This year, thankfully and gratefully, I am not on any lists of any kind.

Now, as far as my own work, I've decided to go ahead and, in response to questioning, opine that my best short story of 2015 - and therefore the potentially most nomination-worthy - is "Would Olympus Fall", published by Hadley Rille Books in the "Ruins Excavations" anthology.

If you check in with me on a regular basis, you know I've touted the anthology - edited by Eric T Reynolds with a forward by Nisi Shawl - as being a standout, and I'm very proud to be a contributor.
If you would like a copy of "Would Olympus Fall" for your consideration, just comment or PM me or email me at chpaper@juno.com.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Audiobook in the works

Hadley Rille Publisher Eric T Reynolds has approved the final audio version of "Ruins Excavation" anthology on the Audiobooks site.

The audiobook will pass through quality assurance checks. Once it passes, it will be distributed on Amazon, Audible and iTunes. The whole process usually takes up to 10-14 business days, as long as there are no problems.

I'll let everyone know when it is ready. I've already received and listened to the audio version of my story, "Would Olympus Fall". The complete audiobook version of "Ruins Excavation" will be a treat for people who like that format.

Monday, March 07, 2016

WordFire Press to publish Lou Antonelli alternate history novel

WordFire Press has signed a contract with Lou Antonelli for his debut novel, Another Girl, Another Planet. WordFire Press Publisher Kevin J. Anderson said, “Lou has written a wonderful, unique Cold War story that can only be described as ‘Cold War Punk.’  He’s a great writer, and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

WordFire Press Acquisitions Editor Dave Butler describes Another Girl, Another Planet as a "Heinleinian alternate history of politics, espionage, and murder on the Red Planet.” Another Girl, Another Planet is one of Butler's first acquisitions since he took his current post with WordFire on Feb. 19. Renowned Editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt is developmental editor on the project.

An accomplished short story author with 96 publications and three collections, Antonelli was a finalist for the Sidewise Award in alternate history in 2013. The Texas-based author describes Another Girl, Another Planet as a “retro-futurist alternate history.” The novel is due out before the end of the year.

WordFire Press is a mid-sized Colorado-based publisher featuring the works of many bestselling and award-winning authors, including Kevin J. Anderson, Frank Herbert, Allen Drury, Jody Lynn Nye, Alan Dean Foster, Mike Resnick, Brian Herbert, Tracy Hickman, David Farland, and others.

For more information, contact wfp@wordfire.com

Weeky Roundup

Last Saturday, as part of the Red River County Historical Society's annual Fall Bazaar, the Red River County Public Library hosted a h...