Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Back from LibertyCon

Jason Cordova giving blood
Libertycon is a great convention, and this was my first time to participate. I had two panels and they were a couple of the best panels I have ever participated in, I also ran into a lot of people for the first time and had a lot of great conversations.

My participation was limited somewhat because I made this into a family affair, bringing my wife Patricia as well as my little girl, Sugar. Because of that I didn't go to any parties or spent very little time in the Con Suite - Sugar being a dog.

The two panels I participated in at Libertycon were outstanding; large crowds and great participation.

Jody Lynn Nye moderated the panel at 4 p.m. Friday on the art of short story writing. I was joined by Scott W. Baker, Todd McCaffrey and Dan Thompson. The panelist were engaged and knowledgeable, I know the members of the audience picked up some great information.

I personally commended Nye afterwards for being a diligent moderator, it was one of the best jobs at it I've ever seen.

I moderated the panel at noon on Saturday on Retro-Futurist Alternate History. The attendance was even greater - the room was pretty full - and the panelists - Griffin Barber, Geoffrey Mandragora, Dan Thompson and James James L Young - were all full of ideas and enthusiasm. The audience seemed to enjoy it immensely!

I had a great time meeting some people in person for the first time - including Larry Correia and Arlan Andrews. Had a good time meeting some chums again, including Tully D. Roberts and Tom Trumpinski.

Larry Correia  is very friendly and open (and also quite busy); Tully D. Roberts  treated Patricia and myself to some delicious barbecue ribs and brisket (and Sugar got the bones, which made her one happy puppy camper); Jonathan LaForce cooked that great barbecue.

Other folks I ran into included Rich Weyand; old chums Brad Sinor and Sue Sinor; Ronald Zukowski; Gail Martin; Robert S. Evans; the "Jimmy Olsen" of the convention, Oleg Volk; Jonathan David Baird; Declan Finn; Arlan Andrews; Richard Groller; Alexander Moore; Larry Mitchell; and Jason Cordova, who I met while we were both giving blood.

There were a few people, such as Sarah A. Hoyt and Daniel M. Hoyt - who I was just able to say hi to as panels changed - or people I said hello to in passing by, like Toni Weisskopf and Jonna Hayden.

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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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