Saturday, July 02, 2016

Cool acquaintances

One of the "cool" things that makes writing speculative fiction enjoyable (as opposed to the money - or lack thereof - and political correctness) is getting to know authors you enjoyed while young.

I've had that experience now a few times. In May WordFire Press released the Decision Points anthology, which includes my short story "The Milky Way Dance Hall". Among its many other distinguished authors are Robert Silverberg, whose story is "The Outbreeders".

Now, back 50 years ago, I distinctly remember when I first began to read s-f and buying books from the Scholastic Book Club. The first book I bought and read was "The Runaway Robot" by Lester DelRey. The third was "Steel Magic" by Andre Norton.

But the second was "Lost Race of Mars" by Robert Silverberg.

Back in 2013, when the WorldCon was held in San Antonio, I ran into Silverberg in the atrium of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. He was taking a break in an armchair and I went over and told him how great it was to meet him, and told him how the second book I ever bought was his, back when I was in the fourth grade.

He looked up me, scanned me a bit, and said, rather plaintively, "You've got gray hair."

One of my upcoming short story publications will be "Three Twilight Zone Variations on a High School Reunion" in The Third Spectral Book of Horror Stories. The TOC also includes a story by William F. Nolan,

Nolan, along with George Clayton Johnson, co-authored the book that became "Logan's Run", which was turned into the movie of the same name in 1976 - and which was one of the first s-f movies I ever saw.

Like I said at the top, it's pretty cool.

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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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