Saturday, October 22, 2016

"Texas Leaves"


"Freedom's Light" is a forthcoming anthology from Victory Fiction publishing, It will include my short story "Texas Leaves". In this alternate history, George H.W. Bush is defeated for the presidency by Michael Dukakis in 1988. The Soviet Union never falls because Dukakis helps prop it up to insure "world stability."

In 2000 son George W. Bush makes a run at the presidency. Here's how the story kicks off:

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“The fall foliage is stunning this year. Texas hardly ever sees any color in the fall."

The Governor turned to his Advisor. “Beautiful, isn’t it?”

“Yes, and it’s ironic,” said the Advisor. “The landscape looks lovely, and our future never looked bleaker.”

“Are the polls still open in Florida?”

“Yes, and President Clinton said they will stay open until everyone gets a chance to vote.” The Advisor stared at his drink. “They knew it was going to be close, they were sampling the ballots already cast, and now they’ve stolen the election. The polls should have closed 12 hours ago. People are being allowed to vote multiple times.”

“We came so close,” said the Governor. “Maybe next time.”

“There isn’t going to be a next time. After Clinton comes Gore, and he’ll crack down on us more than ever.” The Advisor stood up. “We need to face reality. After eight years of Dukakis and now eight years of Clinton, the U.S. will be just another Third World despotism under Russia’s thumb.”

“Well then, if we can’t save the U.S., then maybe Texas can save itself.”

He nodded knowingly at the Advisor

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"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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