Saturday, October 14, 2017

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 half dozen authors from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Thanks go to Library Director Rachel Ellsworth, who purchased a copy of "Another Girl, Another Planet" for the library's collection.

I think Rachel bought a book from every author who was that day, which was a great thing to do.
She also bought a copy of AGAP for herself. Thanks, Rachel!

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Only 12 days left in the Word Fire Press Adventure Science Fiction Story Bundle. For only $15 you get "Another Girl, Another Planet" PLUS another dozen excellent titles by authors Robert Asprin, Jody Lynn Nye, Kevin J. Anderson, Robert J. Sawyer, Gray Rinehart, T. Allen Diaz. Paul Di Filippo, Raymond Bolton, Andrew Keith, William H. Keith Jr., Louis Agresta, Brenda Cooper, and Jonathan Brazee.

Can't beat that deal with a stick! Click here!

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It's another good day, meaning I signed yet another contract, this time with the Planetary Stories: Mercury anthology to publish my short story "Last Call".

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

From the You Learn Something Every Day Dept:


The Gold Medalist in this photo from the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, Tommie Smith, was born in Clarksville, Texas, where I live and edit the newspaper today.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Spin rack latest


Those of you who follow me regularly know my policy of buying mass market paperbacks from the spin rack in dollar stores to encourage the stores to stock them (whether I plan to actually read the books or not). I've written about this in the past, with posts such as "The Spin Rack is Making a Comeback".
Yesterday afternoon I picked up this book at the Dollar General store in Blossom, Texas.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Word Fire Press Adventure Sci-Fi Story Bundle supports Challenger Center for Space Science Education.


The Word Fire Press Adventure Sci-Fi Story Bundle, organized by Kevin J. Anderson, launched Wednesday.

On his blog Kevin gave a rundown on the books in the bundle:

Strap into your cockpit, fire up the faster-than-light engines, and set course for the nearest star. I’ve got a grab bag of 13 excellent science fiction books all in one new Adventure SF StoryBundle. Get them all for as little as $15, and help out a great charity, too!

I put in a brand new action-packed story, The Blood Prize, featuring the popular character Colt the Outlander from Heavy Metal magazines, with all new art by the Aradio Brothers. Robert J. Sawyer offers his classic novel Far Seer (a planet of intelligent dinosaurs!). Raymond Bolton’s Awakening shows a fantasy civilization on the cusp of the industrial revolution faced with an alien invasion.

You’ll read different adventures on very different lunar colonies in Gray Rinehart’s Walking on a Sea of Clouds, Lou Agresta’s Club Anyone, and T. Allen Diaz’s Lunatic City, as well as Louis Antonelli’s alternate space race and murder on the moon in Dragon-Award nominee Another Girl, Another Planet.

Jody Lynn Nye’s Taylor’s Ark follows the adventures of a star-traveling MD with a specialty in environmental medicine, and Brenda Cooper’s Endeavor-Award winning The Silver Ship and the Sea is a gripping story of prisoners of war abandoned on a rugged colony planet. Acclaimed, award-winning author Paul di Filippo gives a collection of his best stories in Lost Among the Stars.

And for thrilling military SF, the bundle also has Honor and Fidelity by Andrew Keith and William H. Keith, Recruit by Jonathan P. Brazee, and the hilarious adventures of Phule’s Company in Robert Lynn Asprin’s Phule’s Paradise.

The Adventure SF Story Bundle runs for only three weeks. You can get the base level of five books for $5, or all 14 for as little as $15. Pay what you like, and a portion goes to support the great efforts of the Challenger Learning Centers for Space Science Education.

In the aftermath of the Challenger accident, the space shuttle Challenger crew’s families came together, firmly committed to the belief that they must carry on the spirit of their loved ones by continuing the Challenger crew’s educational mission. Their efforts resulted in the creation of Challenger Center for Space Science Education.

Challenger Center and its global network of Challenger Learning Centers use space-themed simulated learning and role-playing strategies to help students bring their classroom studies to life and cultivate skills needed for future success, such as problem solving, critical thinking, communication and teamwork.

Challenger Center transports students to a cutting edge Mission Control room and a high-tech Space Station. Whether their mission is flying to the Moon, intercepting a comet, visiting Mars, or studying the Earth from the International Space Station, students see classroom lessons brought to life in the engaging, dynamic, simulated learning environment.

A not-for-profit 501(c)(3) education organization, Challenger Center reaches hundreds of thousands of students, and tens of thousands of teachers every year.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Latest sale

It's always great to start the month by signing a contract. I'm honored to have signed my contract with B Cubed Press this morning for the publication of my alternate history short story "Queens Crossing" in the More Alternative Truths anthology, due for release in November.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Half dozen tales of the imagination

Between August 15 and September 15 I had to fulfill SIX commitments I made to submit for anthologies. I got them all done, so that's another half dozen stories in the Antonelli canon. They are:

For Superversive Press planet-themed anthologies:

"Last Call" - Mercury.
"The Wrong Venus" - Venus
"The Girl Who Died Twice" - Mars.

For More Alternative Truths - "Queens Crossing".

For Toys Sha'Daa - "Sketches From the Apocalypse".

For Whispers of the APOC - "Stuck in the Middle With You".

The last I recall half of these have been formally accepted.

Well, that's a relief. I'm moving on to new projects now, but if anyone has an upcoming anthology that needs a good story, don't forget, I work fast and cheap!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Take no notice

I've noticed that Mike Glyer - the guy who runs the File 770 web site - has always seemed to believe his self-identified "Sad Puppies" are some sort of minority group that need to be ethnically cleansed.

Glyer lurks around Facebook pages and blogs, and cherry picks postings that he and his coterie of hate-filled commentators can use to attack and abuse those Sad Puppies.

File 770 purports to be a news site about science fiction fandom, but it's extraordinarily biased. I've noticed that if I post something he thinks makes me look bad - even if any normal, intelligent and honest person can't see any problem - he'll copy and paste it for his jackals to feast on.

On Sept. 26 I posted here about my satisfaction at having become a finalist for the Dragon Award on my own terms, without seeking any organized support. I realized this morning, as I am plowing through breakfast, that File 770 didn't take notice.

Now, Glyer's posted more trivial musings - from me as well as from other people - many times in the past. My reasonable supposition is that he can't see any hateful hay to be made from my comments.

Prejudiced and narrow-minded, he and his claque of character assassins would not admit of the possibility that I am a competent writer and that the Dragon awards are an indicator of popular appeal among fandom.

OK, I guess at some level I could be accused of being piqued at not getting free publicity - but that's not really the case.

I just don't like File 770, Glyer, his flunkies, and all the people who are still flogging the Sad Puppy dead horse.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Interesting possibiity

With my alternate history "Queens Crossing" running in the "More Alternative Truths" anthology to be released in a couple of months, it occurs to me that next year I might be in the running for the Sidewise award in both the short and long fiction categories.

The Sidewise is a juried award, so there's no way of telling, but both "Another Girl, Another Planet" and "Queen Crossing" will have been published in 2017; the Sidewise eligibility is based on the calendar year.

"More Alternative Truths" is a sequel to the initial anthology "Alternative Truths", which came out in April and has been very well received. There's probably more than one Sidewise contender between the two volumes.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Cue the Frank Sinatra song

Here's a point I would like to make about being a finalist for the Dragon Award this year:

Two years ago, I solicited support from the Sad Puppies group for the Hugo nominations. I know Brad Torgersen and I thought it would be a harmless way to get support. Unfortunately, the Rabid Puppies picked up a lot of the same nominations (I never asked to be on the Rabid Puppy list) and the cumulative effect - where in some categories ALL the finalists were either from the Sad or Rabid list - provoked a reaction from the s-f establishment - well, we all know what followed.

I vowed afterwards I would not solicit support from any similar organized effort in the future.

This year I lobbied for "Another Girl, Another Planet" on my own. Along the way, some folks gave me their support - such as Jon Jon Del Arroz and Declan Finn - and I accepted it, but I did not go our and seek advance support from any organized sources.

I got on the Dragon ballot that way, on my terms, and I feel much better about that. Yes, I lost to Harry Turtledove in the Alternate History category - big surprise!

I was beaten fair and square, but I was in the running, and I did it on my terms. After the fiasco two years ago, I feel so much better about that.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Lies, lies, lies, and bullshit

At the Amazing Stories web site, there is a guest editorial by one Chris M. Barkley engaging in more useless navel gazing over the Sad Puppies vs. Rabid Puppies vs. blah blah blah issue and such.
I wouldn't bother to mention this except for one passage that caught my attention:

"Their views vastly contrast with The Rabid Puppies, primarily represented by Theodore Beale (aka Vox Day), John C. Wright and Lou Antonelli, they are unabashedly and enthusiastically racist in their worldview and their fiction. They believe a white male hegemony over all peoples of color, women and the LGBTQ community is the best course for the human race AND any aliens we may encounter, to put it mildly."

Ok, I don't know what kind of stupid bullshit rumors have wafted through Mr. Barkley's empty cranium, but it is specious to lump me in with Vox Day and John C. Wright.

Plus to claim I am "unabashedly and enthusiastically racist" in my worldview is simply libelous. I dare this hatemonger to point to anything I have ever said or did that was racist - because I'm not. As the first generation non-white child of an illegal immigrant, I have always felt revulsion towards ethnic and racial prejudice - I have been on the receiving end, believe me.

Mr. Barkley is entitled to his opinion, but not his lies. It's pathetic he tosses out such slander so casually.

But, as the saying goes, consider the source. Steve Davidson and the Amazing Stories web site are right up there with File 770 as the biggest cesspools of hate and bigotry against people who did them no harm.

Just to make my position on racism clear, I'm a Christian. God made man - all men: White, Black, Brown, Yellow, Red, whatever. A racist is God-defiant. He's putting himself above God by saying God made a mistake. A racist does the Devil's work.

Latest sale

I'm proud to announce my short story "The Man Who Sold His Soul For His Country" will be published in the upcoming anthology "Forbidden Thoughts 2"

No. 112

My latest short story has been published at the ezine Theme of Absence, "Milady Wakes". It is the 112th short story I have had published since June 2003.

http://www.themeofabsence.com/2017/09/milady-wakes-by-lou-antonelli/

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Was the ass-terisk a mistake?

In the process of discussing changing award rules recently over at File 770, Mike Glyer himself seems to opine it was wrong:

"That wooden asterisk was a self-inflicted wound that will never heal."

At which point somebody called Cheryl S. says:

"@Mike Glyer, that wooden asterisk was unfortunate, but it wasn’t meant to wound. If it nicked the very thin skinned, that’s the kind of thing that thicker skin would prevent. Since the wounded were the sort of people who say “snowflake” and “safe spaces” with scorn, I feel only a little badly and mostly just raise an eyebrow at their lack of appreciation for irony."

She added later in the same post:

"Did I cheer for all those No Awards from Spokane? Yeah, I did, watching/reading the live feed at a Michael Franti concert, because it meant that Worldcon’s organizational strength translated to public support when needed."

I mean, where do these people some from?

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Turtledove takes Alternate History Dragon award

Congratulations to Harry Turtledove for winning the Dragon Award for Alternate History.

He is the Dean of Alternate History, and the recognition is well deserved. I am honored to have been a finalist this year and included in such esteemed company

Just to show you how good an author Harry Turtledove is - bearing in mind that I don't read much original fiction these days as I am so busy writing - even I bought and enjoyed "Bombs Away".

It's hard to feel bad losing to a book you loved yourself.

Again, congrats Harry! You are the King!

Saturday, September 02, 2017

The end of voting

Well. today is the last day to vote for the Dragon awards. The presentation will be tomorrow (Sunday) at the convention. I'm sorry I couldn't make the it, but everyone understands how Harvey messed up my plans (that and the Arkansas highway people).

I've already been told by a number of people they'll be there tomorrow and rooting for me. Thanks! I already feel like a winner, with all the support and great reviews I have received.

I won't post a link to the sign-up to vote, because the deadline has already passed. But if you are going to vote today, I'd appreciate your consideration (I just voted yesterday myself).

To all my friends and colleagues at DragonCon: I see you're having a great time. Enjoy yourself, and be safe on the return trip. As a number of people have observed, Dragoncon will be there again next year, so here's hoping.

It was a painful decision to bow to fate and admit defeat and turn around Thursday, but I didn't want to be on the winner's list this year and then the Memorial List next year.

I'm home and safe and sound and dry and I plan to get caught up with my submissions and keep writing. Thanks for all the kid wishes and support!

Friday, September 01, 2017

To all my friends at DragonCon:

I cannot make it.
Although my corner of Northeast Texas was unaffected by Hurricane Harvey (we didn't even get any rain), as I drove through Arkansas this morning I caught up with the storm, which slowed down traffic.

Then at noon, about 40 miles east of Little Rock, it stopped completely.

Interstate 40 was completely closed eastbound between Little Rock and Memphis because of a major traffic accident.

I was trapped in the backup from noon until 5 p.m.

The loss of time was fatal to my traffic plans. Not to mention that being a 60-year old diabetic, getting trapped like that was VERY inconvenient.

By the time I was able to exit the interstate, along with all the other traffic, at Exit 193, I had to gas up my car - which burned a lot of gas idling for five hours - and turn around.

After that delay I there was no way I could get to Atlanta in a timely fashion. The interstate to Memphis was still closed, and any diversion from where I was would have added many hours to the drive.

Plus, from all indications, I would be driving in the remains of Tropical Storm Harvey the whole way.
I got back to my home here in East Texas at 9:30 p.m. - about the time I should have been reaching Atlanta.

I really looked forward to the convention, and everything looked good up until noon. It just goes to show you how quick things can change.

Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.

Everyone have a good time. I wish I was there with you all.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Ready for Dragoncon

With Dragoncon ready to start, I have my fingers crossed in hopes "Another Girl, Another Planet" will take the Dragon award in Alternate History.

No matter what the final outcome, I am deeply honored to have my first novel as a finalist on the ballot.

Thanks go to so many of you for your support and kind comments. I want to especially thank Jon Del Arroz and Declan Finn for supporting me on their blogs.

Looking forward, I'd like to think "Another Girl, Another Planet" will be a contender for the Sidewise award next year. That's a juried award, so there's no public input. I was very honored when "Great White Ship" was a finalist in the short story category in 2013.

AGAP was eligible for the Dragon this year, but will be eligible for the Sidewise next year, because the Sidewise awards uses the calendar year for its eligibility period, while the Dragon uses June 30-July 1st. AGAP was released at the end of January.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Latest sales

I finished four short stories during the past week to meet commitments to anthologies. Two have already been accepted. My alternate history short story "Queens Crossing" will be published in the upcoming "More Alternative Truths" anthology, a follow-up to the critically-acclaimed "Alternative Truths" published earlier this year, and my short story "Last Call" has been accepted for the upcoming Superversive Press anthology "Mercury".


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Here is my schedule for DragonCon:


Friday

2:30 pm Autograph Session - International Hall South 4-5 - Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)

4-7 p.m. Bards Towers (in the Dealers Room)

Saturday

10-12 p.m. Bards Tower

1:00 pm Panel: Significant Short Stories - Embassy AB - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour) Description: Our panelists discuss short stories that made or are making a significant impact on the SF field.

Sunday

1:00 p.m. Dragon Award ceremony

3-7 p.m. Bards Tower

I am on programming for a reading at 1 p.m. Sunday, but that is at the same time as the Dragon Awards ceremony.

I have no problem giving out my cell phone number if anyone wants to get a hold of me. It's 903-257-6573.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Down to the wire

If you didn't nominate for the Dragon Award and haven't gotten a ballot yet, you have until midnight Monday, August 28, to register and request a ballot.

If you participated in the nomination process, you should have already gotten a link to your ballot. The web site says the deadline to vote on the ballot in Tuesday, Aug. 29, again at midnight.

I had thought the deadline for final voting was extended to Sept. 2, as a result of some last-minute ballot changes - two people asked their works be withdrawn and the award committee revised the ballot and extended the deadline for voting so that people who voted before the withdrawals could get an updated ballot.

However, I'm not seeing that later deadline on-line, so it might be wise to vote by the 29th. If anyone has a link to a source for the Sept. 2 deadline, please let me know.

I may have just missed it, I haven't had my coffee yet this morning.

The Dragon Awards presentation will be Sunday, Sept. 3 at 1 p.m.

As I have stated previously, I am proud of "Another Girl, Another Planet" and I ask for your vote in the Alternate History category.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Between us two?

I've heard more than one person recently handicapping the Alternate History category in this year's Dragon awards saying that they think its between me and "Another Girl, Another Planet" and "No Gods, Only Daimons" by Kai Wai Cheah".

The logic here is that "Another Girl, Another Planet" is good enough and distinctive enough that it stands out of the eight entry field, while "No Gods, Only Daimons" has the support of the Rabid Puppy voting bloc.

I'm not sure I agree with that, but it sounds as good as any theory.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The time I stepped on Brian Aldiss

Word has come that the great British science fiction author Brian Aldiss has passed away at the age of 92.

After such a long and distinguished career, I'm sure many people have their own stories about their encounters with Aldiss. Mine is a little strange.

I had just started writing and submitting science fiction short fiction when, in the spring of 2004, I received my first pro acceptance, from Gardner Dozois at Asimov's

That made me think that I needed to start attending genre-related events - at that point I had been to a grand total of two conventions - and that summer the wife and I drove up to Lawrence, Kansas, to attend the Campbell Conference.

That year was the last where the members of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame were inducted at the conference (the event has since moved to the sf museum in Seattle). The living inductees were Brian Aldiss and Harry Harrison.

We arrived in Lawrence just in time for the dinner, and as I rushed into the student center - worried that we were running late - I saw a pair of old timers in tuxes heading for the door from the opposite direction.

As I ran up, I realized they were Aldiss and Harrison. In a clumsy attempt to be a gentleman, I grabbed the door to hold it open for Aldiss, who was first. But as I walked around him, I stepped on the back of his shoe and gave him a "flat tire". (My wife tried to make me feel better later by pointing out that Aldiss was wearing house shoes).

I don't think Aldiss was terribly happy, and I was so embarrassed I ducked both of them for the rest of the weekend.

That was my one encounter in person with Aldiss.

Ironically, the next year, when my debut story was published in the September 2005 issue of Asimov's, "A Rocket for the Republic",  the same issue included a story by Aldiss, "Pipeline"..

Sunday, August 20, 2017

In the race

It seems counter intuitive, but I think have a better chance of winning the Dragon Award for Alternate History than I had in getting on the ballot in the first place.

To get on the ballot, I had to compete with dozens of excellent books in the same category, while now on the ballot I'm only in a field of eight. Looking over the other works, I think I stack up well.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Compilation of Amazon reviews for "Another Girl, Another Planet"

Captivating mystery and original idea. Would make a great movie.

....finished it at 2 am, in a single sitting. Exciting, funny, charming; Heinleinian in that it combines adventure and philosophy, but its own unique pageturning self. Highly recommend.

Really fun book. Reminds me a lot of the early Heinlein stories. Part thriller, part mystery, part space opera it was the best read I've had in a long time. The universe it is set in is incredibly compelling (despite a nit pick or two), and it is a TREMENDOUSLY fun read. I was actually late to my doctor appointment because I literally could not put it down. I'm really hopeful there will be a sequel because I really enjoyed it.
I gave it four stars because there are a couple of spots that I found a little unbelievable (in regards to characters not plot). That being said, when Mr. Antonelli is on, he is ON. There are some action sequences that are really great, and some of sad parts are really moving. Well worth the money, definitely a fun, interesting, and compelling read.

Secret history wrapped in alternate history. I've been reading alternate history for some time now. I've only recently gotten into secret history with Simon R. Green's Secret Histories (aka Eddie Drood) series. (Secret history has been a longtime category of science fiction, just new to me.)
Another Girl, Another Planet uses an "unreliable narrator" for this alternate history. Where the person relating his story is surprised that anyone might believe his tale and where the person has no explanation for the fact that his story obviously took place in an alternate reality/parallel universe.
As someone who remembers well the 1960's through 1980's, I also definitely enjoyed Mr. Antonelli's use of historical figures (as well as some actual contemporary people) in this novel.
Another Girl, Another Planet is the story of a man sent to Mars in 1985 to be executive assistant to the colonial governor at the joint Soviet-NATO Mars base. Not only was there the joint mission on Mars but there was also a thriving joint Soviet-NATO Moon settlement (complete with several cities).
In this alternate reality, instead of an arms race after WWII the Soviet Union/Warsaw Pact nations & the U.S./Western powers had a space race and ended up deciding to go together on both the Moon and later Mars, as a better use of both of their resources. They had even set up a fixed rotation where the base was operated by the Soviets this year and twenty years later NATO would smoothly assume control of the base (until the next fixed turnover). Even if it were NATO's turn to operate the base, both sides had to agree on leadership positions such as the governor & lieutenant governor. That is, if it is NATO's operation, the Soviets must sign off as well on these critical appointees.
This alternate reality had both robots and androids, although both had been banned from Earth and the Moon by the time the story begins. Said robots and, in particular androids, were on Mars to both help construct the colony and also work there as common laborers, maids, waitresses, etc. etc. I enjoy science fiction novels with mixed societies of humans and robots/androids.
Another Girl, Another planet is a good yarn. Good worldbuilding, interesting choices as to how this alternate history was different from our own history, and I enjoyed getting to know the various characters. So far as I know, this is Mr. Antonelli's first novel. His earlier work has been shorter fiction, a lot of them short stories, and most of them secret histories/alternate history as well. Recommended for readers of secret histories/alternate history and Mars!

This is a terrifically inventive and highly creative novel about troubles with androids set on Mars and set in an alternative future. It is quite funny and exciting, but the biggest joy is the well thought alternative history. Highly recommended.

Lou Antonelli is a creative writer & thinker. He seems to have a great grasp on beauracracy, politics & space travel. Love stories & greed. It's all there & more. I've read 30 SciFi novels in 2 years and this is up there with the best. Worth the read.

A nicely done, thoroughly enjoyable alternate history adventure, unfolding from a clever premise. Antonelli does a fine job spinning this well-wrought tale. Rather than focus on "the human predicament," he focuses on the characters' common humanity (or perhaps I should say "personhood") to deliver an emotional payoff with lots of impact. It's definitely fun for fans of space opera, "competent engineer" stories, and Golden Age fans, but I think it has broader appeal as well.

Excellent book! It's the first book I've read by this author and I wasn't disappointed. Earth. Mars. The Moon. It didn't turn out the way I expected, but it definitely left me wanting to read the next book ASAP. :-)

What begins as a distorted view of memory lane sweeps you into a future of space exploration, robots and people just being human. A stunner of an ending. Very enjoyable.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The spin rack is STILL making a comeback!


I'm still engaged in my policy of buying genre books from the spin racks in Dollar General stores to encourage them to stock these "gateway" mass market paperbacks. Here are two I bought last week, in Clarksville and Blossom, Texas. Total investment: $4. Value of great fun fiction: Priceless

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Doing it right this time

A couple of years ago, I had what I thought was a good idea at the time and suggested two works for a list of Hugo recommendations being compiled by an author colleague of mine.

That compilation turned out to work too well, and the success of those recommendations led to a backlash. I don't think I exaggerate when I say I think everyone involved didn't t like the ways things played out.

I resolved afterwards to never to seek support from any list in advance, but to "paddle my own canoe" - to use an old corny expression.

That's what I did in promoting "Another Girl, Another Planet". I am happy that some people and blogs decided to support it for the Dragon award, but I didn't seek any organized support in advance - although I'll accept it if offered.

Of course, I've asked many individuals for support, and some of those folks have their own lists and blogs.

I am proud of "Another Girl, Another Planet" and I think it stands on its own merits. I am very grateful to all of you who nominated it for the Dragon ballot, and I continue to to be thankful as the final voting progresses.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

News release from Dragon Con Media Relations

DRAGON CON’S DRAGON AWARDS PUBLISHES ITS 2017 BALLOT

Fans-Focused Awards Recognizes Excellence in Fifteen Categories of Fiction,

Comics, Gaming, and Filmed Entertainment

Second Annual Awards Will Be Announced at Dragon Con over Labor Day Weekend

ATLANTA – August 7, 2017 – Dragon Con’s Dragon Awards, a fan-chosen awards program to recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy literature, comics, gaming, and filmed entertainment, has published its 2017 ballot.

The Dragon Awards are decidedly a “fans’ choice” award. All fans – not just Dragon Con members or attendees – are invited to select the Dragon Award winners by voting – for free – on the second annual Dragon Awards ballot. The full ballot can be accessed here: awards.dragoncon.org/2017-ballot/

To vote, fans much register on the Dragon Awards website: http://application.dragoncon.org/dc_fan_awards_signup.php   Ballots are then emailed to registered voters a few days later.

“We believe strongly in the principle of one fan, one vote,” said Pat Henry, president of Dragon Con, Inc. “We believe that the vast body of fandom is in the best position to identify and recognize the most beloved works in science fiction and fantasy today.”

Henry went on to encourage every fan to go vote for their favorite works.

“We all know that a determined minority can carry the day when not enough people vote,” Henry said. “For that reason alone, we think it’s critical that fans everywhere vote for the books, games, comics and shows they love.”

The Dragon Awards were introduced in 2016 as part of the 30th Anniversary of Dragon Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy, sci-fi and gaming convention.

To accommodate as many creative genres as possible, awards will be given in each of 15 categories covering the full range of fiction, comics, television, movies, video gaming and tabletop gaming. Winners will be announced on Sept. 3rd at Dragon Con, which will be held September 1 to September 4, 2017 in Atlanta.

The ballot was selected in an open nomination process. Using the dedicated Dragon Awards website, fans were invited to nominate one (and only one) of their favorite properties in any or all the award categories.  Nominations ran from early April until July 25. The best and most popular of the nominated properties were elevated to the ballot.

All voting will be done electronically and only on the Dragon Awards site. No memberships or other qualifiers are required, making the voting open to all of the fans of all forms of science fiction. Fans have until Monday, August 28th at 11:59 p.m., Eastern, to register.  Voting ends 24-hours later, on Tuesday, August 29th at 11:59 p.m., also Eastern.

Further details are available on the awards website awards.dragoncon.org. Please direct all inquiries to dcawards@dragoncon.org or mail them to: Dragon Awards, PO Box 16459, Atlanta, GA 30321-0459 USA

About Dragon Con

Dragon Con is the internationally known pop culture convention held each Labor Day in Atlanta. Organized for fans, Dragon Con features more than about 3,000 hours of comics, film, television programming, costuming, art, music and gaming over four days. For more information, please visit www.dragoncon.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, August 07, 2017

The Five Stages of a Dragon Award nomination (or Political) Campaign – with apologies to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

I mentioned in my previous post that self-promotion to get a work on an award ballot reminded me of running for public office.

After some reflection, I realized the stages in the both processes are the same, so I thought I’d put them down:

First Stage: EXCITEMENT
You’ve decided you’re going to toss your hat in the ring. You’re looking forward to the campaign. It’s going to be exciting and you look forward to doing great things. Your friends are all behind you, and with some elbow grease and a little luck, you’re a shoo-in.

Second Stage: REALITY SINKS IN
OK, you’ve begun to realize what you’ve gotten yourself into. It’s a lot more work than you anticipated, and you wonder if you are up to it. This is going to be real work, and you wonder if you have the time. The initial euphoria has worn off.

Third Stage: SELF-DOUBT
Now that you’ve been campaigning for a while, you’ve gotten to know the competition, and realize they are good – maybe better than you. Plus now you’ve learned some people you thought would help you have other plans, and some have decided to support other candidates. What have you gotten yourself into?

Fourth Stage: DEPRESSION
OK, now you see that you bit off more than you can chew. You’re strapped for time, you’ve lost supporters, and you have to admit there are other perfectly qualified candidates who could legitimately beat you. They’re just as good, if not better, and have better networks and connection than you do. You begin to think of your concession speech.

Fifth Stage: FATALISM
Election Day (or the deadline for nominations) nears, and you realize that, no matter what, this will all be over soon, and you’ll be able to relax. You decide to make one last push and pull out all the stops for a get-out-the-vote (or nomination) effort. You want to be able to say, at least for your supporters if not for yourself, that you gave it your best shot, and can hold your head high regardless of the outcome.

First thoughts on the Dragon award

I haven't posted that much regarding the Dragon Awards. I only learned of the final ballot Thursday night, and the following morning my wife and I left for the five hour (each way) drive to Austin for Armadilloncon. While at cons I don't post that much; I prefer to mix and mingle and enjoy the event.
So here are a few insights:

First of, self-promotion is hard work, and also tedious. It's a necessary evil, however, insofar as other authors are out there promoting their own works.

There's always a mix of private and public promotion. Old-timers and very successful authors do a lot of promotion behind the scenes, because they can. I was able to do some of that, also, but in my case most of my self-promotion was up front and public. As a part-time writer I don't have those really deep roots in the genre.

People reacted very well. I think it's like, every mom thinks their kid's cute. You allowed to toot your own horn and extol your own work. Even if someone isn't as enthusiastic about your work as you are, they will be polite and respectful.

I got a late start, compared to some other people, in promoting "Another Girl, Another Planet" for the Dragon because of a simple mental error. I assumed the eligibility period was the calendar year, as it is for the Hugos and Nebulas. The book was issued in January, so I assumed it would be in consideration next year. It was only in May that a friend pointed out my absent-minded oversight. The Dragons' period goes from July 1 to June 30 of the following year.

When the initial Dragon awards were announced last year, I was pleased to see one of the categories was Alternate History. Previously the only recognition I'd seen for my favorite sub-genre was the Sidewise Award. Alternate history is becoming more and more popular, and I applaud any efforts to recognize and highlight its best works.

I knew as soon as "Another Girl, Another Planet" was published it should be a contender for the Dragon award in that category, and the ongoing positive comments and reviews since its release convinced me it had a chance. Once I realized it would have to be on the ballot for consideration this year, I embarked on a program of promotion that reminded me very much standard political campaign.

It's best in a political campaign to keep the message simple and clear and repeat it constantly. My message - AGAP is a good book and deserves your consideration - seemed to have worked. By the time the nomination deadline neared, the repetition, though, was starting to drive me nuts. I got sick of hearing about Lou Antonelli - and I'm Lou Antonelli!

I've been a finalist for both the Sidewise and Hugo awards, and in both cases, if you have made the ballot, you are contacted in advance, and asked if you accept the honor. Sometimes people prefer to take a bye.

Nominations for the Dragon closed July 24, and after a week had passed I assumed I had not made the grade. I was sure of it last Thursday night when I received an email that had a link to the final ballot.

I opened the ballot, to see who HAD made the grade, and was startled to see my name there. The Dragon award apparently is less bureaucratic than some others, I suppose, and they simply released the final ballot the way the nominations fell.

I was delighted, of course, and very proud. I also saw I am in exalted company. The Alternate History selections are all excellent works and the ballot overall is very wide-ranging and inclusive. I mean, heck, when the honorees range from John Scalzi and N.K. Jemison to Vox Day and John C. Wright, you've covered the whole, and I mean whole, spectrum of authors!

I'm tired, as I just returned home from Austin, but I'll put down more thoughts shortly. Have a great week!

Thursday, August 03, 2017

The ballot has been released for this year's Dragon awards.

Here it is:

2017 Dragon Con Awards

This ballot must be submitted by Tuesday, August 29th, 11:59 EDT (UTC -4)


1. Best Science Fiction Novel

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

Babylon's Ashes by James S.A. Corey

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

The Secret Kings by Brian Niemeier

Rise by Brian Guthrie

Space Tripping by Patrick Edwards

Death's End by Cixin Liu

Escaping Infinity by Richard Paolinelli


2. Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)

The Hearthstone Thief by Pippa DaCosta

Beast Master by Shayne Silvers

Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter

Dangerous Ways by R.R. Virdi

Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge by Larry Correia and John Ringo

Wings of Justice by Michael-Scott Earle

A Sea of Skulls by Vox Day


3. Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

It's All Fun and Games by Dave Barrett

Swan Knight's Son by John C. Wright

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Firebrand by A.J. Hartley

The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

Rachel and the Many Splendored Dreamland by L. Jagi Lamplighter


4. Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

Invasion: Resistance by J.F. Holmes

Cartwright's Cavaliers by Mark Wandrey

Caine's Mutiny by Charles E. Gannon

Iron Dragoons by Richard Fox

Alies and Enemies: Exiles by Amy J. Murphy

Star Realms: Rescue Run by Jon Del Arroz

Starship Liberator by B.V. Larson and David VanDyke

The Span of Empire by Eric Flint and David Carrico


5. Best Alternate History Novel

Witchy Eye by D.J. Butler

Another Girl, Another Planet by Lou Antonelli

1636: The Ottoman Onslaught by Eric Flint

The Last Days of New Paris by China Mieville

Breath of Earth by Beth Cato

A Change in Crime by D.R. Perry

No Gods, Only Daimons by Kai Wai Cheah

Fallout: The Hot War by Harry Turtledove


6. Best Apocalyptic Novel

Codename: Unsub by Declan Finn and Allan Yoskowitz

The Seventh Age: Dawn by Rick Heinz

A Place Outside the Wild by Daniel Humphreys

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

American War by Omar El Akkad

ZK: Falling by J.F. Holmes

Walkaway by Cory Doctorow


7. Best Horror Novel

A God in the Shed by J-F Dubeau

The Changeling by Victor LaValle

The Bleak December by Kevin G. Summers

Blood of Invidia by Tom Tinney and Morgen Batten

Live and Let Bite by Declan Finn

The Hidden People by Alison Littlewood

Nothing Left to Lose by Dan Wells

Donn's Hill by Caryn Larrinaga


8. Best Comic Book

Monstress by Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eleven by Christos Gage, Rebekah Isaacs

Wynonna Earp Legends by Beau Smith, Tim Rozon, Melanie Scrofano, Chris Evenhuis

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa

Motor Girl by Terry Moore

The Dresden Files: Dog Men by Jim Butcher, Mark Powers, Diego Galindo


9. Best Graphic Novel

Love is Love by Marc Andreyko, Sarah Gaydos, James S. Rich

Girl Genius: the Second Journey of Agatha Heterodyne, Book 2: The City of Lightning by Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio

Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Wild Card by Jim Butcher, Carlos Gomez

March Book 3 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin

Stuck in My Head by J.R. Mounts

My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris

Clive Barker Nightbreed #3 by Marc Andreyko, Clive Barker, Emmanuel Javier


10. Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series

Marvel's Agents of Shield, ABC

Stan Lee's Lucky Man, Sky1

Stranger Things, Netflix

Wynonna Earp, Syfy

Lucifer, Fox

Doctor Who, BBC

Westworld, HBO

The Expanse, Syfy


11. Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 directed by James Gunn

Doctor Strange directed by Scott Derrickson

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story directed by Gareth Edwards

Arrival directed by Denis Villeneuve

Logan directed by James Mangold

Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins

Passengers directed by Morten Tyldum


12. Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game

Final Fantasy XV by Square Enix

Mass Effect: Andromeda by Bioware

Dishonored 2 by Arkane Studios

NieR: Automata by PlatinumGames

Titanfall 2 by Respawn Entertainment

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild by Nintendo


13. Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game

Con Man: The Game by Monkey Strength Productions

Super Mario Run by Nintendo

Sky Dancer by Pine Entertainment

Monument Valley 2 by Ustwogames

Pokemon GO by Niantic

Fire Emblem Heroes by Nintendo


14. Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game

Hero Realms by White Wizard Games

Mansions of Madness (Second Edition) by Fantasy Flight Games

Terraforming Mars by Stronghold Games

Gloomhaven by Cephalofair Games

Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow's Walk by Avalon Hill

Scythe by Stonemaier Games


15. Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game

Magic the Gathering: Eldritch Moon by Wizards of the Coast

Dark Souls: The Board Game by Steamforged Games

Star Wars: Destiny by Fantasy Flight Games

A Shadow Across the Galaxy X-Wing Wave X by Fantasy Flight Games

Pulp Cthulhu by Chaosium

Bloodborne: The Card Game by CMON Limited

Monday, July 31, 2017

Why I am in the doghouse...

Turner Classic Movies showed Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" last night at midnight. My wife recorded it and was watching it this afternoon.

During the the nerve-wracking final scene, when the characters are trapped in the house by the sea, I snuck up behind her chair, and crossed my arms, and then slapped each elbow with the opposite palm at the same time.

If you've ever done this, you know this makes a creditable flapping noise.

THIS IS CALLED BEING TOO CLEVER BY HALF.

Patricia jumped 20 feet, and now I owe her a week's worth of foot rubs, plus back rubs, and a lot more, and then she will - maybe - decide if I am allowed to live.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Another great review

Review: Another Girl, Another Planet by Lou Antonelli

By David Afsharirad 
On his blog Tyrannosaurus Ranch


I don't really read science fiction novels much these days. With as many science fiction short stories as I read in order to assemble The Year's Best Military and Adventure SF series, when it comes time to wind down with a book, I find myself reaching for different genres. When I do read a science fiction novel, I tend to gravitate toward older works that I've meant to read but haven't gotten around to. All this to say, if a science fiction novel came out in the last three or four years, there's a stunningly good chance I haven't cracked its spine.


But I made an exception for Lou Antonelli's Another Girl, Another Planet. The premise was just too interesting. I couldn't resist.


With Another Girl, Another Planet, Lou Antonelli gives us the 20th Century we deserved rather then the 20th Century we got. It's an alternate history story in which Admiral Robert A. Heinlein (yes, that Robert A. Heinlein) convinces the United States and the U.S.S.R. to work together on a joint space program, rather than against one another in an escalating arms race. As a result, by 1985 (when our story is set) there is a thriving colony on the Moon and the frontier has moved to Mars.


The hero of the story is Dave Shuster, a low-level bureaucrat who is sent to the Mars colony to take over a vacant administration position. Once there, however, he discovers that the Martian governor has died while he was en route. Shuster is now interim leader of the colony.


The engine for Antonelli's plot is an Asmovian mystery involving a mysterious robot and android factory on Mars and a missing girl (an old flame of Shuster's) back in New York City. The mystery is well-done and kept me turning pages, and Shuster, who narrates the novel, is a likable protagonist with a great voice.


But the real joy of the novel is the world that Antonelli has created. For one thing, it's incredibly well thought out. More than that, it's just downright fun. In Another Girl, Another Planet, familiar faces from our timeline turn up in different settings throughout. Familiar technology such as fax machines exist alongside Moon-to-Mars rocketships. To say too much would be to ruin the fun of the novel, so I'll just mention two things that typify what I'm talking about. The first is when Dave Shuster finds a cassette of Buddy Holly's early material, from 1957 - 1961, before he and The Beatles became engaged in the U.S. vs. Britain Music Wars. Another is that we find out what happened to famed skyjacker D.B. Cooper in this timeline.


If I have a criticism to level against the novel it's that, from time to time, the forward movement of the plot is sidelined so that some aspect of the alternate timeline and/or retro-futuristic technology can be explained. But these diversions are so entertaining that it's hard to say that they should have been cut. I certainly would have missed them. Readers not as enamored with 20th Century history and pop culture might find themselves a little lost in all of the references, but I suspect that, for the most part, they will just sail on by, not causing a distraction.


Published by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta's Wordfire Press, Another Girl, Another Planet is available now. Here's a link to it on Amazon. Or, if you prefer, you can buy a DRM-free version from Baen.com.


If there were more books like Lou Antonelli's Another Girl, Another Planet, I'd 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Nice review on Amazon

Secret history on Mars debut novel!, July 25, 2017
By Margaret A. Davis
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Another Girl, Another Planet (Kindle Edition)

Secret history wrapped in alternate history. I've been reading alternate history for some time now. I've only recently gotten into secret history with Simon R. Green's Secret Histories (aka Eddie Drood) series. (Secret history has been a longtime category of science fiction, just new to me.)

Another Girl, Another Planet uses an "unreliable narrator" for this alternate history. Where the person relating his story is surprised that anyone might believe his tale and where the person has no explanation for the fact that his story obviously took place in an alternate reality/parallel universe.
As someone who remembers well the 1960's through 1980's, I also definitely enjoyed Mr. Antonelli's use of historical figures (as well as some actual contemporary people) in this novel.

Another Girl, Another Planet is the story of a man sent to Mars in 1985 to be executive assistant to the colonial governor at the joint Soviet-NATO Mars base. Not only was there the joint mission on Mars but there was also a thriving joint Soviet-NATO Moon settlement (complete with several cities).

In this alternate reality, instead of an arms race after WWII the Soviet Union/Warsaw Pact nations & the U.S./Western powers had a space race and ended up deciding to go together on both the Moon and later Mars, as a better use of both of their resources. They had even set up a fixed rotation where the base was operated by the Soviets this year and twenty years later NATO would smoothly assume control of the base (until the next fixed turnover). Even if it were NATO's turn to operate the base, both sides had to agree on leadership positions such as the governor & lieutenant governor. That is, if it is NATO's operation, the Soviets must sign off as well on these critical appointees.

This alternate reality had both robots and androids, although both had been banned from Earth and the Moon by the time the story begins. Said robots and, in particular androids, were on Mars to both help construct the colony and also work there as common laborers, maids, waitresses, etc. etc. I enjoy science fiction novels with mixed societies of humans and robots/androids.

Another Girl, Another planet is a good yarn. Good worldbuilding, interesting choices as to how this alternate history was different from our own history, and I enjoyed getting to know the various characters. So far as I know, this is Mr. Antonelli's first novel. His earlier work has been shorter fiction, a lot of them short stories, and most of them secret histories/alternate history as well. Recommended for readers of secret histories/alternate history and Mars!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Armadillocon is coming up August 4-6.

Here is my schedule:

Fr1700BF Writing Golden Age Fiction Today
Fri 5:00 PM-6:00 PM Ballroom F
L. Antonelli, A. Porter*, J. Reasoner, A. Simmons
Let's have some of that old-time Sense of Wonder

Fr2030CC Reading
Fri 8:30 PM-9:00 PM Conference Center

Sa1100DR Signing
Sat 11:00 AM-Noon Dealers' Room
S. Allen, L. Antonelli, L.T. Duchamp, P.J. Hoover

Sa1300BE Clarke's Law
Sat 1:00 PM-2:00 PM Ballroom E
L. Antonelli, D. Cherry, A. Latner*, A. Martinez, J. Reisman, S. Trevino
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." With this pronouncement, Arthur C. Clarke joined Asimov (with his Laws of Robotics) and Sturgeon (90%...) in having epigrams transformed into "Laws". It's even been turned around! Our panelists discuss the continuing influence of these ideas at the boundary of SF & F.

Sa1500CC Writing 101
Sat 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Conference Center
L. Antonelli, M. Bracken, S. Allen, K. Catmull, G. Iglesias, M. Cardin*
Getting past the blank page for short story and novel writing. Come prepared for a writing exercise or two

Sa1900SPA Clarke's Vision - Nuts & Bolts vs. Visionary
Sat 7:00 PM-8:00 PM Southpark A
L. Antonelli, P. Hemstreet, Mi. Finn, J. Gibbons*, J. Moore
Space Exploration vs. Visionary Eschatology: Clarke's earlier career was split between hard SF of the exploration of space, and human destiny works like Childhood's End and The City and the Stars; later he tried to bridge that gap, with 2001: A Space Odyssey and others. Which modes worked, and what other authors have bridged this divide?

Su1300BE Dystopias (and utopias) in a dystopian age
Sun 1:00 PM-2:00 PM Ballroom E
L. Antonelli, D. Hardy*, P.J. Hoover, J. Reisman, S. White
Reading and writing dystopias (and utopias) in a dystopian age

Su1500SPB What is this thing Called Plot?
Sun 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Southpark B
L. Antonelli, M. Bracken, U. Fung, J. Lans

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Stop the presses!

To my many friends who know me as a science fiction and fantasy writer, this is what I do for a living.

This is called a newspaper. It made from ground up trees that are flattened, dried and then smeared with a dark petroleum product in a process called "printing" - a durable technology that's worked for 500 years but finally seems to be on the way out.

However, this newspaper is chock full of news and items of the people who live in its city. To rephrase something Daniel Webster said in the famous Dartmouth case, "It's a small paper, but yet there are those who love it."

Years ago, I was on a panel on writing at an AggieCon in College Station. A member of the audience asked the six authors if we would quit our day job and write full time if we could.

I was the only one who said I wouldn't quit my day job.

I've always enjoyed being a journalist. I love the variety of the work and the public contact. Writing is a lonely, solitary occupation. I've very outgoing and I'd go nuts if I had to stay tied to a computer grinding out fiction day in and day out for a living.

Given the amount of time I DO devote to fiction, I'm very proud of what I've accomplished, and I am extraordinary proud of my first novel, "Another Girl, Another Planet".

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Taking stock

I have five Upcoming Short Story Publications:

"The Orphan Hunter" - Aphelion

"Milady Wakes' -Theme of Absence

"The Mole and the Sun" - Surprising Stories

"Dry Falls" - Somnium (Brazil)

"A Choice of Weapons" - TANSTAAFL Press "Enter the Apocalypse"

I've had six stories published so far this year:

“The Silver Crescent” – Bewildering Stories, Issue 705

“Watch What Happens’ – Fiction on the Web, March 2017

“The World Turned Upside Down” – Rocket’s Red Glare anthology, Rough Edges Press

"The Last Run of the Piney Woods Express" - "Bewitched, Betwixt and Between" anthology, Crosstime Publishing

“A Stone’s Throw” – 4 Star Stories

“Riders of the Red Shift” – Astounding Frontiers, Vo. 1 No. 1 July 2017

That looks like a potential tally of eleven short stories published in o

Friday, July 21, 2017

On target

One of the most insightful observations about "Another Girl, Another Planet" comes from Hans Schantz:

"I finished Lou Antonelli's Another Girl, Another Planet this week. Think of it as an Asimovian robot mystery set in a Heinleinian alternate reality. Highly recommended!"

Saturday, July 15, 2017

"Sometimes mundane problems require supernatural solutions."

My latest short story:

A bureaucrat, faced with a seemingly intractable dilemma, gets advice from an other worldly visitor.

In the end he learns his adviser is the shade of the bureaucrat who made the worst decision in history - and has been serving penance ever since.

The name of the story is "Patron Saint".

Friday, July 14, 2017

A herd of dragons

My wife went to the regional archives library at Paris Junior College yesterday (Thursday) and I tagged along. She was doing some historical and genealogical research.

The Paris Junior College mascot is the dragon, and I found in the lobby of the library a display case full of dragons - toys, dolls, beany-type babies, etc.

I wonder if this is a good omen?

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Reaganaissance Faire

Do you yearn to play in a more simple time, between the Dark Ages and the Modern Era - before there was the internet, cell phones, painful on-line constant social interaction with every idiot on the planet, and music that was actually composed?

You can journey back and role-play in a festival designed for those who yearn for a less complicated era of history.

With the start of summer, the Society for Creative Anomaly (SCA) would like to announce the opening of the first ReaFair ( Reaganaissance Faire), a special village set up to duplicate the simpler and slower times of that long ago 1980s era.

Actors mingle in the crowds dressed in authentic era fashions. You are encouraged to dress appropriately and play any role you wish

You can pretend you are boogeying in Studio 54, while an actor portrays Steve Rubell presiding over the debauchery.

If the Cold War is your thing, you can watch Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev verbally joust.

Each day there is a Madonna look-alike competition, and also a Madonna/Cyndi Lauper song competition.

The main meadow stage is occupied by Freddy Mercury and Queen doing power pop sing-a-longs.

And beware as Adam Ant jostles and leads his band of merry cutpurses through the crowds.

It's great fun for the whole family, and its now open for the summer. Take that nostalgic trip back to an era that lives now only in myth.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

A neat little book

I recently picked up a neat little book at the local library book sale. It was never part of the library collection; it's a 1923 book called "Representative English Essays". It was obviously meant to be a textbook, and in fact graffiti inside indicates it belonged to a student at Austin College in 1926.
It was cheaply printed. The cover is little more than a particularly heavy stock of cardboard. The thing I found interesting - confusing? - is that in a number of pages were not separated. It's like pages were printed in multiples of four and were meant to be separated when the book was bound and the pages trimmed - and because it was a cheap print job, the trimming was sloppy and a number of pages not cut apart.
I suppose because it WAS a college textbook the owner did not read it, otherwise the pages would have been cut apart. I've kept a small pair of scissors next to it on a table, and every time I find one of these conjoined pages I cut them apart.
It's an excellent book, by the way, coming right at the start of the era when the radio rose up and dominated storytelling. It represents the cream of essays from the era when READING was the dominant form of entertainment for many people. Authors include Alfred Tennyson, Francis Bacon, Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas Carlyle, John Ruskin, Richard Steele, William Hazlitt, William Makepeace Thackeray, George Henry Lewes, Henry Seidel Canby, Henry Thoreau, William Beebe, Lafcadio Hearn, Woodrow Wilson and others.
Does anyone know the printing process that would explain why so many of the pages were never cut apart?

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

109 and counting

With the publication of "The Last Run of the Piney Woods Express" last week in the "Bewitched, Betwixt and Between" anthology from Crosstime Publishing, that makes 109 short stories published since 2003.
I have five stories accepted and waiting to be published:
* "The Mole and the Sun" - Surprising Stories
* "Dry Falls" - Somnium (Brazil)
* "A Choice of Weapons" - TANSTAAFL Press "Enter the Apocalypse"
""Riders of the Red Shift" - Astonishing Frontiers
Astonishing Frontiers is a new publication that should debut by the middle of this month. This will be the third time, I believe, where I had a story in the debut issue of a publication.
The last time I did that was in the kick-off issue of Buzzy Mag in 2012. That urban fantasy story, "The Centurion and the Rainman", is archived here.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Dragon thoughts

In just two years, the Dragon awards have surpassed the Hugos as the benchmark of science fiction fandom approval. More people are interested in the Dragons, and trust the process, than the Hugos (IMHO). The Hugos were irreparably damaged two years ago, when - in the face of the Sad Puppies fiasco - the sf literary establishment essentially did what corporations sometimes do - they bought all the stock back and took the company private (by buying as many WorldCon memberships as needed to insure none of the "wrong" sort of people won.)

In the long run, maybe having more awards is a good thing, because it recognizes a greater variety of interests , But from what I see, the Dragons this year are where the Hugos were maybe 30 years ago, the award authors want and readers look forward to.

The deadline for nominating closes in a little over three weeks.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Latest stories

I may be a prolific author, but it looks like I did something this week that is unusual even for me - I had two stories published on the same day.

On June 25, Crosstime Publishing came out with an anthology, Bewitched, Betwixt, and Between, which includes my ghost story "The Last Run of the Piney Woods Express."

4 Star Stories, a neat little ezine published by David and Mary Gray, also came out with its latest issue, which includes my flash "A Stone'e Throw", on the same day. Follow the link here to read it.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Cancellation

When you are poor, very small things can impact your plans. I'm sorry to say that my wife and I are doing so badly financially, and we've had so much bad luck recently, that we can't afford to travel this weekend, so I will not be able to attend Libertycon.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Back from OKC

Got back from SoonerCon, had a wonderful time. It's one of the friendliest conventions around, and the program topics were excellent. Enjoyed dinner Saturday night with Karl Gallagher and Clifford McMurray and Sonya McMurray at a barbecue joint on Douglas Ave. called The Rib Crib. I'll be posting some photos later, but I'm tired from the traveling right now

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Just a month left

There's now just a month to get your nominations in for the Dragon Awards this year (they close July 24). I'd like to think "Another Girl, Another Planet" is a contender for Best Alternate History Novel.

I'm sure you would enjoy it if you haven't read it already, and I'd appreciate your support.

"Brilliant ideas, well told. I loved it!" - Larry Niven.

"It was one of those rare optimistic alternate histories that still managed to convey an interesting story... If you are curious at all about one way humans might have flown farther than the Moon, then you might want to pick up Lou Antonelli’s Another Girl, Another Planet." - Mattmitrovich, Amazing Stories.

"Good Lord, Lou Antonelli did something I thought was impossible. He made me like an alternative history story, and usually I hate those." - Abyss & Apex

"You don’t like or read alternate history? Neither do I. Too bad, you’ll like it anyway. Really." - Declan Finn, A Pius Geek

You can find the Dragon Awards nomination page here:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Shrinking markets

Over the weekend I sent off a story to Red Sun magazine. They replied yesterday "Unfortunately, we must return it to you as we are on indefinite hiatus."

I'm grateful that even though they have closed, they were professional enough to still send a email. A lot of other venues, under similar circumstances, would have simply never replied. I had this happen recently with Perihelion magazine.

This highlights the disturbing shrinkage of respectable markets for short s-f fiction. It looked like a few years ago that the internet was leading to a proliferation of new markets, but I suspect many of them simply can't generate any revenue to cover whatever small overhead they have.

Even with a "4 the LUV" market, the owners must have a real job someplace and I'm sure become strapped for time.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

14th anniversary

Today marks the 14th anniversary of my first short story publication, when Jayme Lynn Blaschke published "Silvern" in Revolution S-F on June 17, 2003.

I attended my first s-f con, ConDFW, the previous February. I met Jayme there. I had just started in write spec fic and asked him if I could submit. He said "sure". I whipped up "Silvern" and emailed it to him.

This was his introduction:

"New writer Lou Antonelli isn't really a new writer at all. A longtime newspaper editor and reporter with multiple awards from Texas Press Association in editorial, column, and feature writing, Antonelli has recently turned his hand to science fiction with impressive results, as evidenced by the following story."

It is still archived at the Revolution SF site. You can it there.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Monday morning update

It's always nice to get a royalty payment you weren't looking for. It's even nicer when it starts the week off on a Monday morning. Kudos to Michael A. Willis at the Digital Fiction Publishing League for being a great publisher. He reprinted my Sidewise award finalist short story "Great White Ship" in his QuickFic anthology last year.

With the publication of my short story "The World Turned Upside Down" in "Rocket's Red Glare", I've had 107 short stories published since 2003.
This doesn't count any stories I self-published, either on-line or via Amazon.
I have 15 stories right now in various slush piles, and five pending publication.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Latest tally

With the publication of my short story "The World Turned Upside Down" in "Rocket's Red Glare", I've had 107 short stories published since 2003.

This doesn't count any stories I self-published, either on-line or via Amazon.

I have 15 stories right now in various slush piles, and five pending publication.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Anthology series

Superversive Press is planning a series of anthologies later this year, each with a theme tied to a planet. I have agreed to write a story each for Mercury, Venus and Mars. Thanks and a tip of the hat to Jon Del Arroz, David Hallquist and L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

My SoonerCon schedule

SooonerCon in Oklahoma City is only three weeks away, June 23-25. Here is my schedule:

Readings
Alternate History:  4:00 PM Friday – Rice:  Lou Antonelli, Walt Boyes, Jeff Provine, Joy Ward

Using Your Creativity for Fun and Profit - 5:00 PM Friday Ballroom E
Description: Bottom line: You’re in business for yourself. But’s that’s so boring! Inspired project and time management dos and don’ts from the pros on living and working as a creative person who gets stuff done.  Panelists:  Jan S. Gephardt, Lou Antonelli, Ryan Bellgardt, Jerry Bennett, W.J. Hodgson, Peter Pixie.

 Alternate History’s Allure - 1:00 PM Saturday Ballroom E
Description: What appeals most about the alternate history genre? How does a real historic setting with a changed fictional outcome inspire hope, regret, and more? Panelists: Jeff Provine, Lou Antonelli, David Carrico, Peter Pixie, Bradley H. Sinor, Joy Ward.

The Romance of “Out There” - 3:00 PM Saturday Ballroom F
Description: Discuss your favorite works involving exploration “just for the heck of it.” What human traits impel us over the next hill, or to the next star system? Can humanity’s drive to explore be fulfilled on this planet? Panelists:  Curtiss Mays, Lou Antonelli, Tim Frayser, Clifford McMurray, Cary G. Osborne, Mel White

Autographs
4:00 PM Saturday 10 Forward: Lou Antonelli, Deborah Chester, Karl K. Gallagher, Lou Antonelli

How to Create a Universe: 11:00 AM Sunday Theater
Description: World-Building Techniques It’s just as easy to get lost in trivial descriptive details as it is to hurry through and miss the small things that make up a dynamic SF world. Writers share their advice on developing descriptions of customs, settings, cultures, religions, politics, geography and more for cohesive and captivating genre reads.Panelists:  Lee Killough, Lou Antonelli, Deborah Chester, Maureen McHugh, Jody Lynn Nye, Timothy Zahn.

Ethics of AI Are androids slaves (Blade Runner, Star Wars)? 3:00 PM Sunday Pung
Description: Would a self-aware intelligence have the right to personhood (Chappie, Ex Machina)? Is it okay to love an AI (Westworld, Cherry 2000)? Panelists discuss the ethical considerations of artificial intelligence development and creation.  Panelists: Shawn Scarber, Lou Antonelli, Kimber Chessmore, Jackie Kramer, Tim Frayser, Joey Rodman.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Latest publication

I'm proud to announce that my short story "Riders of the Red Shift" will be leading off the first issue of  an new space opera-themed ezine, "Astonishing Frontiers", coming out soon.

This will be my 107th published short story. I think it's the first time since since the debut of Buzzy Mag in 2012 that I have the first story in a new publication.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Now Available: Rocket's Red Glare

The trade paperback edition of the new Rough Edges Press anthology ROCKET'S RED GLARE is now available on Amazon, and ebook editions for all platforms are available at the various on-line retailers.

Publisher James Reasoner said on his blog:

"I just want to say how proud I am of this book and all the authors involved, and how grateful I am to them and to Brad R. Torgersen and Livia J. Washburn for their work on the cover. There are some great stories in ROCKET'S RED GLARE: a major new novella from Brad R. Torgersen, a USAian story by Sarah A. Hoyt, gritty military SF from Nathan E. Meyer, an interstellar epic by Keith West, a superb first contact yarn from Robert E. Vardeman, suspenseful tales set in our solar system by Christopher Chupik and David Hardy, a poignant look at the future on Mars by Lou Antonelli, and stories set on Earth but involving galactic conflict from Martin L. Shoemaker and myself. Classic SF from top-notch authors. You can't go wrong with that."

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Internet finally kills somebody





CONROE, Texas – Local law enforcement officials and the Texas Rangers say a man living in a Houston suburb is apparently the first person ever directly killed by social media negativity and hatefulness.

Pallas Mulligan, 34, was found dead in his Conroe home Tuesday after family members and friends expressed concern about his well-being.

Conroe Police Chief Ike Bessell said responding officers found Mulligan’s carbonized remains, intact but approximately one-fourth of their original size, in a burned area of the living room where he had apparently undergone spontaneous combustion.

“The officers who responded to the welfare concern call immediately felt there was a large amount of negative energy present, which was confirmed when an officer’s silver bracelet set off a large electrical discharge,” said Bessell.

The officer had to be treated for second degree burns on her wrist, added Bessell.

Monday night Mulligan posted a tasteless wisecrack on social media in the wake of the terrorist attack in Manchester, England, earlier in the day: “Wow, that show was a real bomb, eh?”

The Texas Rangers report the time stamp on Mulligan’s computer indicated he deleted it 98 seconds later, but not before it was copied, reposted or retweeted 17,541,459 times in 15 minutes.

Mulligan later posted a long apology, which was apparently read 15 times.

David Negley, a forensics expert with the Texas Rangers, said Mulligan’s computer shut down three hours later after it ran out of memory after receiving 465 million death threats.

Personal friends said while talking to Mulligan on their iPhone later that evening it was apparent he was physically deteriorating.

“He had dark rings around his eyes, and he said he felt feverish and burning,” according to Angela Lateek, who was a friend from high school. “I told him he needed to go someplace and calm down, but he said he was scared to go outside.”

Rangers said the last phone call made from Mulligan’s phone was at 11:35 p.m. Monday.

Officers who went to his Conroe home Tuesday morning found his charred remains, but no signs of any trauma, said Chief Bessell.

“We have to assume all that negative energy directed at him by all the hateful people on the internet burned him up like a piece of bacon,” said Bessell.

Mulligan’s remains were taken to a local mortuary; funeral services are pending.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ten Things You Didn't Know About Lou Antonelli

This weekend I did a feature called Ten Things You Didn't Know About Lou Antonelli:

Item No. 1 - Lou is a first generation American. Both his parents were born in Italy and immigrated to the United States after World War II. At the time of his birth his father was here illegally, his mother was a resident alien. Both became naturalized citizens later.

Interesting Lou fact No. 2:
Lou and special make-up creator Tom Savini are second cousins. They share a common great-grandparent.

Interesting Lou Fact No. 3:
Lou once served as an elected school district trustee. He was also once appointed a special judge to preside over a condemnation court (eminent domain) in Dallas County.

Which means he has been both an "Honorable" and a "Judge"in the past.

Interesting Lou Fact No. 4:
Lou was a precocious journalist but a belated s-f writer.

His first news story was published in the local newspaper when he was 12.

His first pro science fiction story, the secret history "A Rocket for the Republic" in Asimov's, was published when he was 48.

His first novel, the alternate history "Another Girl, Another Planet", was published when he was 60.

Interesting Lou Fact No. 5:
Lou's first pro sale, "A Rocket for the Republic" in 2005, was the last story Gardner Dozois bought before he retired from Asimov's Science Fiction after 19 years as editor.

He's not had a story in Asimov's since then.

Interesting note: Lou has always considered Howard Waldrop an inspiration and role model. Howard Waldrop's short story "Lunchbox" (1972) was probably the last story accepted by John W. Campbell at Analog (one can't be entirely sure because Campbell died suddenly).

Howard's not had a story in Analog since then.

Interesting Lou Fact No. 6:
As Managing Editor of The Bowie County Citizens Tribune in New Boston, Texas, Lou took first place in the Texas Press Association Community Service Award in 2006.

Interesting Lou Fact No. 7:
In 1969 when Lou was a 12-year old growing up in Massachusetts, be sent off to an ad in a comic book and bought a set of 100 canceled postage stamps. He later tucked them away in an envelope and forgot about them.

In 1998, when he was 41, he happened to find the envelope with the stamps in them. In going through them, he realized one of them was a George Washington one cent green stamp, pre-cancelled in Cedar Hill, Texas.

At the time he lived at 509 Houston Street, Cedar Hill, Texas - 2000 miles from where he grew up in Massachusetts.

Interesting Lou Fact No. 8:
While at Columbia University, Lou was a member of the staff of the Columbia Daily Spectator, the Columbia College Student Council, and the Office of Student Affairs - the only person to serve in the three main occupants of Ferris Booth Hall - which was torn down in 1996.

Interesting Lou Fact No. 9:
Lou is one of only four people ever to be nominated in a fiction and non-fiction Hugo category in the same year. The other three people are Mike Resnick, Michael Swanwick and John Scalzi.

Interesting Lou Fact No. 10:
Lou has had 106 short stories published in 13 years. His 100th story, "The Yellow Flag" (published in Sci-Phi Journal on August 1, 2016, was written, submitted and accepted in four hours - between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. May 6, 2015.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Tired of the scenario

You know, I'm as big a fan of alternate history as anyone, but I am getting really, really tired of these iterations of the "What if the Nazis won World War II?" theme.

It's remarkable Germany got as far as it did, mainly because nobody believed Hitler was as unpredictable and aggressive as he was. The unpreparedness of the Allies was also a big factor,

I remarked - half jokingly - during the panel on Alternate History at Ravencon last month that I'm worried there is so much fictional narrative out there about the Nazis winning that I'm afraid one morning I'm going to wake up and find that somehow the accumulated weight of this "The Nazis won" narrative in the public consciousness will have caused some kind of parallel world shift - and we'll all be stuck in a world where the Nazis really did win!

There needs to be an anthology with the theme "They Still Lost", featuring alternate history stories about World War II where the Nazis still lose, but others things happen. For example:

* Enrico Fermi doesn't leave Italy and Mussolini gets the bomb!

* General Patton doesn't get in the car wreck and persuades Truman to turn on the Russians.

* We never use the bomb on Japan and so we can't get them to surrender.

* Hitler hides in the Alps and conducts guerilla warfare against the Allied Occupation.

* The Japanese in Manchukuo don't surrender, hold off the Soviet Army and then influence the coming Chinese civil war.

Of course, I think some of these ideas have already been explored

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Upcoming publication

Just finished proofing my short story "The World Turned Upside Down" which is in the forthcoming Rough Edges Press anthology "Rocket's Red Glare".

My colleagues in this anthology include Brad Torgersen, Keith West, Martin L. Shoemaker, Nathan E. Meyer, Sarah A. Hoyt, Dave Hardy, Bob Vardeman, Christopher Chupik, and Rough Edges Publisher his own self James Reasoner.

The last Rough Edges Press anthology I participated in. "Tales From the Otherverse" proved to be one of the best alternate history anthologies in recent years, and Bill Crider's story "It Doesn't Matter Any More" won the Sidewise Award for short fiction.

It was after "Tales From the Otherverse" came out I suggested to James that "Rocket's Red Glare:" would make a good title for a space opera anthology with positive stories. He liked the idea, and started on it.

I'm proud to be a part of it.

The Best Mother's Day Gift Ever

My wife and I never had any children, so we resorted to the traditional alternative and adopted a few furry children.

The alpha dog, Sugar, is half black Lab and (probably) half Italian Greyhound. She takes her job very seriously and is very smart; she figured out what the word "burglar" means without us teaching her.

A few years ago, a day or two before Mother's Day, I noted the upcoming event, and asked her, "So what are YOU going to give your mom for Mother's Day?"

I was being a wise-ass, but did I get my comeuppance!

The afternoon of Mothers Day, Patricia was on the couch watching television and the patio door was open.

Suddenly she shouted "Stop Sugar, she's carrying in a dead animal!"

I rushed to the door, and stopped Sugar. She had a freshly killed bird in her mouth, looking very pleased with herself, head held high and tail wagging.

I said, "Omigod, Sugar, I was KIDDING, you don't have to bring mom a present!"

As Patricia noted, by dog standards, this was probably the best present possible - a tasty freshly-killed tender bird for a meal.

I explained to Sugar that humans don't eat raw food, and thanked her for the gift. Then I disposed of it.

It's the thought that counts.

I also told Sugar that, in the future she was exempt from having to get mom a Mother's Day gift.

She never did that before, and she's never done it since. I personally think that, as smart as she is, she pretty much decided "I'll show him!"

There are HUMAN children who don't listen to their parents as much, and who wouldn't go to the trouble she did to get a "present" for mom.

God strike me dead if this isn't a true story. I could never make this up.

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...