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.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Helping the little guy

I haven't updated my short story submissions in a while, and I have a dozen of them ready to be sent on their merry little way.

Anyone out there want to recommend smaller or little - known venues? Don't bother with the obvious ones, like Analog or Asimovs or F&SF. I'm looking for little guys who'd like a little bit of quality speculative fiction. I don't care about money - if I did I'd never started writing in the first place.

I'm always willing to help folks who publish for the love of the genre, so if there is some venue out there I wouldn't think of that might like to read something by Lou Antonelli, post a comment here because I will be sending out stories all weekend.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Latest sale

I'm proud to announce I have signed a contract with Rough Edges Press for the publication of my short story, "The World Turned Upside Down", in its upcoming space opera anthology "Rockets Red Glare".

Back in 2015 I had an alternate history story, "Port Radium" in the Rough Edges Press "Tales From the Otherverse", which had a great deal of critical acclaim, and I expect this anthology will be equally successful.

Thanks go to Publisher James Reasoner for picking up the story

Friday, May 05, 2017

Calling Grendel Briarton

One day, while I was a teenager in Massachusetts, a group of high school students volunteered to help with a beach clean-up. It was an uncommon spill, but not unheard of – illicit drugs had washed up on a beach in the Cape Code National Seashore.

Apparently a boat, while being chased by the Coast Guard, threw its cargo of drugs overboard – which happened in this case to be bales of marijuana. Normally, the bales would have sunk, but because they was wrapped in plastic, they didn’t get water-logged and in fact had the right buoyancy to float – which they did, right onto the beach of the National Seashore.

By the time authorities found the bales, wave action had, however, had broken most of them open, and the marijuana was lying there wet and soggy on the beach. It gave a whole new meaning to the term “sea weed”.

Local public works employees had begun to collect up the soggy weed, but unfortunately local wildlife began to eat it. Marijuana is a plant, after all. Seagulls and terns had swooped in and gobbled it up, and then began to show symptoms of toxicity from eating the plants. As an emergency measure, the authorities asked for warm bodies to collect up the wet weed as soon as possible.

That’s how myself and other members of the National Honor Society found ourselves on a bus on the way to the seashore.

When we got there, we were given buckets and rakes, and told to work as fast as we could. Any thoughts anyone might have had of pocketing any of the weed was eliminated by its poor condition by then – soaked in salt water, with sand and other stuff mixed in.

I could see why the authorities had been concerned about the birds ingesting the marijuana. There were a number of birds staggering and flopping on the sand and in the grass. While we filled our buckets at the edge of the water, there were animal rescue people scooping up the birds for their own protection and taking them to a safe place where they could recuperate.

While I raked I saw a few birds clumsily flap down from the sky, and plop themselves on the beach until one of the animal rescue volunteers could grab them.

I was near a mooring post, however, when a tern swooped down and alighted on it. He looked at me and cocked his head in puzzlement. He seemed quite steady, so I supposed he was late to the party. From the way he sniffed the air I think he was a late arrival and hadn’t gotten there in time to get a snack before the clean-up began.

I looked at him, and he looked at me with what I took to be big eyes of disappointment. I decided my good deed for the day would be to see that he didn’t get left out, so I took a small handful of some relatively dry marijuana, walked over to the post, turned my back and slipped him some.

Unfortunately I didn’t see a rescue person just behind the next dune, but they saw me. She came over, and with some indignation, growled at me: “Do you think it’s funny? We are trying to save these birds, and here you are feeding one what is making them sick!”

“I just have a soft heart,” I pleaded. “It didn’t think it was fair he’d be the only bird left out of the pot party.”

“Besides,” I said as I wiped my hands and the bird flew away, “I wanted to make sure no tern was unstoned.”

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Back from Ravencon

I'm back from Ravencon. The tiredness has unfortunately been replaced by con crud, I'm really run down. I'm taking cold medicine and cough drops and trying to push on.

Latest accaptance

A few years ago, after I'd had maybe 100 or so short stories published, there was a lot of clamor from my fans for me to write a novel. ...