Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Bester Un-blocker

Gordon Van Gelder returned "The Man Who Machine-Gunned the Lady of the Lake". I sent it via e-mail as a fantasy submission to Ideomancer. I've sent Gordon "The Dragon's Black Box".

Got a confirmation from SpecFic World that they got "Professor Malakoff' for their slush pile. Also got a confirmation from Jayme Blaschke at RevSF that he got "Good Old Gal".

John Thiel at Surprising Stories says they'll be running "After Image" in their September issue.

I may have hit a block with "Traffic Report' I used my old "Bester title" trick to get unblocked.

In case you don't know, a few months ago I copied individual words from the title of Alfred Bester's short stories onto slips of paper. When I get blocked, I shuffle the slips and deal them into three piles. I think pick a word from each pile.

Half the time i do this, the three words I pick don't jog anything - but the other half of the time, something immediately pops to mind.

The first time I tried this, out came Used and Men and Choice. I immediately had an idea, and that became "Business as Usual". In fact, the story starts with the phrase "Choice Used Men" (it's on a sign).

Last night I tried it again, and it may have worked. More later.

Monday, June 27, 2005

More Work

I emailed "Good Old Gal" to Jayme Blaschke at RevSF. It's actually a sequel to "Silvern", which was published by RevSF two years ago (my first publication). Interesting to think it was ONLY two years ago I had my first story published.

I sent "Professor Malakoff's..." to Millenium Gear, an anthology. This is the first time I've submitted to an anthology, but I got a tip from Ralan's and it looked like a possibility.

"Twilight" is ready to go in the mail to Ellen. Stanley returned "The Dragon's Black Box". Don't have anything to send his way right now.

Did more work on "Traffic Report" over the weekend. Coming along at a steady pace.

Friday, June 24, 2005

"Traffic Report"

Got a start on the re-write of "The Idiot Box", which was originally written up as a flash. It's around 1,700 words now. The short story will be called "Traffic Report".

Brutarian returned "The Runner at Dawn". This story may be reaching the end of its useful lifespan. Ellen returned "Good Old Gal". Said it was fun, but not for her. I'm going to send her "Twilight on the Finger Lakes".

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Did Dozois destroy sci-fi?

Don't have anything new to report, so I thought I just repost most of something I wriote for a particulary stupid thread on the Asimov's discussion board:

The protagonist in my Asimov's tale is a redneck who doesn't even speak proper English and has rather benighted social views.

I think Gardner picked out the best stories that crossed his desk over the years - but a lot the trendy stuff in the years the Cyber-galoots were loose was WAMSA bashing and sexually deviant. OK, Cyberpunk is dead. Even Gardner has said so. GET OVER IT!

There's no reason that Gardner needed to use his position to foist YOUR views on the science fiction reading public. He doesn't even foist his OWN views on the public.

If you want to influence the genre, get your stories published. If you're really good, you might become an editor. Obviously, you can't.

The shocking thing to me on this thread is that - well, I knew Bromfield was a no talent - but I thought Joe Schembrie was a talented writer.

I am really, really disappointed at what you've said here, Joe. You've turned this forum into a plaque of ruins.

I chatted with Fred Pohl at the Campbell Conference at the University of Kansas last summner (Fred and me, we both have stories in next month's Asimov's. We're like this *imagine gesture of putting two fingers together* Are those your teeth I hear grinding Jon?).

Anyway, Fred make a very good observation, in relation to whether science fiction can predict the future. He said, more importantly than predicting the future, science fiction can imagine the future. You can direct and influence society's development by giving them a vision and road map of what lies ahead. It may be dystopian and cautionary, or it might be utopian and visionary.

I think Robert Heinlein did such a fantastic job of envisioning a future of space flight for us that we perhaps got ahead of ourselves and made the moon landing too soon. It may take us a number of years until regular space flight and subsequent colonization becomes common place.

SO if you've got a gripe, stop baying at the moon. Write the stories and write them so well that your images and ideas will drive themselves into the collective consciousness of society and influence its future development.

One man with the genius of God is a majority. Stop pointing fingers and whining about slush piles and gatekeepers and elites. Man's nature hasn't changed in thousands of years. Only his tools. The tools are out there. If you have the skills, use the tools. Don't blame the tools or accuse the man who sold them to you of some scam.

Bromfield has consistently shown he's an obnoxious no talent. I have no idea now what to think about you, Joe. I DO know that rather than bitch and piss and moan about rejections, I try to find time every night to write a little bit and keep plugging away, like Fred said, and provide a vision for the future.

And you know what. I have this funny positive feeling it's going to work.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Another story finished

Finally finished up "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes". Dropped it in the mail to Sheila at Asimov's today. Alternative history is a hard sell, but I like the story, so that's that.

I sent "The Silver Dollar Saucer' to Andromeda this past weekend. Already heard from them that it's cleared the first reading. That's another story I think is cute.

Next I think I'm going to attack "The Idiot Box" and work it up from a flash into a regular story.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Upcoming in Asimov's

Got my August issue of Asimov's in the mail today. Every issue they use the back page to tout what's coming in the next issue. The main story will be by Fred Pohl, who was a big name in the genre before I was born. There are also stories by Brian Aldiss - another writer who started before I was born - and a couple of really prolific and renowned authors, William Barton and Robert Reed.
There will also be stories by three first-time authors, including myself. Here's what they wrote about me:
"New writer Lou Antonelli makes a light-hearted Asimov's debut with the not-terribly-likely steampunk saga of the launching of "A Rocket for the Republic".
Gee, I wonder how many extra copies of next month's magazine I'm gonna buy???

Emailed "V.S.A." to Strange Horizons. Right now I have stories in 23 different slush piles.

The writing grind

I haven't had as much time to write recently, getting settled into the new job and all that, but I don't mind that. I wrote the first draft of "A Rocket for the Republic" during the summer of 2003, but then I changed jobs and moved in August and I didn't get back to finishing the story until October. I remember thinking to myself when I sent the story off that it really came out well, and was my best shot to date for getting accepted by Gardner Dozois - and it was and he did. So I figure that the slowdown caused by the job transition now probably works in my favor. Maybe I'll think out the stories more.
I did get back to working on "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" on Thursday night. Some significant changes, and the story's word length dropped - always a good sign, when the prose tightens up. It's probably ready to be pulled through Pagemaker this weekend.
Sheila at Asimov's returned "The Man Who Machine-Gunned the Lady of the Lake". Said it was cute but didn't buy it. Gordon at F&SF returned "The Silver Dollar Saucer". I sent him "Machine-Gunned" and sent "Silver Dollar Saucer" to Andromeda. I also sent "Wish List" to Lenox Ave., "A Djinn for General Houston" to Escape Pod, "After Image" to Surprising Stories and "Avatar" to Far Sector. Both Far Sector and Escape Pod are venues I haven't tried before.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Ted comes to Texas

Lawrence Person emailed that Ted Chiang will be the special guest at the next Turkey City. That's quite impressive. Chiang is quite an accomplished writer - I think he's won both a Nebula and a Hugo. I look forward to meeting him.

Ideomancer returned "V.S.A." Said it was too long on polemic and too short on plot.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Turkey City and Tulsa

Lawrence Person has put out the call for another Turkey City workshop to be held in Austin. The last one was hosted by Bruce Sterling at his house Oct. 30, 2004 (the one time I met Bruce Sterling in person). Now that Bruce has left for the West Coast, Person is taking up the administrative duties, such as they are (I understand he used to do this, anyway, before Sterling had started to host them). The workshop filled up fast, but I managed to slide in before it closed.
The folks in Austin have other literary resources to pull from, I imagine. Living like I do all in East Texas, I can use the experience. The previous one was the first writer's workshop I ever attended. When I mentioned that later to Gardner Dozois, he remarked "Well, you sure started at the top."
Anyway, the workshop will be at Person's July 23. The weekend before will be Conestoga 9 in Tulsa. I received word this week of my schedule. I will moderate one of the panels, on "When the Well is Dry: Writer's Block". It will convene at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 16. I will also be a member of the panel on "Influence of Other Genres: Should We Let Them In?" which will be held Sunday at 10 a.m.
They also said I can have a reading at noon Sunday, but since it's opposite the main reading for the Guest of Honor, George R.R. Martin, it'll probably bomb. Oh, well. I've always thought reading were for big authors, like guys who've written novels. Since I've only written short stories, I didn't expect to get a reading slot. It was still nice of them.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


Wel, started the new job Wednesday, June 1st. Everything seems copacetic. Reshuffled the submissions this weekend - too many to mention.

Andromeda has posted the cover for their June/July issue. First time I've seen my name on the cover of a magazine.


Wel, started the new job Wednesday, June 1st. Everything seems copacetic. Reshuffled the submissions this weekend - too many to mention.

Andromeda has posted the cover for their June/July issue. First time I've seen my name on the cover of a magazine.

Whatever happened to that old Sunbelt?

By LOU ANTONELLI Managing Editor It’s rained almost daily for the past four months. The ground is saturated; walking across grass is lik...