Thursday, January 26, 2006

Second sale of 2006

My short story "The Runner at Dawn" has been accepted for publication by the quarterly e-zine Worlds of Wonder.Editor Sharon Partington has scheduled the story for publication in their summer issue, set for July 2006.Worlds of Wonder describes itself as "A Webzine of Fantasy & SF."bThis is my second story bought in 2006. NovaSF bought "Good Old Gal" immediately after New Year's.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

On being a published author

I finished up my latest story yesterday. It's the first full-length story (not a flash) that I've completed since Oct. 25 - almost three months. That's one of the longest fallow periods I've ever had - but my production during the last half of 2005 dropped sharply, with my starting a new job June 1st (with a 70 mile commute for the first two months) and then being short-handed at the job for nine weeks from September to right after Thanksgiving. I really didn't have much time at home.
This latest story is called "Irredenta" and I've made an effort to develop the character of the protagonist a bit more. He's not a particularly sympathetic or even honest character, but I think he's well-rounded. Oh, well, off we go...
There has been a discussion on the Asimov's forum about whether editors tend to buy stories from already-established authors. Here is how I weighed in on the subject:
"I don't know about you, but when I see a book on the bookshelf by an author I already like (or who I know is good) I will stop and check it out first, before others whose names I don't recognize. That's human nature. Anything by Charlie Stross stops me in my tracks right now. Dave Marusek has only written one book so far, but you can be assured, his name on anything in the future will get skid marks from me.
"And note, I don't write anything like either of them, But I know they're good.
"That doesn't mean I won't read stories by people whose names I don't recognize. But I'll go for the known quantities first.
"So editors are no different than anyone else. That doesn't mean that they'll buy anything that flies off a famous author's printer. Heck, I think Gardner and Gordon both have rejected people like Niven and Card and Reed many times.
"The only thing being a published author will get you is a little kindliness.
"I like to think that when one of my stories lands in a slush pile, Sheila and Stanley and Gordon and others may think, "Well, here's something else from Lou. At least I know it won't suck."
"It may not be great or ground-breaking, but at least it won't make your eyes bleed when you read it. I think folks don't realize how much poorly-written ungrammatical drivel gets sent to editors by people who have no realistic self-awareness of their own capabilities."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My Hugo votes

Well, I mailed in my membership for Lagon IV (which is the World Con this year) and sent along my Hugo nomination ballot. I only nominated in the "literary" categories; I really don't have high opinion of the movies or TV shows out there. Here are my nominees:

Best Novel:
Effendi - John Courtenay Grimwood (Earthlight).
Counting Heads - Dave Marusek (Tor).
The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl - Tim Pratt (Bantam Spectra).
Accelerando - Charles Stross (Ace).
Rocket Science - Jay Lake (Fairwood Press).

Best Novella:
Shadow Twin - Gardner Dozois, George R.R. Martin, Daniel Abraham (Asimov's April/May).
Bank Run - Tom Purdom (Asimov's Oct/Nov.)
Sanctuary - Michael Burstein (Analog Sept.)
Boys and Girls Come Out to Play - Michael Swanwick (Asimov's July).
The Little Goddess - Ian McDonald (Asimov's June).

Best Novelette:
The King of Where-I-Go - Howard Waldrop (SciFiction, Dec.)
In the Loop - Brian Plante (Analog, July/August).
City of Reason - Matt Jarpe (Asimov's January).
Second Person, Present Tense - Daryl Gregory (Asimov's Sept.)
The Edge of Nowhere - James Patrick Kelly (Asimov's June).

Best Short Stories:
The Bravest Girl I Ever Knew - Howard Waldrop (King Kong Unbound original anthology)
A Horse of the Different Color (That You Rode In On) - Howard Waldrop (SciFiction, Nov.)
A Rocket for the Republic - Lou Antonelli (Asimov's, Sept.)
The Cast Iron Dybbuk - Lou Antonelli (Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine, June/July).
The Ice Cream Man - James Van Pelt (Asimov's June).

Best Professional Editor:
Ellen Datlow
Stanley Schmidt
Gordon Van Gelder

Best Semiprozine:
Andromeda Spaceways In-flight Magazine
Beyond Centauri
Continuum Science Fiction
Nova Science Fiction

Best Fanzine:
Pablo Lennis (John Thiel)

John W. Campbell Award:
Lou Antonelli

Saturday, January 14, 2006

A family tragedy

We had a family tragedy this week. Wednesday afternoon, at approximately 3:00 p.m. my wife was out in the yard with our dog when he had some kind of fit and attacked her.

There's nothing like sitting in a newspaper office and hearing the police scanner call out your home address.

The dog mangled her right hand so severely she lost her index finger. There was too much vascular damage. They couldn't save it. Thursday night the surgeon amputated the finger, including the knuckle. He said in a case like that, it's better to remove the knuckle; otherwise it will just get in the way of the dexterity of the other fingers.

The surgeon said it was the worst mangled finger he's ever seen apart from getting caught in machinery.

Solace (our dog) must have had some kind of stroke or seizure. He was a good dog. I'm sorry he had to leave this way - but he still had a good life. Just a few weeks ago he actually caught and killed one of those pesky squirrels that tormented him in the back yard. I wonder whether he developed some kind of blood lust.

Under Texas law, he will be in quarantine for ten days before being euthanized to see whether he develops rabies. He had his shots, so that's probably not going to be a problem. As to what caused the problem - God only knows. It doesn't matter after all this.

Patricia was able to come home Friday morning, and she is home recuperating. She is not in much physical pain, but there's a lot of healing to be done.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Back to Tulsa

Got word via email from Melissa Tatum that I've been invited to be a program participant again at Conestoga. I really enjoyed Conestoga last July and I replied with my acceptance immediately.
Conestoga 10 will be held in Tulsa July 28-30, 2006. I had a reading and was a member of three panels at last year's convention; I chaired the panel on "How to Beat Writer's Block".
The Conestoga Guest of Honor this year will be David Drake, with Robin Wayne Bailey as Toastmaster; Don Maitz will be Artist Guest of Honor; and Lynn Stranathan and Selina Rosen will be the Fan Guests of Honor. The convention's charity is the Royal Gauntlet Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Center.
This year's Conestoga will celebrate the 10th Anniversaries of Conestoga, Meisha Merlin, and Yard Dog Press, so it will be a special year and a great convention. The hotel will again be the Sheraton Tulsa, Highway 169 at E. 41st Street. The hotel phone number is 918-627-5000. The convention is hosted by Tulsa Science Fiction Society. Its web site is located at

Sunday, January 08, 2006

49th birthday

Celebrated my 49th birthday on Friday, I was born Jan. 6, 1957. (Jan. 6 is also the birthday of Eric Frank Russell). The folks at work gave me a card and a can of mixed nuts (a good gift for a Type II diabetic). Had dinner guests over the house Friday night. Patricia cooked fajitas and did a wonderful job.
My mother-in-law bought me a LACon membership. I've printed off the form and I plan to fill it out today. This also includes the Hugo ballot, so I have to give it a little thought. I am nominating all three stories Howard had this year - "The Bravest Girl I Ever Knew" in "Kong Unbound", and "The Horse of a Different Color You Rode in On" and "The King of Where I Go", which both ran on SciFiction. Of course, I plan to nominate "Rocket" and "Dybbuk" for myself, and I also plan to put myself down for the Campbell Award. I will be flipping through my 2005 magazines and jotting more stories; off the top of my head, I know I plan to nominate stuff by Tom Purdom, Jack Skillingstead and Michael Swanwick. I will probably post my selections here when I am through with them.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

"Good Old Gal" brings good news

I received word in the first mail of the new year yesterday, Tuesday, Jan. 3, that my short story "Good Old Gal" has been accepted by Nova Science Fiction magazine, published in California. It is tentatively scheduled for publication in 2007. I need to sign my copy of the contract and drop it in the mail today.
Nova is a small mag, but for the record this is my second largest sale in terms of dollars so far - of course, "Rocket" is way in the lead.
On its web site, the editor, Wesley Kawato, dcsribes the magazine as "the science fiction magazine that goes against the grain of the liberal science fiction establishment... Nova Science Fiction is the magazine for the neglected right wing of science fiction."
Well, I don't think "Good Old Gal" is right-wing per se, but it certainly ain't cyberpunk. It is the third story in the story arc that begins with "Dialogue" - published by RevolutionSF this past August, and "Silvern", which was published by RevSF in 2003. In terms of its timelime, it follows the protagonist from "Silvern" to his next planet and posting.
This was the first time I had submitted to NovaSF. I had noted Nova's guidelines some time back, because Kawato included the statement: "We don't accept stories that assume the truth of evolution or portray the villain as a religious fanatic. We're looking for stories that portray Christianity in a positive manner."
He goes on to note, however, that stories don't have to have an overt Christian element - which is the case with "Good Old Gal". On the other hand, I certainly admire someone who respects Christianity.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Farewell, Apollo

It was just over four years ago - just after Labor Day 2001 - that I bought my first printer for the home.
That probably sounds relatively late in the game, but before that I was my own newspaper owner/operator; I didn't need a printer at home when I had a nice laser printer at the office.
But when I folded the business, I gave all its assets to a creditor. I didn't have a printer with my home computer, so I went out and bought a Xerox inkjet printer.
Big mistake. It was defective from the moment I opened the box. It had a nasty habit of dumping the entire contents of a cartridge when it was ordered to print.
Needless to say, that was expensive.
We tossed it in the trash, and I went to the local Office Max to buy another printer.
This time, I got the cheapest I could find. It was a little H-P clone, called Apollo. Made in Mauritius.
Well, that printer proved a gem. It lasted until last month. Over four years.
Between Patricia's homework, projects and assignments, and my printing out stories, we beat the heck out of it. It finally developed problems with its paper feed.
The brave little printer didn't give up until right after Patricia finished her last thematic unit for the fall semester.
We got enough $$$ in gift cards at Christmas to buy a new printer. We went to the Target in Texarkana on Thursday and bought an H-P three-in-one. It not only prints, but it copies and scans.
I think Steve Utley got one of these for his birthday back in November. He mentioned it in an email. I dropped him a note in the mail and made a copy of my cover of "Lone Star Universe" as a test of its color copying.
I've brought the Apollo into my office at home. I may see if I can hook it up to my personal PC; it still can print one page at a time.
Because the new printer can scan, I can now add stuff to my web site. I've just started a new item called "Lou's Library" where I can talk about books. Maybe I'll do a few reviews. You can check it out at
It was warm enough on New Year's Day here in East Texas (about 80 degrees) that by the early evening I had to turn the AC on in my office at home.

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...