Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Moving towards publication

Got my first view of the cover of "Fantastic Texas" last night and it looks great! I'm very, very pleased. Here's the text of the blurb that's going to be used on Amazon:

"From ancient nuclear wars, to the secret of sexual attraction, with stops along the way for Bigfoot, ancient demons, and the truth behind alchemy, the stories in this book will take you on a truly fantastic journey through versions of Texas that were, could never be, and might have been. Steam played a big part in the first rocket launch from Texas, which was about a century earlier than we thought ("A Rocket for the Republic"). An unexpected experiment still running in the abandoned Superconducting Supercollider will introduce you to "The Witch of Waxahachie". And where would you go if global warming forced you out of Dallas? Maybe "Rome, If You Want To"? After that, ask yourself if a flying saucer is worth a silver dollar ("The Silver Dollar Saucer"). The possibilities are limitless in Lou Antonelli's new collection, Fantastic Texas. Born in Massachusetts, Antonelli is a newspaper editor and up-and-coming author of speculative fiction."

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Upcoming story

Got the e-proofs of my next story, "Across the Plains", from Abandoned Towers. I need to get it back to the editor by Jan. 15, so I have some time.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Got a webcam for Christmas and a Skype account, so we were able to spend Christmas visiting live with the relatives, who are scattered between Austin and Chicago this year. I wonder who else I know has a Skype account?

Got some sad news last night, a couple we knew from when we lived in Cedar Hill, Alan and Pat Wilbourn, were killed in a traffic accident on a West Texas highway. Black ice and an 18-wheeler combined for a fatality wreck. Both Patricia and I knew them, and Pat Wilbourn had the catering service that made the cakes for our wedding in 1999.

They were both good Christians and I'm sure they went straight to Heaven, but it's a shock to us and they left behind three grown children. Just reminds you how fleeting life can be.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009 in short fiction

Well, I didn't have any super duper pubs this year, but without much effort had eight stories scattered around the place, to wit:

"Acroscaphe" (with Ed Morris) - Planetary Stories - January 2009

"The Silver Dollar Saucer" - Ray Gun Revival - January 2009

"Professor Malakoff's Amazing Ethereal Telegraph" - Science Fiction Trails No. 4 - March 2009

"Good News for the Dead" - M-Brane SF April 2009

"Airy Chick" - Alienskin magazine, June 2009

"Stairway to Heaven" (with Ed Morris) Encounters Nov. 2009

"Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", The Fifth Dimension, Dec. 2009

"Twilight on the Finger Lakes", Bewildering Stories, Dec. 2009

"Professor Malakoff" in Science Fiction Trails certainly got the best reviews.
Quoting Aaron Bradford Starr in Tangent On-line:

"Lou Antonelli’s story, “Professor Malakoff’s Amazing Ethereal Telegraph,” spends its opening building a single coherent setting, carefully working into the narrative both the political preoccupation of post-Civil War Reconstruction, and the growing public awareness of the advances of science. Mr. Antonelli is careful to explain scientific particulars to the reader only when his character, the rather dubiously-named Dr. Eustace K. Malakoff, can find a willing audience.

"And the details of Dr. Malakoff’s “ethereal telegraph” are very interestingly presented, making the so-called Professor less than a complete charlatan, but just enough of a trickster to intrigue. His ability to pull telegraph messages “from the ether,” as he claims, using just the power of his mind, is debunked for the reader before we ever see his show, and yet the potential for plot twists makes the story rumble forward unstoppably. Lou Antonelli has crafted a first-rate piece of historical science-fiction here, where the historical elements and scientific detail dovetail to make a strong, believable whole."

Friday, December 18, 2009

The latest

Not much to report - no new publications, acceptances or rejections. I'm especially busy because of the combination of work and guests, but things are going well.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Latest story

Bewildering Stories No. 365 will be going live tomorrow - Monday - and it features the first part of my story "Twilight on the Finger Lakes".

I got the idea from considering the fact that both O. Henry and Rod Serling died at 50 and both came from New York. What would have happened in an elderly O. Henry had been there to mentor Serling?

Of course, in tribute to both men, I had to set up a twist ending.

Go read. Hope you like it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

News from nowhere

Famed sci-fi author changes up name to make point
COLUMBUS, OHIO (The DisAssociated Press) - In the wake of a protracted public debate over the need for science fiction authors to be paid fairly for their writing, a world-famous author has said he is changing the orthography of his name to make a public point.

From now on, the best-selling author would like his name spelled John $¢a£zi, utilizing monetary symbols...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Black moods and Black Matrix

When I first read John Scalzi's abuse of Black Matrix Publishing earlier this week, the first thing I thought was "Wife must have made him sleep on the couch."

Over the years, I have seen time and time again that when someone blows up at someone else without a reasonable provocation, they're just in a piss-poor mood because of something or someone else that they can't attack directly.

There must be something bothering the guy. There's a certain entertainment value to these kind of blow ups.

Many years ago, when I was in college, I knew a young man who thought I was a loopy, misguided young man because I believed in God and America. He was fascinated that someone who was otherwise intelligent could believe in such superstition.

I was in the unusual position years later of working at the university I attended after my class graduated. One day that fellow came by, escorted by another former student.

He greeted me because I was the only former student from when he was in school. His demeanor was shy and not at all arrogant or dismissive.

I was rather surprised he even wanted to speak to me. As we talked, I was struck by the way the other former student acted.

After a bit, the truth came out - the second former student was escorting the first fellow around campus because he had a nervous breakdown and completely lost his mind. The visit was an attempt to help him recover - taking him to former haunts.

The mocking, self-assured all-knowing guy had suffered a total crackup. Like Icarus, he had flown too close to the sun, and crashed. Little old stupid Lou Antonelli was the same old working grunt, not trendy, smart or handsome. But I was OK.

As the second guy led the first guy off by the hand, I think I got an inkling of what hubris is - I guess.

Them's my thoughts for tonight.

Thoughts on Atomjack

I liked Atomjack, it was a neat little 'zine and published a lot of good fiction. I'll miss it. My story "The Amerikaan Way" was published in Issue Six, back in March 2007.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Aw, heck

Got an email from Adicus Garton at Atomjack. He said "Custodes" was next on his list to buy, but he's decided to close the 'zine.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Help needed here

Bad news from chum Ed Morris. His parents' dryer flamed out and blew up Saturday afternoon. Their house is nearly totalled. "They are both wickedly disabled," says Ed. The mayor of the central Pennsylvania town and many, many other folks have stepped up to the plate. "The insurance will cover it," says Ed, "but this is some serious s***."

Anyone who wants to help, give Ed a shout:

Here is the address of the story on the local paper's web site:

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Nice mention

Will's Texas Parlor - a website run by Will Howard of Houston - is a casual bibliography on Texas life, history, and literature - books, movies, maps, websites, blogs, government publications, academic or ephemeral papers, databases, journalism, libraries, museums, archives, etc. - mostly recent stuff. It's a filing cabinet or note file of facts, opinions, inquiries, criticism, quandries. It resembles talk between Texana librarians.

He featured my web sites - this one and the one for "Fantastic Texas - on Friday, Nov. 27. Thanks for the mention, Will.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"

The rollicking AH homage to Ernie Kovacs penned by Ed Morris and myself just hit at the December issue of "The Fifth Dimension", one of the magazines published by Sam's Dot Publishing. It's loads of fun:

Meanwhile, John Scalzi - upon reading about Black Matrix and its miniscule pay rate - went into some kind of meltdown on his blog. You might want to go read:

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Next story

On Nov. 23 I had an interview with Tom Pauken, chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission. I wrote it up for Monday's newspaper. During the course of the interview, which focused a lot on Pauken's assertion of the need for job creation to really pull us out of the recession, we touched on the subject of shipping jobs overseas.

Something struck a chord, and a few hours later I called Tam Thompson down in Blanco. Back in 2004 she brought a story to a Turkey City Workshop, called "Bangalore Blues," where outsourced jobs is a crucial plot element. I told Tam I had an idea I wanted to try. She emailed me a copy of the story.

I started working on the new version tonight, which I am renaming "Business as Usual". I think adding my strengths to stuff sher knows may really work out,

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...