Saturday, May 29, 2010

Nice mention

There's been this thing going on all month, called CoyoteCon, the first annual 31-day digital author conference.

There was a panel on May 17 on the subject of Steampunk fiction which included chum Ed Morris, who used my name in vain when the subject of the Weird West came up. Here is a short excerpt from the transcript, with another panelist:

[Sara] 7:30 pm: I am a big sucker for Weird West
[Sara] 7:30 pm: Steampunk Cowboys!
[Edward] 7:31 pm: Lou Antonelli is a #$%^&* good steampunk/weird west writer. Most of his stories are set in TX. Also Joe R. Lansdale’s ZEPPELINS WEST, another classic of the form

Thanks for the cred, Ed.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Plans change

I've had to cancel my book signing in Nacogdoches for Saturday evening. My 80-year old father-in-law has remained incapacitated all week in a Dallas hospital, and my wife has gone back into Dallas to check on his status, and pick up her car, which broke down last weekend and was fixed Monday (she has been in a rental car all week). Although I am not planning to go to Dallas myself, things remain unsettled to the degree that I don't feel comfortable leaving home.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Latest publication

Got my author's copy of the Young Adult Literature Review in the mail today. This is only the second issue of the magazine, which features stories by school children as well as "grown-ups". It has a cute cover. The issue features my YA teen story "Scouts' Honor", set on Mars with a boy scout troop.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Slush pile shuffle

OK, after getting caught up, I have 19 stories in slush piles around the world, and two stories with contracts signed, pending publication. I just got notification that my money for the story in this current issue of Young Adult Literary Review is in PayPal.

Amazon Listmania

BTW, I noticed someone made up a 20-book list on Amazon, entitled "Texas Science Fiction and Fantasy Books", and Fantastic Texas is No. 10.

Positive things

Computer is running great after returning from the repair shop, I'm getting caught up on all sorts of stuff, submissions as well as promotions and publicity relating to "Fantastic Texas".

While my computer was in the shop, I would use my wife's laptop, but honestly, it's little thumbpad is difficult for me to manipulate, with the size of my hands as well as my dexterity issues (I have carpal tunnel syndrome).

I'm getting ready for my signing next weekend in Nacgdocches, which is home to Stephen F. Austin State University. I sent some info to the local paper, and I'm sending the book store some posters.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Back in the saddle

Got my computer back from the repair shop today, so I'm posting from my own computer. More importantly, I can submit stories on the computer via email. I guess I have about ten that have returned from various slush piles in the past two weeks.

In addition to getting a new network card. I had more memory installed. Old-timer seems to be running fine (I bought this in 2003). My wife has a new laptop. I mostly use this machine for writing.

Hear from the publisher of Young Adult Literature Review, Amber Vilate. The spring issue is out, and my payment and copy is on the way.

Still waiting to see signs of stirring from GUD.

On the personal front, my wife went to Dallas this weekend, her dad - who is 79 - is in the hospital with pneumonia. I had to stay behind to work. Once she reached Dallas, her car brok down. It may be the starter. She can't get the car repaired over the weekend, so she will have to leave the car and take a rental car back to Mount Pleasant.

As I previously mentioned, earlier this week I renewed my membership in the Science Fiction Writers of America. On Wednesday I was nominated as President-Elect of the local Optimist Club.

That's not a common combination of memberships, I would think.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I've signed contracts and done edits for two stories in two magazines, Young Adult Literature Review and GUD, but I see no indication either is moving towards a spring publication. Neither website has any recent information.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


No writing or submitting going on, since my computer remains in the repair shop.

I renewed my membership in the SFWA yesterday. I originally joined in 2006, but didn't renew in 2007. A combination of a job change, moving and an extended illness, followed by financial considerations, made me put it off.

Things seem to be going a little better, and although I don't have much in common with most SFWA members, I thought it's better to belong than not.

More positve reviews

I've gotten two more Amazon reviews for "Fantastic Texas" in the past three days, and they are both equally positive. Here they are:


Thoroughly Enjoyable Reading, May 17, 2010
By Ralph Jackson (East Texas, USA)

As the title of this review says, this book is thoroughly enjoyable. The stories are original, light-hearted and crafty. Having been a science fiction fan for over fifty years, I feel qualified to judge good SF when I find it. The treatment of SF themes (immortality, interdimensional travel, etc.) is stimulating. The stories in this volume remind me of the early days of SF but are by no means dated. Being a fellow transplanted East Texan, I took great delight in reading about things indigenous to Texas like Enchanted Rock and the Marfa lights as background to "Video Killed the Radio Star". Other stories contain bits of Texas lore (how the city of Italy got its name for example). I really enjoyed reading the stories in this book and think any other reader will too.

Fantastic Stories, May 15, 2010
By James K. Burk (Wichita, Kansas United States)

Lou Antonelli reminds me a little of Artie, the character in the Geech comic strip. He doesn't have the nose or the brillo-pad hair, but he's a transplanted easterner whose accent identifies him immediately as a "furriner," but he has embraced Texas unreservedly.
He has not only done a superb job of capturing the local vernacular, he has a style that draws the reader in and a gift for telling terrific stories. This is not a common talent, for he tells real stories, not trivial "slices of life," sermons masquerading as stories, or any of the other substitutes for the real thing. That alone endears him to me.
This is a collection of short stories that can make you think, make you laugh, and often do it on the same page. I will mention that one of the stories needed one more proofing, but Antonelli, a newspaperman of the old school, generally writes marvelously clean prose.
It was hard to pick a favorite story because each story has its own special strengths, from a story featuring a very common dog to a steampunk story of the first Texans in space. Marvelous work.


Both these reviewers gave "Fantastic Texas" four out of five stars, as did the one previous reviewer.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Another signing

In my effort to make the rounds of the large cities in the area, I learned that Marshall - which has a population of over 23,000 - has no chain bookstore. But there is a locally-owned bookstore in its downtown called Prospero's, and I will be visiting there from noon until 4 p.m. Saturday, June 12. Apparently Marshall has a regular feature called Second Saturday, which is the reason I picked the date.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Good day

May 15th is my wedding anniversary, and I always bake a lasagna for the occasion, because that's what I served up the night I proposed to Patricia (this was our 11th anniversary). Yesterday I had to work - earlier in the day getting the Sunday paper out, and then from 4 to 7:30 covering our annual city festival, so I baked the lasagna today.

A couple of friends of ours, Reed and Sharon Vance, came Saturday and stayed overnight. We all once lived in Cedar Hill, but Reed and Sharon now live in North Richland Hills; it was a three-hour drive for them. A teacher friend of Patricia's, Leslie Montgomery, was also able to come for lunch.

I spent all morning cooking a turkey roaster pan of lasagna, as well as a normal casserole dish. Pulled the lasagna out right at noon and we chowed down. It was great as usual, since I make the best lasagna on the planet (no brag, just facts).

Sent some lasagna home with our guests, and then I took a long nap...

In the shop

I had to take my personal computer to a repair shop Thursday (I'm on my wife's computer today). The internet card failed. I will check on it tomorrow, Monday. My 92,000 word book-length version of "The Witch of Waxahachie" is on that machine, so obviously I'm very concerned about it.

I'm rather confused that I've seen no indication that anyone who's gotten a review copy of "Fantastic Texas" has actually reviewed it. All the reviews I have seen - on blogs, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble - are from people who bought theirs. I'm scratching my head over this. I guess people don't respect what they don't pay for.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Another signing

I will also be at the Hastings in Tyler on Saturday, July 10, from 1-4 p.m.

Monday, May 10, 2010

On to Nacogdoches

I have set my next signing, which will be at the Hastings book store in Nacogdoches on Saturday, May 29, from 5-8 p.m.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Quiet times in Mount Pleasant

Sounds like a book title, doesn't it? No word yet on a publication date for the Spring Issue of GUD, which will feature my novelette "Dispatches from the Troubles". The spring issue of Young Adult Literature Review should be out any day now, with my story "Scout's Honor".

Otherwise, just working on novel and various shorts. I will be working Monday scheduling another series of book signings (Monday is a day off because I have to work Saturdays).

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Various updates

I dropped an email to John DeNardo at SF Signal about my post and he included a link to us today on his web site, which I must admit is one of the most comprehensive s-f sites around, and the first one I usually visit every day. I thought other people needed to read about Don Gaines and his devotion to Asimov's.

Over at, it seems they admitted they ran into the same problem that Baen's Universe did in 2006 when it opened up with a nice fat pay rate and then got hammered with a gazillion submissions. Tor has brought another editor on board to deal with the leaning Tower of Slush. After over a year of silence, I finally got word today that they indeed have the story written by Brad Sinor and myself.

We'll see what happens. In light of the fact that my story "The Witch of Waxahachie" was the only story to claw its was out of the infamous backlog at Baens past both Mike Resnick and Eric Flint, I remain optimistic.

Speaking of "Witch", it has been been turned into a novel, clocked in at 92,000 words. I am doing some tweaks this week in anticipation of getting it to an agent.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The biggest Asimov’s fan in the world lives in Boxelder, Texas

Today I ran into Don Gaines, of Boxelder, Texas – a town so small it doesn’t have its own post office. It’s in Red River County, which abuts the Texas-Oklahoma border.

Back in 2005, when my story “A Rocket for the Republic” was published in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Don sent me an email, stating that he read my story and liked it very much. He said at the time realized with a bit of a start I was also the local newspaper editor. He said he was big fan of Asimov’s Science Fiction and in fact had a complete set of the magazine’s issue.

In 2007 I moved to Mount Pleasant to take the job as managing editor at the daily paper. This afternoon there was a governmental meeting here of a state planning board which – among other things – might consider locating a reservoir in Red River County.

Don was among the concerned citizens in the audience, and after the meeting broke up came to me and introduced himself, so we finally met in person. He is 65 and a retired government technical writer. He said he subscribed in Asimov’s in the late 1970s and liked the magazine so much he’s had a subscription ever since. In fact, he said the last time he renewed he paid up through 2019! “They don’t let you do that anymore,” he added.

He said he also went back and bought back issues of the magazine so he would have a complete set, going back to Vol. 1 Issue 1.

I told him “A Rocket for the Republic” is the lead-off story in my recently-published short story collection and that in honor of his devotion to the magazine, I will give him a copy of “Fantastic Texas” from my personal trove at home. I will, too!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Friends of the Library

I will be doing an autographing and reading from "Fantastic Texas" Monday, Aug. 16, at the New Boston (Tx.) public library as a guest of the Friends of the Library. I was editor of the local semi-weekly Bowie Citizens Tribune when "A Rocket for the Republic" was published in 2005, and I was a guest speaker in 2006, reading the story. I will be donating a portion of sales from the signing to his hosts.

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