Monday, July 30, 2012

A few more buck$

Got my payment for "Pirates of the Ozarks" from Science Fiction Trails this weekend via PayPal. Not a pro sale, but every few bucks helps.

I got a start Sunday on the high fantasy novel, wrote of the first 3,000 words of the beginning.

I felt bad about not being able to attend ArmadilloCon at the last minute, but the convention really seemed to hit at a nadir of our finances. I feel especially bad because the organizers gave me a nice set of panels and even made a last minute adjustment when I asked for it.

As I indicated before, I'm unhappy and frustrated since I've missed more conventions than I have attended in the past eight months. The fact my normal work schedule includes Saturday is not helpful; that combined with never knowing what things will be like a few months down the road have led me to set aside any con plans for the time being.

I may still think about WorldCon in San Antonio; in fact, that may be the ONLY con I attend in 2013. Perhaps if I concentrate on the one con, I may be able to pull it off. I also feel obligated to attend ConDFW next year, since ConDFW in 2003 was the first con I ever attended. But the ways things seem to go, the more I want something, the less likely I am to get it.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Goodreads reviews

Picked up two reviews for my collection at Goodreads on July 21st. One gave five stars, the other four. That's four reviews with an average of 4.25 stars.

Friday, July 27, 2012


Because of budget problems, I can't make Armadillocon this weekend. This is the fourth con I have missed out of the past seven I have agreed to participate in, and for the time being I am not making any more commitments to attend cons. There is too much instability and unreliability in my life, and I have found that if I make a commitment to attend a con something will go wrong by the time it comes around. I missed a con in December because of car trouble, another one in February because of a scheduling error on my part (I hadn't noticed the con had changed its date from the previous year and had moved to within a week of another con), and two more - including Armadillocon - because by the time the con comes I don't have the money to attend. I had made a commitment to attend FenCon in September, but I've cancelled. No reason to wait until whatever last-minute calamity will strike.

One problem is that I normally work Saturdays, and to get Saturday off I have to get someone to take my place at the paper. With staff cutbacks, there is almost nobody left to do that. When I went to SoonerCon in June, I left work at noon on Saturday and drove to Oklahoma City in five hours.

Also, my wife won't come with me to cons. She is not a genre fan, so for me to go to cons is like a hobby, not a family commitment. It's not easy to budget.

We'll see how things go in 2013, but for now I'm all played out.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

"Martians & Earthlings"

The cover is also available for the upcoming special "Martians & Earthlings" issue of Science Fiction Trails. This magazine should be out by Sept. 1. This edition features my story "Barsoom Billy".

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"Pirates of the Ozarks"

Science Fiction Trails No. 8 is now available from Amazon for your Kindle. It leads off with my alternate history story "Pirates of the Ozarks". 

Science Fiction Trails is an annual print science fiction magazine. This is where science fiction meets the Wild West. 
This issue features stories about alternate worlds, alchemy, steampunk and even a few dinosaurs. Other authors included include William R. D. Wood, Sam Kepfield, Raymond Broadbeard, Matthew Baugh, James Wymore, Henrik Ramsager & C. J. Killmer. These ain't your pappy's western stories.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Highly recommended

In or near Austin, Texas on Sunday, July 29th? Come to Armadillocon to hear KG Jewell, Michelle Muenzler, Jamie Lee Moyer, Cat Rambo, and Nicky Drayden read/speak/sign about/from/upon Daily Science Fiction from 2-3 p.m. in the Sabine Room. Contributors to this on-line magazine will discuss the site and the Year One anthology, and read snippets from their work. This will also be an unofficial pre-launch of the DSF anthology, which is just coming off the printers and is officially being launched at Worldcon in August. Insofar as DSF published two of my best stories this past spring, "Great White Ship" on May 11 and "Double Exposure" on June 11, I highly trust their taste in speculative fiction. You should, too, and if you're in or near Austin this weekend, here is your opportunity to get the first annual anthology hot off the press!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hiatus from short fiction

After almost ten years, I've written 100 short stories, and had 67 of them published. That's not a bad track record. My attempts at writing at a longer length have not gone nearly as well. I've made two attempts at book-length work; neither worked out to my satisfaction.

My problem seems to be I can't outline anything that extensive without getting completely muddled. I now have a 12,000 word outline of a fantasy novel written by a close collaborator. I think I am going to take a break from short fiction for a few months and write this up.

My collaborator came up with an outline that has a scope and breadth that exceeds anything I ever came up with. I think it has great potential, and it is also for a high fantasy story. I first began writing short fiction for submission over the Labor Day weekend in 2002. It would be cool if I marked my tenth anniversary as a fiction writer by finally completing a well-plotted, entertaining book.

In the meantime I still have two stories slated for publication later this year, and a half dozen in various slush piles. I think I can take a break from the short fiction for a few months and work on this.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

ArmadilloCon coming up

ArmadilloCon is not that far away - July 27-29 - but no sign of programming and panels yet. The hope the convention organizers aren't having any problems.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hearing from an old friend

Earlier this year I read a story online on the web site of the Massachusetts paper in the town I grew up in about one of my high school English teachers who was taking retirement. I graduated from high school 37 years ago, so I think she was the last of my teachers to retire.

I sent her a copy of "Fantastic Texas" as a retirement present, for when she had some time on her hands, and wrote in it, "I bet you thought I didn't pay attention in class!" I believe I took a class in Creative Writing.

I got a nice thank you card in the mail today. She wrote that now that the school year is over and she has no more papers to grade, she started reading my stories. She was very complimentary.

She noted that while she has retired from most of her classes, she will still be teaching journalism. The next timer I visit my childhood home (Rockland, Massachusetts) I will have to drop in.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cons to the left of me, cons to the right of me

It's kinda funny this weekend, that ComicCon was going on on the West Coast and ReaderCon was on the East Coast. I'm sure if I had a teleporter and dropped into either one, I would have run into a lot of people I already know and have met at other cons, but honestly, I hate to travel and I was quite happy to stay put.

John Teehan had a table for his Merry Blacksmith Press at ReaderCon, and he had copies of "Texas & Other Planets" for sale. Here is a photo I copied from his Facebook page.

The incorporation papers for SASS (Society for the Advancement of Speculative Storytelling) have been drawn up and are being checked by the interim officers. After they are filed and approved, we can move towards going public and taking paid memberships. I'm very happy how this new writers' group has moved forward. It will fill a vital niche for aspiring, newbie, semi-pro and casual writers. As someone who has official status as a pro - as least as defined by the SFWA - but who is a casual writer with a real job, it will be nice to have a genre home.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Nothing to report...

...on the writing front. This week I was pretty much struck down by my two ongoing health problems. First, my carpal tunnel syndrome flared up, badly, to the point I lost feeling in my right thumb. I had to wear a wrist brace to bed for a couple of days.

Second, after eating at a local hamburger shop Wednesday I got very sick with a blood sugar flare-up. I think they made the milkshake I asked for with regular ice cream instead of sugar free ice cream. My blood glucose went over 250, and worse, I had a very painful leg cramp when I tried to go to bed. This was so painful I screamed at the top of my lungs and banged on my leg with my fists to try to numb it. More medicine and some muscle cream set me on the road to recovery.

I've been recovering from both problems for the past two days, and I'm feeling much better, but it was all I could do to get to work on Thursday and Friday, so there's been no fiction writing going on.

Monday, July 09, 2012

67 stories

I just realized that with the publication of "The Starship Theodora" in Nova Science Fiction, I've had 67 short stories (or flashes or novellettes) published since June 2003. I only began writing for publication in the fall of 2002.

My first story was published by Jayme Blaschke at Revolution S-F in June 2003. He introduced it thusly:

"New writer Lou Antonelli isn't really a new writer at all. A longtime newspaper editor and reporter with multiple awards from Texas Press Association in editorial, column, and feature writing, Antonelli has recently turned his hand to science fiction with impressive results, as evidenced by the following story."

The story is still archived at the Revolution S-F web site:

Sunday, July 08, 2012

"The Starship Theodora"

I received my author's copies of the summer issue of Nova Science Fiction in the mail Saturday. This small print magazine has been run by Wesley Kawato for a number of years. I had a story, "Good Old Gal", published in Issue No. 18. This current issue in No. 29 and features my story "The Starship Theodora" as the cover story.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Another contract signed

I got the contract in the mail today for "Barsoom Billy" from David Riley of Science Fiction Trails. I've signed it and it will be back in the mail Tuesday.

I spent some time on the phone Sunday talking to some of the interim officers of SASS (Society for the Advancement of Speculative Storytelling). The group is being incorporated in Texas, it will probably be accomplished some time in July. We look forward to inviting the 24 members of the bylaws study group to became permanent members, and after we get a membership roster will will have a vote on a final version of the bylaws and permanent officers.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

"Barsoom Billy" and "The Clock Struck None"

The latest on the writing front:

I had promised David Riley at Science Fiction Trails a rewrite by July 1st on "Barsoom Billy" for his special Martians & Earthlings issue. It mostly involved a beefing up, with a new ending, that added about 1,250 words. Got it off to him by Saturday. He liked it, so it will be published this fall. "Pirates of the Ozarks" will be coming out in the regular Science Fiction Trails, which will be No. 8

I also compiled a proposal for my latest collection, "The Clock Struck None". These are time travel and alternate history stories. The idea for this collection "struck" me - pardon the pun - after my two latest stories in Daily Science Fiction, which both involved quantum universes. My table on contents starts with "Double Exposure" and ends with "Great White Ship". Most of the other ten stories sandwiched between the DSF tales have been published this year or last, although I reach a little further for a few of them.

I put together the file and sent it off to a small press publisher this afternoon whom I had queried earlier.

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...