Sunday, December 23, 2012

Crime writers

I spent some time today picking the brain of a crime author I respect. I'd like to look into penning some crime and mystery fiction in 2013. The s-f and fantasy field has become so hidebound and inbred - at least in the U.S. - because of PC that I'm taking it as a good opportunity to venture farther afield. (I know another author with attitudes similar to mine he doesn't even submit to U.S. s-f mags any more - he sends everything overseas.) I really don't think crime and mystery editors make their editorial decisions on the basis of the religion, politics, gender and ethnicity of the author - unlike the PC nazis who currently have s-f  by the throat.

Nothing new is going to be written on my part for at least two or three weeks, with my Christmas vacation coming up - other than having to work on Christmas Day, I'm off work until Jan. 2nd. I have eleven stories in various slushpiles, so there's a nice supply still out there.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Reallocating time

Dropping cons is part of a general re-allocation of time I plan to 2013, anyway. They've not been very useful in recent years. When I first started out, I learned a lot, but I have a lot more experience under my belt now. The social aspect is useless to me. Science fiction is an inbred clique and I don't fit in. The SFWA has the same problem at the national level. That's why Lone Star Con would be so unpleasant for me. It will be the usual bunch of Austin Assholes chumming up with SFWA Snobs.

Membership in the con costs hundreds of dollars, so it's not really readily available to the normal working guy and gal. That's going to drive down attendance, and draw the circle of exclusivity tighter.

I also don't have a real good feeling about the con in general. The Texas s-f community is so inbred with a narrow social base that I really wonder whether there are the numbers of volunteers there to run such a large undertaking. I had extreme difficulty communicating with the group. Of course, I may be overthinking the issue. It may simply be blackballing. There are many zines and outfits where I can't even get a rejection or reply to a query anymore, where I have been blackballed because I'm not PC. This widespread blackballing is the genre's dirty little secret. I know another author who doesn't even submit to U.S. mags any more. The PC Nazis have been especially emboldened since their Messiah in the Rose Garden got re-elected. John Salzi, the SFWA President, even has a PC hitman, Jim Hines, whom he sends after people who refuse to toe the party line. So much for tolerance and the so-called Big Tent.

One thing that will be taking more of my time in 2013 is the Texas Nationalist Movement. I joined up after the general election in November. Actually, I've been a big supporter for years, but after the election my wife agreed to let me pay the dues. Texas will be having a Constitutional amendment election in 2013, and I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't something on the ballot regarding Texas independence. By the time Lone Star Con rolls around over the Labor Day Weekend, it will probably be a hot topic. I'd like to spend some time in 2013 helping the TNM.

Here is another example that highlights the elitist hypocrisy of the PC Nazis who have the whip hand in the U.S. now. The America Left supports the right to self-determination and autonomy of all oppressed peoples across the world - unless they are Christian and/or Patriots.

SASS - the Society for the Advancement of Speculative Storytelling - was incorporated this year and is ready to start taking members and becoming an active, public organization. This is also a project where I want to invest a lot more time.

On a personal level. plans are to have my 81-year old mother come and live with me and Patricia after Christmas. That will also be taking up my time, in a nice way.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Off the list

Well, as I predicted on Dec. 9 I didn't get picked for the "Rayguns Over Texas" anthology. I never got a panelist invite for LoneStarCon - they won't even respond to tell me to drop dead - so that's pretty much that. No reason to pour good money after bad.

I'm going to ConDFW in February, but that will be my last con - how appropriate. It was my first in 2003. At this point, after trying to beat my way into the genre after ten years, I've decided to scale back. No more cons, that's for sure. Most pros hate me, anyway, for not being PC - that is, while, male, Christian and hetero.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Risen from the dead

I feel like Lazarus in the Bible this morning. At bedtime Saturday I was stricken with flu-like symptoms - chills, feeling feverish - and spent the rest of the weekend in bed. I ate some pizza Sunday, but otherwise I completely lost my appetite.

Monday morning I was feeling very weak, but I managed to work a half day at the paper. Still, my stomach was so unsettled I almost ralphed into my waste basket. All I ate were some french fries from a McDonalds meal, and I barely kept those down.

Came home, completely exhausted, and collapsed in bed at 5:30 fully dressed. Woke back up five hours later and undressed. I got up at six this morning. Finally eating. I'm feeling better, but I am monitoring my blood sugar and blood pressure, they are still both high.

On the writing front, I got a rejection Monday, almost 250 words long - which struck me as strange at first. But when I read it, I realized the editor wanted to explain thoroughly why they ultimately didn't take the story after five months of serious consideration.

The detailed explanation was very nice, but the beginning really floored me: "We are honored that you thought to send a story to XXXX. I'm a fan of yours."

Holy smoke, honored? A fan! I've never had an editor say they were a fan. That's a first.

It was a nice bit of an ego boost in the middle of two days of being bed ridden with the flu.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Off into the slush

I finished "Bette Davis Ice" today and sent it off to a slushpile. It clocked in at just over 2,500 words - not a long story, It's the 109th story I've written in ten years.  I have an even dozen stories in various slushpiles around and about.

Sunday, December 09, 2012


Howard and I at ArmadilloCon in 2010.
With the World Science Fiction Convention being held in San Antonio next year - LoneStarCon 3 -  there will also be an anthology issued in conjunction with it, called "Rayguns Over Texas". The deadline for submissions was Dec. 1st. I sent in a story, but I doubt I'll be included; my s-f is too old-fashioned for current tastes - i.e. I don't always make the white male hetero Christian the villain, the future dystopian and America the Evil Empire. I know a lot of s-f writers don't like me because I am so non-PC; I really don't care, I got a day job. anyway. For me, it's just meant to be fun.

One of the few authors who's always been nice to me is Howard Waldrop - Howard is a nice guy in general. After I wrote the story I sent to the anthology, I called Howard last week to get caught up. Howard had a big and arduous move to a new apartment as of Nov. 1st. and I was unhappy to hear that didn't send anything in for the anthology- he said he was too busy with the move.

Afterwards I had an idea. I felt bad that Howard might not be included in an anthology that highlights Texas authors - he's the real deal.

Back in 2007, when I published original fiction on my Sentinel Science Fiction blog, I bought and published a story Howard wrote called "Kindermarchen", which was done for Conestoga in Tulsa in 2006. I remember his reading it, and in 2007 when I was doing Sentinel S-F, I asked Howard it if had ever been published.

It hadn't, and so I did. I called Howard back last Sunday and asked if it had ever been published anywhere else. He said it hadn't.

Sentinel S-F went away in the fall of 2007; I fell behind in my hosting payments because of the expenses related to my move when I took my current job. So it hasn't been available on-line for over five years. Therefore it has a very minor publication history.

I went digging through a pile of manuscripts and at the very bottom I found "Kindermarchen". I scanned it through OCR software, made it into a Word file, and asked Howard if I could submit it. He said sure, and I also asked the anthology editor, and he said to send it along.

So that's my good deed for the week. I think any overview of Texas S-F should include something from Howard. I hope he gets in. Anyway, it was the best shot I had for him. I called him this afternoon and told him I had sent the story off, and he was thankful.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

"Bette Davis Ice"

Spent the day the Ben Wheeler Book Fair in Ben Wheeler, a small town here in East Texas. Like most small town book fairs in these parts, it was well organized but poorly attended, and most authors sold only one or two books, if any.

I didn't sell any, but I expected that. I took my typewriter and banged out the first draft of my latest story, "Bette Davis Ice", between 10 and 2. It was a good use of my time, and a promotional trick I've used before. Here is a photo Patricia took of me at the keyboard.

The book fair was at an old historic school that is now used as the town library. Patricia did school work on her laptop (and also brought me lunch, since I was in my throes of creativity).

One author who DID do well was his-own-self was Joe Lansdale, who was there with Kasey. Some people showed up and bought STACKS of his books. Joe and Kasey were also guest speakers.

The first draft of "Betty Davis Ice" is ten pages, and when I finished Joe was nice enough to read it. He said it was fun, and definitely showed Howard Waldropian influence. Kasey thought it was a hoot, too.

Despite the lack of sales, it was a fun day, and we enjoyed the chance to meet Joe and Kasey again.

Now I need to run "Bette Davis Ice" through OCR software and start editing it. BTW, the Maguffin of the story is that a Brit can't tell the difference between the way a Texan pronounces "eyes" and "ice".

Friday, December 07, 2012

"Hearts Made of Stone"

Just signed my contract for Wakefield Mahon's Song Stories anthology. It is slated to come out via e-book on Feb. 15 and paperback the first of March.

The anthology is composed of stories inspired by songs. My contribution is entitled "Hearts Made of Stone"

Here is the description that was used on the Song Story Press website for the call for submissions:

"Music is one of the fundamental experiences of the human condition.  Music has the power to calm or excite, to evoke the full spectrum of emotions as few other tools can.  A few simple lyrics backed by an earnest melody can tell an epic tale of tragedy or triumph.  That is, in part, where the idea for Song Stories came from.  For some of us, music is not just part of life, music IS life.  It permeates our waking thoughts and our dreams and often appears in our stories. What songs remind you of your childhood? of high school or college?  Your first love and your first broken heart.  Now take those memories and wrap them in your imagination.  Give us your gripping horror, your mind blowing fantasy and your farsighted science fiction and transform those songs into something new."

Wakefield adds: "With so many excellent submissions, we are accepting submissions to complete a second volume."
* Submission Call Starts:  12/1/2012
* Submission Call Ends:  3/1/2013

Sunday, December 02, 2012

"Unsubstantiated interpretations"

Eric Cline, another author featured in the current issue of Stupefying Stories, flogs the issue on his own blog, and makes this nice comment about my story, too.

"I just got my sample copy (that is, a PDF) this morning, and I'm already smiling over some of my fellow authors' contributions.  For instance, "The Relic," by Lou Antonelli, shows the trivial, incidental creation of the title object and the unsubstantiated interpretations heaped on it later.  I suspect that famed archaeologist Eric Cline (the other Eric Cline, whom I mentioned in a previous post and who kindly commented on this blog earlier) would nod ruefully at the events that unfold."

The Stupefying Stories line-up

I'm reposting from its web page the rundown of the December issue of Stupefying Stories:


Hard to believe it's December 2012 already. Depending on who you listen to we only have about three weeks left before the world ends, either from magnetic pole reversal, crossing the galactic ecliptic, the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, a collision with Planet X, global warming, global cooling, the return of Quetzalcoatl, President Obama and Speaker of the House Boehner joining hands, flooring it, and going full Thelma & Louise off the edge of the fiscal cliff, or the regrettable and wholly inexplicable failure of the Ancient Mayans to invent the perpetual calendar.

In any case, as we were putting together this book, we thought: what better way to go out with a bang that with a bunch of great stories exploring the end of the world—and what might come after? From ecological catastrophes to alien invasions; from tyrannical overreaching central governments to dangerous unfettered cowboy capitalists: It's the End of the World, As We Know It!

And the stories in this book will make you feel just fine.

STUPEFYING STORIES 1.11 (a.k.a., "the December edition"), is edited by award-winning writer Bruce Bethke and features:

   "We Talk Like Gods," by Jon David
   "Tiny, Tiny Hungers," by Mark Wolf
   "Moonbubble," by Eric Cline
   "The Relic," by Lou Antonelli
   "Mr. Non-Existent," by Paul Malone
   "Blue Stripped," by Gerry Huntman
   "HoPE," by A. A. Leil
   "Avocado Rutabaga Aubergine," by M. Bennardo
   "In the Shadows of the Empire of Coal," by Shaun Duke
   "Measure of Intelligence," by Torah Cottrill
   "The Gods of Sand and Stone," by Joel V. Kela

If you want to go to the web page (which has all the Amazon and Barnes & Noble links), the link is here:

Saturday, December 01, 2012

The record set

With the publication of "The Relic" in Stupefying Stories, I have 12 stories published this year:

1. "The Centurion and the Rainman" - Buzzy Mag, March 2012

2. "Encounter in Camelot" - 4 Star Stories, Spring 2012

3. "Great White Ship" - Daily Science Fiction, May 11, 2012

4. "Accidental Witness" - Planetary Stories, Spring 2012

5. "Double Exposure" - Daily Science Fiction, June 11, 2012

6. "The Starship Theodora" - Nova Science Fiction, Summer 2012

7. "Pirates of the Ozarks" - Science Fiction Trails No. 8, Fall 2012

8. "Barsoom Billy" - Science Fiction Trails, No. 9 All Martian Spectacular Fall 2012

9. "Damascus Interrupted" - Phantasmagorium, Sept. 2012

10. "The Way of the Heretic" - 4 Star Stories, Fall 2012

11. "Snow Globe" - Bewildering Stories No. 500 Fall 2012

12. "The Relic" - Stupefying Stories Dec. 2012

That brings me up 73 stories since my first publication in June 2003.

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...