Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hall of Fame

Rockland High School logo
Got a nice piece of news in the mail yesterday, a letter from my old high school:


Dear Louis,

It is my pleasure to inform you that you have been unanimously selected for induction into the Rockland High School Academic Hall of Fame. Your achievements are truly noteworthy and are a source of inspiration and motivation for the current Rockland youth.

The induction ceremony will be held at the spring Underclassmen Academic Awards Banquet on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. at the Emerald Room in Abington, MA. You and your family are welcome to share in the festivities and join us for dinner.

Susan Patton
Hall of Fame Committee


I'll make plans to attend. The last time I was back in my hometown was Nov. 2010, for my 35th high school reunion.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

An even dozen

With the realization that I do not have any pending publications, I went through the submissions pile tonight. I sent out three stories that were nowhere, and send out two that have probably been forgotten where they were sent. Unfortunately, one of the things you have to face as a writer is sometimes a story will not even get a rejection. This evening's work brings my total of stories in various slushpiles to an even 12.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How to avoid suckage

In addition to my classes at the DFW Writers Conference May 4-5 on writing science fiction (Saturday) and writing short stories (Sunday), I will be a member of a panel Sunday morning on "How Not To Suck" with author A. Lee Martinez and agent Louise Fury.

Ten Little Stories

For someone who is a casual writer, I'm surprised I still have ten stories out there is various slush piles, and I another four that could be sent somewhere. I write fast when I do write. Years ago, when I was getting the hang of speculative fiction writing, I think I may have had at times 18 to 20 stories out at the same time.

Looks like we have about a dozen dues-paying members signed up for the new writers group, SASS - Society for the Advancement of Speculative Storytelling. That means we go public soon and start taking applications from the general public (all but one of the current members was part of the 24-member bylaws study group that began to coalesce in spring 2012.)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

"On the Spiritual Plain"

I finished my latest short story tonight, "On the Spiritual Plain" (that's not a typo). This is the story I started on my typewriter at GalaxyFest in Colorado Springs back on Feb. 9. I typed up 12 pages, essentially the whole story except for the ending, while at the con, and then went back to it three weeks later and finished up the first draft. Now I've polished it up and it's done, the 110th short story I have ever written. And I just dropped it in a slushpile.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Latest publication

For the spring, 4 Star Stories has come out with its Short Short Story issue, which features a half dozen flashes - one of which is "Wet and Wild".
I wrote "Wet and Wild" on my typewriter on Sunday on Fencon in Dallas in 2011. The day before I wrote "The Quantum Gunman", which Chris Garcia took away and published in his Drink Tank No. 300 that fall.

"Wet and Wild" is my 77th published story. With its publication, I don't have any scheduled original publications scheduled for the time being.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

And as for the other anthology...

This signal-boosted from Bryan Thomas Schmidt...

You Guys Are Awesome! Every Kickstarter showrunner that I have spoken with plans for it. Cancelled pledges. It's so part and parcel of fundraising that you budget for it as a matter of course.

But not Raygun Chronicles. Every single pledge funded. We are at 100%. Which means we are over budget enough to add some extra content, so that's what I've been working on. Thank you so much, awesome backers!

The first piece is free. Mike Resnick was so impressed with the way funding came in at the last minute that he donated a second Catastrophe Baker story free. If you're familiar with his Catastrophe Baker stories from Ray Gun Revival and other venues, you know how funny and fun they are, so this brings us to 24 stories, instead of 23.

But that's not all. I'm working on another couple surprises as well which I hope to announce next week!

In addition, Paul is hard at work on the color artwork and we'll have that by June 1st.

Meanwhile, Camille and I are finalizing contract drafts for the writers and myself and I'll be rereading and editing stories this coming week. The headliners are hard at work but I have two of the originals in already as well.

And we're also prepping t-shirt and bookmark designs as well. So things are moving. Expect surveys by Tuesday in your inboxes.

Meanwhile, we're planning the launch party November 8-10 at OryCon. The official release date for the anthology is November 12, so this is an early bird thing. Books to backers will probably ship out just before this. But if you're a backer and can make Portland, myself, Camille, Jordan, and some of the writers will be there, and we'll have the list, so if you identify yourself, we'll have some extra swag just for you!

That's it for now, but thanks for your patience and awesomeness! I'll be in touch soon!

Song Stories anthology debuts

"Song Stories", an anthology of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror rooted in music debuts this month. The Amazon Kindle edition is already available, as of March 15. The print version should be available by the end of the month.

The plots have a strong correlation to the lyrics of the song. Gathered within these volumes are stories from across the globe, from across the genre spectrum, unified by the inspiration of song. A lyricist has the immense challenge of capturing an entire story in a handful of verses Some melodies convey a story without a single word. What stories might have arisen if the lyricists and composers chose to share their stories in a different medium? Sit back, relax, and spend some time with an old friend, or find a new one.

The Authors and their Inspirations:

Lou Antonelli: Hearts of Stone by The Fontane Sisters
Becky Beard : “Riddles Wisely Expounded” (Traditional English Ballad)
Anthony Box: “Paint it Black” by The Rolling Stones
Raymond Clarke: “Back Together” by Babybird
Chris Devito: “My Favorite Things” by John Coltrane
LT Dalin: “The Banana Boat Song” by Harry Belafonte, “You Spin Me Round” by Dead or Alive/Dope
Steven Gepp: “Sugar Shack” by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs
Wayne Helge: “That Moon Song” by Gregory Alan Isakov
Jack Horne: “Don’t Give Up on Us” by David Soul
Stephen Jansen: “My Dying Machine” by Gary Numan
Erik T Johnson: “Hazey Jane II” by Nick Drake
Vic Kerry: “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John
Adam Knight: “Hangar 18” by Megadeth
Robert Neilson: “The Bewlay Brothers” by David Bowie
Nicky Peacock: “Swansong for a Raven” by Cradle of Filth
Steve Voelker: “12 Ounce Epilogue” by Clutch

Unless I've forgotten something, this marks the first time one of my short stories has debuted in an original anthology.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

DFW Writers' Conference schedule

The schedule for the May 4-5 DFW Writers Conference has been posted. I will be teaching a class in "Writing the Future" at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and "Writing and Publishing Short Fiction" at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Monday, March 11, 2013

DFW Writers' Conference

If you are the Dallas-Fort Worth area May 4-5, you might consider attending the annual DFW Writers' Conference. I will be teaching two classes:

The Future As We Know It:
It’s called Science Fiction in English-speaking nations. The Italians call it Science Fantasy. The German term translates as Future Fiction. What is Science Fiction, and why is it an important branch of literature? What does speculative fiction mean? What does Cyberpunk, Space Opera and Hard Science Fiction mean? What is the difference between Steampunk, Alternate History and Secret History? From the visions of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells to the images of Rod Serling and George Lucas, you’ll learn about the various facets of these related sub-genres, and what it takes to write in them.

The Short and the Short of It:
Why have short stories always been so popular as literature? What does it take to write a tight, memorable short story? How do you write a story to hook an editor as well as the reader? From Aesop’s fables to the modern fables of O. Henry, as well as modern masters of the literary form such as Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut and Joyce Carol Oates, you’ll learn that short does not equal simple or forgettable.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Space Opera

I want to take a moment of personal privilege to say how impressed I am with Bryan Thomas Schmidt's kickstarter effort to raise the $8,000 kitty to fund the "Ray Gun Chronicles" anthology. These days, Space Opera is not mainstream s-f, so he was working in a sub-genre. But he assembled a great Table of Contents, and made a great case that pushed it over to $8,125. It was a great effort, and I admire his perseverance and tenacity.

With "Ray Gun Chronicles", "The Silver Dollar Saucer" will be my first story reprinted three times - it was also in both my previous collections, "Fantastic Texas" as well as "Texas & Other Planets". I really didn't set out to write Space Opera, I started out with a Weird Western that kinda took off - literally - into space.

It was originally published in "Ray Gun Revival" in 2009. "Ray Gun Chronicles" has gathered many of the people who were active with "Revival"; in a way, the anthology is a tribute to the ezine, which folded in 2012.

I was always grateful to "Ray Gun Revival" for publishing "The Silver Dollar Saucer". Because of the way it straddled genres, it had trouble finding a home, and was rejected 22 times in four years. In 2006 it was actually accepted for the old Amazon Shorts program, but the deal fell through because one condition - which I had overlooked - was that you also needed to have a book for sale on Amazon, and I didn't at the time.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Table of Contents for Raygun Chronicles

So it's official. The following stories have been bought for RAYGUN CHRONICLES. Congrats to them all!

Mike Resnick (Catastrophe Baker & The Ship Who Purred) - reprint
Milo Fowler (Captain Quasar & The Space Junk) - reprint
Michael S. Roberts (Sword of Saladin) - reprint
Michael Merriam (Nor To The Strong) - reprint
TM Hunter (Ever Dark – Aston West) - reprint
Robert Mancebo (Slavers of Ruhn) - reprint
A.m. Roelke (The Last, Full Measure) - reprint
Lou Antonelli (The Silver Dollar Saucer) - reprint
Paula R. Stiles (Spider On A Sidewalk) - reprint
Jenny Schwartz (Can Giraffes Change Their Spots?) - reprint
A.M. Stickel (To The Shores Of Triple, Lee!) - reprint
Shaun Farrell (Conversion) - reprint
Peter Wacks (Space Opera) - original

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Dinner with Jay

Drove to Houston yesterday to have dinner with Jay Lake, who was visiting the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center as part of his ongoing battle with the disease. This group gathered for an open dinner at Dimassi's Mediterranean Buffet, which is on Kirby Street close to both the hospital and Reliant Stadium.

Shown are, from left, Jim Crider, Lisa Costello, Suzan Harden, Trey Palmer, Perry Harden, John DeNardo, Jay, and Leslie Claire Walker. I took the photo, obviously.
The dinner lasted about two hours. Jay apologized for being somewhat hazy because of his chemotherapy. I was a bit curdled myself after the five hour drive (John DeNardo lives maybe an hour away, all the others were from Houston). I left Mount Pleasant at 1 p.m. and got to the restaurant at 6:10, I drove non-stop.

I was happy to have the opportunity to meet Jay in person, and I enjoyed the tall tales and anecdotes. I think everyone had a good time, and we all wish Jay well as he fights his health battle.

It was very educational to me to actually meet Jay and hear about his background and experience. I feel I understand him a lot better.

Because the Houston Rodeo is going on - which got completely past me - there was no chance of getting a motel room, so I drove an hour and stayed overnight in Cleveland in Montgomery County. I drove back to Mount Pleasant this morning.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Raygun Chronicles interview

The kickstarter drive for Raygun Chronicles is in its final stretch. Bryan Thomas Schmidt has been posting interviews with contributors along the way. Here is mine:

Contributor Interview: Lou Antonelli
Update #26 · Mar. 04, 2013 · comment  
$4555 and steadily climbing with 3 days left (closes Thursday night 8:29 p.m. ET). Word is spreading and we are on the way. I think we have a darn good shot. Meanwhile, Lou Antonelli is so excited he's posted to 100s of places online just by himself. So here's an interview about Lou and his story!

Contributor: Lou Antonelli
Story: The Silver Dollar Saucer
Where'd the idea for the story come from?

When I am blocked, I resort to using a Maguffin to get me off high center. I always carry around a silver dollar in my pocket for good luck; when I am nervous I fidget with it (when I am REALLY nervous I start flipping it.) My very first published short story, “Silvern” – which was published in Revolution SF in June 2003 – used a silver dollar as a Maguffin, and back in 2007 I was blocked again and reached into my pocket for the silver dollar again. This time I had the idea to use a western setting, since back in the 19th Century people commonly used silver coins. Sacks of coins made me think of a stagecoach robbery, and we were off.

Where'd your interest in science fiction and fantasy come from?
Watching the old classic shows like “The Twilight Zone” and “Outer Limits” spurred my imagination. Then I started reading Heinlein, Asimov and DelRey.

What is it about space opera that appeals to you?
It gives you a setting to work out ideas free of the constraints of modern society.

Where else can we find your published fiction? My collections are available on Amazon. Some of my most recent online fiction is available at BuzzyMag and Daily Science Fiction. With 76 short stories published in ten years, I’m easy to find.

Who are some writers you enjoy reading and who have influenced you?
Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein and Rod Serling.

Who's your favorite space opera character of all time? The character I enjoyed the most was Garak on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

"Hearts Made of Stone"

I've gotten the author's proof of my story "Hearts Made of Stone" which is slated to run in the "Song Stories" anthology, edited by Wakefield Mahon. All the stories have to be directly based on songs. I picked the No. 1 hit for the Fontane Sisters in 1954. It's a golem story, with a twist - the golem's a gal.

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...