Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Announcing 4 Star Stories Issue 13

Whether you are a newcomer or an old friend, you will find something in this issue of 4 Star Stories to interest and entertain. Join us at

First up is a new twist on the classic boy-meets-dragon story by Edward Ahern − Care and Feeding.

A contemporary tale of “girl saves Earth”, Speaking Up, from Brynn Macnab takes us into the mind of a little girl who just wants to be left alone.

A talented and prolific author from New Zealand, Sean Monaghan weaves a story that bends the concepts of contemporary theoretical physics in Big Catch.

Finally, expatriate Brit Jez Patterson shows us that not since “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” has the Earth been as threatened by a lowly fruit as in Squidge.

Our Bonus Story this issue is Operation Rugido Ratón by D H Richards. A tourist in Cuba is more than he seems. The military installation out in the boonies is more than it seems. Did you think the space race ended in the Sixties? Think again!

Our Guest Art for Issue 13 is an Artist Retrospective featuring the work of Jack Coggins, a space and technology illustrator from the 1950’s. Not as well known as Chesley Bonestell, but familiar to those of us who grew up in that time period, Jack Coggins uses light and shadow to dramatic effect in his depictions of space hardware and a trip to the moon.

As always, a timely Editorial from our Editors rounds out the issue, along with useful information from your humble Webmaster.

Come to visit, stay to enjoy... 4 Star

The Editors


The next issue of 4 Star Stories will fearture my short story "The Grove of Curiosities"

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bigfoot Fruit

Regarding my story "Bigfoot Fruit" which is in the current issue of the Common Oddities Speculative Fiction Sideshow - the story hinges on the fact that no native North American animal eats the fruit of the Bois D'Arc tree. Here is a good illustration of the phenomenon. I found a tree a mile from my house with all the fruit piled up around its base (these haven't been gathered up). They're sitting there where they fell, and nobody has touched them.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sci-Phi Journal available for pre-order

The cover of Issue No. 2
Issue No. 2 of Sci-Phi Journal is coming out as of Nov. 1, but you can pre-order it on Amazon. Here is the product description:


Sci Phi is an online science fiction and philosophy magazine. In each issue you will find stories that explore questions of life, the universe and everything and articles that delve into the deep philosophical waters of science fiction universes.

This month we have,

The start of a wonderfully Sci Phi Serial from Ben Zwycky, Beyond the Mist that was also the inspiration for our spectacular cover art. It kicks off with our protagonist falling through the mist of the title and just gets stranger from there.

We also have original Science Fiction stories from
Peter Sean Bradley - Ghosts - A tale of a future wedding gone weird
Emmanuel A. Mateo-Morales - The First Step - Witness the end of a mad dream and the end of a future war
David Hallquist - The Quantum Process - A bid for immortality that doesn't go quite as planned!
Lou Antonelli - On a Spiritual Plain - A chaplain
meets a confused soul on an alien mining colony
Steve Sagarra - Terra in Vista - A crew of explorers meet someone unexpected on a new world

Original Essays by
David Kyle Johnson - On the Moral of Hide and Q - An exploration of the ethics of being Q
John C. Wright - Prophetic & Apotropaic Science Fiction - Does Science Fiction predict the future?
Patrick S. Baker - On the Ethics of Super Soldiers - Is it right to make Super Soldiers and what do we owe them?
Tom Simon - The Making of the Fellowship - A study on the nature of the Good in Middle Earth

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mid-week update

I received back and sent out again two stories. That makes for a total of 17 in various slushpiles. Nothing original started this week so far. I already received my PayPal payment from Sci-Phi Journal, which makes it one of the fastest payers I have ever seen. Lots on integrity there.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sci-Phi Journal to publish "On a Spiritual Plain"

Signed my contract this morning for Sci-Phi Journal to publish "On a Spiritual Plain" and emailed it back to editor Jason Rennie. This is the story I started by typing in public at the GalaxyFest convention in Colorado Springs in Feb. 2013.

I did about three-quarters of it there, and finished it when I got back to Texas. I scanned the pages, ran them through optical character recognition software, and made up a Word file. After the usual editing and tweaking, I sent it off to Clarkeswold in March 2013. For some reason, it struck me as a story they would like.

They didn't take it, but it took them three weeks to reject it (if you've ever submitted to Clarkesworld, you know three days is average time for a rejection. That's the only time I received anything other than a standard rejection from them, because they said "your story was close".

So I always thought the story would find a home, and it will be published in Issue No. 2 of Sci-Phi Journal. The name indicates they like a little thoughtfulness and philosophical discussion in conjunction with their stories. Their guidelines state:

"We are looking for science fiction stories that explore a philosophical idea or have a philosophical hook. Stories must include a “food for thought” set of questions for readers along with the manuscript. Please include in your cover letter the philosophical themes explored in the story."

Which I thought would work great for "On a Spiritual Plain". Jason took the story after only a day or two, so I guess I hit the mark. And they look to be a class outfit, paying a nickel a word right from the start.

Highly recommended.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Loading up

Dropped a check in the mail yesterday to John Teehan at Merry Blacksmith Press get get copies of "Letters from Gardner". Getting ready to plan some signings and appearances.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Update on publications

The latest issue of The Common Oddities Speculative Fiction Sideshow is out, featuring my story "Bigfoot Fruit". Here is a link to the story.

The second issue of Sci-Phi Journal is in the works and my contract should be on the way soon.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Press release for "Letters from Gardner"


“Letters from Gardner’ chronicles breaking into the writing field

WEST WARWICK, R.I. – The Merry Blacksmith Press has released "Letters from Gardner - A Writer's Odyssey", a collection that features the short stories of an aspiring writer plus correspondence from Gardner Dozois, long-time editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction.

The book covers a year-and-a-half period when Lou Antonelli was trying to break into the science fiction field. He submitted 16 stories to Dozois, who had been editor of Asimov’s since 1985, before making his first sale.

Dozois retired after accepting “A Rocket for the Republic” in 2004. The book reproduces the correspondence between the editor and author.

“I was the last person who ever went through this process with Dozois at Asimov’s, which is why I thought it needed to be chronicled,” Antonelli said.

The book also covers how the stories were edited and revised after crossing Dozois’ desk as a result of his input, also making it a writer’s manual. All except one story were later published in other venues.

Lou Antonelli subsequently has had 85 short stories and three collections published across the globe.

"Letters from Gardner - A Writer's Odyssey" contains 16 stories and is 246 pages long. It is available through Amazon or directly from the publisher, Merry Blacksmith Press, at


For more information, contact John Teehan at Merry Blacksmith Press, 70 Lenox Ave., West Warwick, RI 02893; telephone (631) 903-3389.

Lou Antonelli may be contacted at,, or 903-257-6573.

Friday, October 10, 2014

"Common Oddities"

The next issue of The Common Oddities Speculative Fiction Sideshow is rolling out, and now has its page on Goodreads. It includes my short story "Bigfoot Fruit". Here is a link:

Thursday, October 09, 2014

"The Girl Who Couldn't Fly"

I'm proud and honored that my short story "The Girl who Couldn’t Fly" is included in "Unconventional Fantasy, A Celebration of Forty Years of the World Fantasy Convention".

All the members of the World Fantasy Convention will receive a copy of "Unconventional Fantasy" in their registration envelopes. I know everyone will enjoy all the wonderful stories and art work in "Unconventional Fantasy".

My thanks to Peggy Rae Sapienza and Bill Campbell with World Fantasy Con for the opportunity to participate.

I didn't get an invitation to be a panelist, but I never have for a World Fantasy con. I don't think that's exceptional, I'm really not a fantasy writer. But I was happy that, when asked, I had a story I could submit. Being a part of "Unconventional Fantasy" will perhaps expose me to some people who otherwise might not know my work.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The century mark

If you take into account that I've had 85 short stories published in the past eleven years, and I have five accepted for publication right now, that means by the end of the year - or thereabouts - I could have 90 stories published. So it looks like I'm within striking distance of 100.

Of course, I don't mind being published in small mags and ezines. I follow the policy of the late Jay Lake, who one colleague once said "would submit to anything with a pulse." Also, I've stolen a trick from Joe Lansdale, who's published tons of short stories over the years, and therefore can assemble collections very easily. With the publication of "Letters from Gardner" I now have four.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Common Oddities Speculative Fiction Sideshow

My next short story publication is "Bigfoot Fruit", being published in the autumn issue of The Common Oddities Speculative Fiction Sideshow. It will be out any day now.

Other upcoming publications include "The Girl Who Couldn't Fly", which is being included on the World Fantasy Convention giveaway thumb drive (The World Fantasy Con will be in Washington, D.C. Nov. 6-9); "Cerulean Dream" to be published in Tales of the Talisman, "Riders of the Red Shift" in Stupefying Stories, and, as I mentioned in my last post, "On a Spiritual Plain" in Sci-Phi Journal.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Sci-Phi Journal

Woke up this morning to find an acceptance in the in box; A new, quality publication, and nice rate, too, five cents a word.

It's called Sci-Phi Journal. It just published its first issue, with short fiction by John C. Wright, Joshua M. Young, David Hallquist, Frederick Best and Jane Leback, and a novellete by John C. Wright.

It also has a number of non-fiction articles. Check it out here:

Sunday, October 05, 2014

"Letters from Gardner" now available

My author's copies of "Letters from Gardner - A Writer's Odyssey" - my collection that features my short stories plus correspondence from Gardner Dozois when I was trying to break into science fiction - have arrived. Published by John Teehan and The Merry Blacksmith Press, it is 238 pages long and reprints 16 stories.

It's an interesting hybrid of a book - partly history because the way it looks back at that time near the turn of the century in the world of science fiction magazines; and partly writer's manual, as I explain what I was doing, what I was learning, and what Gardner wrote.

I also explain how I applied what Gardner wrote; all except one of the 15 stories I sent him during the period were ultimately published.

The book is also a short story collection, as I reprint those stories. In most cases, I have dredged up the original versions (I had to buy an external floppy disk drive because my backup files from that time are on floppies) and then explain the revisions that were made. In many cases, I published new endings or beginnings.

One of the reasons I did this this is that I'm the last author Gardner bought a story from before he retired from Asimov's. I was the last person who ever went through this process, and after so many years it's something I think needs to be set down in history.

Perhaps this will be a contender for the "Best Related Work" Hugo award next year in Spokane.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

"Bigfoot Fruit"

Spent some time tonight going through the proof of my short story, "Bigfoot Fruit", being published in Issue 3 of The Common Oddities Speculative Fiction Sideshow.

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...