Monday, December 29, 2014

Reminder of a spy

I saw the movie "The Imitation Game" Sunday. It's a very good flick. The mention of the British Cold War spies, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, reminded me that a number of years ago Maclean's younger sister, Nancy Jean, lived in Cedar Hill, Texas, where I ran the local weekly paper, and I knew her pretty well. In fact, she once gave me a memoir to read and appraise, but unfortunately it disappeared when a break-in at a self-storage unit resulted in the theft of a table where the document was stored.

Nancy Jean Oetking ended her days in Texas because she married a petroleum engineer. She died in 2007, aged 88.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Thoughts on Christmas Eve

I've always thought I may be somewhat dyslexic. When I was a kid, they never heard of it, so we'll never know. But one of the first times I thought I had a problem was when I couldn't remember Santa's reindeer. I mean, I thought they were like Rudolph and Dancer and Prancer and Donner and Blixen and Schlitzen and Nixon - that's as far as I got.
I always wondered how a reindeer got elected President.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Kindle collection

Well, I have committed Kindle...

I know some people think I sneeze and my stuff is published, but truth is, I get plenty of rejections like everyone else. Despite having four collections published - that's putting "Letters from Gardner" in the fiction category, the ISFDB lists it as non-fiction - I've had failure there, also. Over three years ago I pitched a reprint collection to an ebook publisher. The deal never happened - I never heard back, so I assume he wasn't interested.

I was thinking about ebooks when I realized I still had the collection, so I decided to upload it to Kindle Direction Publishing. I had never done that before, so I thought I'd give it a try.

"Bend it Like Bradbury" has 21 stories; a few have never been reprinted before. There's a certain amount of overlap with other collections, but my only other collection available through Kindle is 2009's Fantastic Texas.

Here is the Table of Contents:

Meet Me At The Grassy Knoll
Mak Siccar
The Hideaway
Won't You Come Home, Bill Buckley?
Black Hats and Blackberrys
Airy Chick
My Ugly Little Self
Twilight on the Finger Lakes
Across the Plains
The Amerikaan Way
Good Old Gal
Comes the JuJu Man
Double-Crossing The Styx
I Got You
Hopscotch And Hottentots
They Call It Time
Ghost Writer

So there, I've gone and done it. The link is here:

Friday, December 19, 2014

Not true

Something this morning reminded me that 25 years ago, in a very early version of Microsoft Word, one of the suggestions offered by the spellcheck to correct "Antonelli" was "Antichrist".

Sure glad that changed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A first

I had the idea recently to offer a signed copy of "The Clock Struck None" for sale on eBay. I put down the "Buy Me Now" price at $19.95. IT SOLD! Wow, that's found money. I need to keep this listing.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Latest publication

"Ad Valorem" in Omni Reboot is my 89th short story published since June 2003. I've written 126 short stories since 2002. I don't know where I get the time.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Lou Antonelli

1. He is a first generation American; both his parents were born in Italy.

2. His mother was an eyewitness to the display of Benito Mussolini's body in Milan at the end of World War II.

3. His mother's maiden name is Savini; he is a second cousin of the famous motion picture special effects make-up artist Tom Savini.

4. He always carries a silver dollar for good luck..

5. As a result of holding elected public office, he could claim the title "Honorable". But as a result of a special appointment to a condemnation court in Dallas County in 1998 (which adjudicates eminent domain damages), he could also be called "Judge".

6. He ran for Congress when he was 25.

7. He cannot snap his fingers, apparently because of a peculiarity in the shape of his thumb.

8. He attended his first science fiction convention when he was 46 years old.

9. He met Barack Obama at Columbia University in 1983

10. That same year - a blogger asserts - a rally in protest of the Soviet downing of KAL Flight 007 that he helped organize made Obama cry in frustration.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

2014 in fiction

With the publication of "Ad Valorem" in Omni Reboot, I've had nine stories published in 2014. That's it for the year.

The stories are:

"Bindlestiff's Daughter" - The Lorelei Signal, January 2014

"Playing Catch-Up" - SciFi Max, May 2014

"The Sub-Basement" - The Ironic Fantastic No. 3, Sept. 2014

"Back Own My Stab" - Every Day Fiction, Sept. 16, 2014

"Bigfoot Fruit" - Common Oddities Speculative Fiction Sideshow, Sept. 2014

"On a Spiritual Plain" - Sci-Phi Journal No. 2 November 2014

"The Girl Who Couldn't Fly" - "Unconventional Fantasy, a Celebration of 40 Years of the World Fantasy Convention' - Nov. 6-9, 2014

"Ad Valorem" - Omni Reboot, Dec. 11, 2014

Pending publications include "Cerulean Dream" in Tales of the Talisman and "Would Olympus Fall" in the Hadley Rille Books antholgy "Ruins".

Friday, December 12, 2014

Omni Reboot

I am very proud to report Omni Reboot has published my original short story "Ad Valorem".

I didn't start writing fiction until a half dozen years after the original Omni magazine ceased publication, but I really enjoyed reading its fiction, especially in the 1980s.

I am gratified to have my name associated in some small way with such a great institution.

Omni Reboot is an webzine that, to me, seems to recreate a lot of the feel of the old print publication. Please visit, and share!

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Dim mists of history

Some of you may recall that, in the process of writing my latest collection, "Letters from Gardner", I had to buy an external floppy disk drive and go back through a box of floppies because those were what I used to back up my stories back then.

Yesterday I was going through that box of floppies when I saw a disk that caught my attention. I booted it up and saw it had photos I took at ConDFW in 2003. I completely forgot I had those photos.

ConDFW was the first convention I ever attended. I didn't even know sciencxe fiction conventions even existed before that. The only reason I knew about ConDFW was that it sent out a news release and I got it at the paper where I worked at the time.

I didn't attend the con as a fan, and I wasn't an author then. I went on a press pass - which is why I took the photos.

Now, this photo here is very important to me, because this was the last panel I attended on Sunday afternoon. That's Melanie Fletcher speaking on the right; that's Jayme Blaschke in the middle. I don't recall who the fellow is on the left. It was during that panel - which I believed was on Texas s-f  - that I mentioned I had thought about writing s-f, but at 46 maybe I was too old to start. They all told me I was wrong.

Jayme was fiction editor at Revolution S-F  at the time. I asked him after the panel if I could sent him  story. He said "of course," and that was my first published story, "Silver", published in June 2003.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Zenith Royal 500

Last weekend, while visiting antique shops in Gladewater, Texas (best known among genre fans as Joe Lansdale's birthplace), I found this radio. It was made in 1956, and was the first transistor radio made by Zenith. The Royal 500 had seven transistors and no FM. I bought it for $25 (it originally sold for $75). It didn't work when I got it home, but a local electronics repair shop patched it up for only ten dollars. This week I've done what I used to do when I was a kid, tune in late at night and listen to faraway clear channel stations. I've picked them up from Denver, New Orleans, Omaha, St. Louis, Chicago, Nashville and Cincinnati

Pretty durable technology. Now, here's a question: Why does it have a name inscribed on it? Joseph N. Rogers? Was it a presentation gift some time ago? I wonder who Joseph N. Rogers was.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

After all these years

If you recall my post of Nov. 23, "A Box of Books" - one of the books I still have from that box is a collection of Harry Golden essays, "Enjoy, Enjoy". This past weekend, after 45 years, I finally damaged the book, by leaving it on a surface I didn't know had some wet spots. When I picked it up again, the cover had dried to the surface, and some of the cover tore off, although it remains mostly intact.

I know it's silly, but I feel bad.

"Science Fiction Super Pack"

Got my contributor's copies of "Fantastic Stories Presents: Science Fiction Super Pack No. 1" today. It includes my story "Hopscotch and Hottentots"
Stories include The Cold Calculations by Michael A. Burstein, They Twinkled like Jewels by Philip José Farmer, Lingua Franca by Carole McDonnell, Dawn of Flame by Stanley G. Weinbaum, Don’t Jump by Jamie Wild, Youth by Isaac Asimov, Digger Don’t Take No Requests by John Teehan, Lighter than You Think by Nelson Bond, Garden of Souls by M. Turville Heitz, The Variable Man by Philip K. Dick, Starwisps by Edward J. McFadden III, Gorgono and Slith by Ray Bradbury, I Was There When They Made the Video by Cynthia Ward, The Perfect Host by Theodore Sturgeon, That Universe We Both Dreamed Of by Jay O’Connell, The Lake of Light by Jack Williamson, Lies, Truth, and the Color of Faith by Gerri Leen, No Place to Hide by James Dorr, Industrial Revolution by Poul Anderson, The Visitor by Ann Wilkes, Travel Diary by Alfred Bester, Encounter in Redgunk by William R. Eakin, The Second Satellite by Edmond Hamilton, The Indecorous Rescue of Clarinda Merwin by Brenda W. Clough, Lost Paradise by C. L. Moore, Siblings by Warren Lapine, Gun for Hire by Mack Reynolds, The Answer by H. Beam Piper, Pythias by Frederik Pohl, Arm of the Law by Harry Harrison, The Good Neighbors by Edgar Pangborn, The Intruder by Emil Petaja, The Six Fingers of Time by R. A. Lafferty, An Ounce of Cure by Alan Edward Nourse, The Hoofer by Walter M. Miller, Jr., The Stellar Legion by Leigh Brackett, and Year of the Big Thaw by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

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...