Friday, February 22, 2019

Encyclopedia entry update

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction recently updated my entry to reflect the fact I've had a novel published:

"His first novel, Another Girl, Another Planet (2017), posits an Alternate History in which (instead of engaging in the familiar Cold War) the US and USSR have cooperated to develop Space Flight and establish a joint colony on Mars, where shenanigans take place in the alternate 1985."

Strange word to use, "shenanigans", in this context, but as a one-time Sad Puppy I should be grateful I still have an entry. A number of web sites over the past few years, such as Fantastic Fiction, have dropped my entry down the Memory Hole as part of the general purge of Non-PC authors by the totalitarian leftists who control the genre now

Sunday, February 17, 2019

SFWA 2019 election ballot set

Friday was the deadline for anyone to file for the Board of Directors of the SFWA.

Current President Cat Rambo is not running for re-election, and Mary Robinette Kowal filed unopposed.*

The present SFWA rules state you cannot run for President without having served on the board previously in some capacity. That kinda cuts down on potential candidates.

An unintended consequence of this seems to be that eleven people have filed for the three director-at-large posts.

In addition to the three incumbents - Andy Duncan, Jeffe Kennedy and Sarah Pinsker - James Beamon, Tobias Buckell, John Chu, Walter L. Fisher, Kevin McLaughlin, Eric James Stone, Peng Shepherd, and William Alan Web have all signed up.

As so often happens in bureaucratic overreach, regulatory micro-management seems to have had an unintended effect. Now there's a bottleneck at the level of director-at-large because anyone who may want to potentially serve as President in the future has to get past that gate first.

Oh, well. The leaders of the SFWA are all so smart and always know what they're doing.

Or as a wise man once said, "Only a truly intelligent person know the bounds of their ignorance. Only the haughty and over-educated know it all."

It will be interesting to see how this electoral pile on works out.

I had inquired about running for President, but as I noted above, it was confirmed that you have to serve on the board first.

Also, one thing that had gotten past me is that you cannot run for any office at all unless you've been a member in good standing for two consecutive years. I had let me membership lapse in 2017 because I was really broke. We had a serious reversal of financial fortune from 2015 to 2017; our family income dropped 2/3 as Patricia was out of work and I had to take a lower-paying job.

Mike Glyer at File 770, the most detested fan in science fiction, mocked my Presidential ambitions, and his claque of idiots and assholes also mocked me for wanting to run for SFWA office since I was ineligible, like I was trying to run a scam of some kind.

Glyer used to work for the IRS, and I'm sure most of the usual suspects - such as Aaron Pound - either have government jobs, work at universities which sponge off government funding, or are just plain spoiled and rich. They don't know what's it like to be broke and hopeless.

* Incumbent Secretary Curtis Chen is running for re-election unopposed.

Convention countdown

With this weekend being the last one for ConDFW, I thought I’d take a minute to list all the conventions I’ve attended over the years.  ConDFW was the first convention I ever attended, in 2003 (it was started in 2001). It’s closing down after an 18-year run.

Here is a list, as best as best I can recall:

Texas – ConDFW, Fencon (both Dallas), Armadillocon (Austin), Apollocon (Houston), AggieCon (College Station), Lone Star Con 3 (San Antonio).
Oklahoma – SoonerCon (Oklahoma City), Conestoga (Tulsa).
Missouri – Archcon (St. Louis), ConQuest (Kansas City).
Colorado – GalaxyFest (Colorado Springs).
Illinois – WindyCon (Chicago).
Ohio – Marcon (Columbus).
Oregon – Sasquan (Spokane).
Pennsylvania – Philcon (Philadelphia).
Tennessee – Libertycon (Chattanooga).
Virginia – Ravencon (Richmond, then Williamsburg).

Conventions I received invitations to but were unable to attend include DragonCon in Atlanta, ContraFlow in New Orleans,  LonCon 3 (London) and MystiCon (Roanoke, Virginia).

In the case of DragonCon, bad weather plus bad luck on the highway made me have to turn around in 2017. Contraflow was stymied by car troubles. I could not make LonCon because the newspaper where I worked was sold and the new asshole owners would not honor my previously accumulated vacation time. Mysticon was a problem with time and money.

Some of these cons have already passed into history, like Conestoga and Apollocon, both which were great fun the years I attended.

I’ve always felt the volunteers who run such conventions are dedicated and self-less, and deserve much thanks for what they do that is such fun for others.  I would never be able to do it myself.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

The children of the killing fields

ConDFW is being held in Dallas this weekend. Apparently this will be the last one. The first was held in 2001, and in 2003 it was the first s-f convention I ever attended. I had received a news release about the con at the newspaper where I worked at the time. I asked for, and received, a press pass, and attended out of sense of curiosity. I didn’t even know these conventions existed. Four months later my first s-f story was published by Revolution Science Fiction. It’s still archived on-line:

Revolution S-F Editor Jayme Lynn Blaschke wrote “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.”

Two years later my story “A Rocket for the Republic” was published in Asimov’s Science Fiction. It was the last story Gardner Dozois bought before he retired as editor there.

Back then literary science fiction was judged by its own quality, and you weren’t subjected to any political litmus test beforehand. You could still break into the field even if you believed in God, your country and/or yourself. Since then, thanks to the efforts of people like John Scalzi and Nora Jemisin, you’re first investigated as to political correctness. Thanks to the all-encompassing leftist totalitarian political ideology that dominates the genre now, you simply can’t be a quality writer if you’re not politically correct.

The people who dominate the field now are the children of those who collaborated with the Soviet Union so we’d lose the Vietnam War – the folks who brought you killing fields of Cambodia, and the boat people of Vietnam. I suppose one couldn’t have expected their offspring to be very humane, traditional or compassionate – much less conservative.

There was a time when, at the worst, liberals looked at conservatives and reactionaries with bemusement, but still had a “live and let live” attitude. But since American political liberalism was subverted during the Vietnam Era by totalitarian regimes in Russia and China, the attitude has been “live and let die.” Traditionalists and conservatives have responded by lashing out in fear. It’s unnerving when you realize those who disagree with you politically and socially see a gulag as your rightful home.

Literary science fiction has gone from being progressive, entertaining and visionary to being left-wing bullshit propaganda in a futuristic setting. No wonder people are leaving it in droves – and no wonder conventions are dying off, with some now little more than communist political rallies.
It’s sad to see ConDFW close down, but there’s not much to be celebrated there anymore. It’s demise is part of the greater cultural war that divides our nation.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Turn and walk away

I hate it when I see this, I never get used to it:

I was waiting at the local pharmacy just after work today to pick up a prescription An elderly man was ahead of me; from his birth date when they asked it, I know he's 77.

When the cashier told him how much the prescription cost, he waved it off and wouldn't take it. He left without his medicine.

I have seen this happen a number of times over the years, senior citizens leaving a pharmacy without getting their meds because they can't afford it.

The way the big pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. rake in the dough at the expense of the sick and ailing is disgraceful.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Nope, nope, nope

It's a balmy 72 degrees in Clarksville, Texas, this evening. The low tonight is predicted by NOAA to be 58 degrees.

Then there's a strong chance of storms tonight, and the HIGH for tomorrow is predicted to be 59 degrees. The low Thursday night should be 25.

Texas has many positives - wide open spaces, a low cost of living, a strong economy with lots of jobs, and friendly people.

But NOBODY ever moved to Texas for the weather...

Sunday, February 03, 2019

From the tiresome assholes department

I was feeling unmotivated last night about starting any new projects, so I thought I would play "Tease the morons at File 770" tonight.

I signed off for the night by reminding Mike Glyer that one of the perks of being a newspaper editor is you get to write obits. I already have his headline written:

Mike Glyer dies; goes to Hell.

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...