Monday, September 01, 2014

Closeout Sale

I am somewhat pleasantly surprised to realize that — in both cases — the two stories that were accepted on Sunday were the last to go in their respective publications next edition. "The Sub-Basement" was the last story to go into the table of contents of The Ironic Fantastic No. 3, while Every Day Fiction issued its line-up for September right after they accepted "Back Own My Stab".

Of course Sunday was August 31, but I had no idea I would come skidding under the door twice on the same day.

With three acceptances this week I decided it's time to start replenishing my stock of stories and I got the first 1,000 words down tonight in my next short story, "Chasing Madame Booyah".

Catching up

Every Day Fiction has bought my flash "Back Own My Stab". That's three acceptances in a week, and two in one day. Earlier Sunday The Ironic Fantastic took "The Sub-Basement" for Issue No. 3. Tales of the Talisman bought "Cerulean Dream" for its winter issue on Wednesday.

I spent some time Sunday reading over submissions for a short story contest. I noted one aspiring author was guilty of "style over substance abuse".

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Busy time

Tomorrow is the first day of school here where I live; my wife's a schoolteacher. Last week things were pretty busy, especially since I had to lend some crucial elbow grease in moving some things into her classroom.

Friday was the first preseason scrimmage for the local football team, which meant we published annual back-to-school football edition. That came to a total of 30 pages. Although I'm not the sports editor, I do have responsibility of getting the Associated Press articles that were used in that section. Plus, that was just an overall big project for the production staff.

And the newspaper office — after 40 years in one location — moved this weekend to a new building.

So it's been a fairly busy time.

On the writing front,  I got a request for a rewrite from an e-zine; and that's always a positive sign.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cover reveal

Coming soon from Merry Blacksmith Press!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Kansas City in 2016

Over across the Atlantic it was announced at the world science fiction convention in London that Kansas City has won the bid to host the convention in 2016. The only other city which had a bid in was Beijing. Although Beijing would've been more adventurous and glamorous, let's face it — the votes were destined to go to Kansas City for practical reasons (only registered convention attendees can vote on the site selection).

The good news for me is that I can drive to Kansas City in eight hours; last year I was able to drive to San Antonio in six hours. The convention next year is in Spokane, Washington.

My wife and I were disappointed we couldn't go to London, but a lot of things would had to of gone right. However, Spokane and Kansas City seem much more viable, at least for me.

Latest reviews

"It’s possible that you haven’t run into the stories of Lou Antonelli. Since 2003, he’s been publishing delightful short tales of alternate history all over the nooks and crannies of the SF world. Thanks to Fantastic Books, we now have 28 of these little gems in one place.

"Many of Antonelli’s stories have an unexpected twist ending. And many of them are what he calls “secret history” stories, which aren’t exactly alternate history—they’re set in our familiar history, but there’s always some element that contemporary observers missed. " - Don Sakers, The Reference Library, Analog July-Aug. 2014

In a spare, swift, convincing narrative style, conveying in a deadpan voice a wide array of sometimes Paranoid suppositions about the world, Antonelli juxtaposes realities with very considerable skill, creating a variety of Alternate Worlds, some of them somewhat resembling the constructions of Howard Waldrop, and making some sharp points about American history, race relations, dreams, and occasional nightmares in which the twentieth century goes wrong. [JC]

---From the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

A better path develops for a distraught man in “Double Exposure” by Lou Antonelli (debut 6/11 and reviewed by Frank D). Jake is about to end it all. He has been trying to keep his high maintenance wife happy for decades and has needed to embezzle to satisfy her spending habits. Now, on the verge of indictment and abandoned by his spouse, he buys a gun. Before he pulls the trigger, he spies a Kodak one-day photo hut. Curious, he pulls up to the window. They are holding pictures of him and his last girlfriend from 30 years before. The package is a lot thicker than it should be.

Double Exposure” is listed as an Alternative History story but I would classify it as a Magical Realism tale. It is set as a second chance tale, a look into a life that should have been. The author is inspired by his memories of the old photo huts (I remember them) and of their disappearance. A cool idea (photos of another life), one that I could imagine would make for a great anthology.

- Frank Dutkiewicz, Diabolical Plots

Great White Ship”: A traveler stuck waiting for a flight strikes up a conversation with an old airline employee. The Old Timer tells him a story of a Great White Airship that arrives from a most unusual destination. The story of a craft from an alternate reality and how it got there is only the precursor to the final act.

This is one of my favorite stories from this site. I have a great passion for lighter-than-air craft and their potential as a future means of transport, which opens the story. The author uses this speculation to launch into an engaging tale. As fascinating as the main story line is, the alternate history premise that accompanies it is just as worthwhile. This story was well written and very well thought out. It is well worth the read.

Recommended.

- James Hanzelka, Diabolical Plots

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