Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The rules

I am reprinting here a document that was given to every panelist at the Armadillocon this past weekend. I really don't know what to make of all these rules. Numbers two, three and 14 make me wonder if, as an author, I'm particularly welcome. I mean, I didn't get paid anything to participate, except getting my registration comped. Why can't I indulge in a little self-promotion?

I wonder what led up to this? A lot of this is common sense, which makes you wonder about what kind of people are participating. Also, a lot of this seems reactionary.


1. Don't come to the panel drunk or high.
2. Don't put any of your work on the table in front of you. Name tents only.
3. Don't mention your work during the panel except briefly when you introduce yourself
4. Do stay on topic.
5. Don't monopolize the panel. Let others talk.
6. Do smile.
7. Don't talk about politics. It makes people uncomfortable.   Don't make fun of people related to Texas including Rick Perry, historical figures or athletes.
8. Don't yell or argue with another panelist or audience member.
9. Don't lie.
10. Do face the audience. Don't turn your chair so other panelists are cut out of the conversation.
11. Do enunciate and speak clearly.
12. Don't talk louder than everyone else unless someone in the back is having a hard time hearing you. Indoor voice please.
13. Don't be a jerk.
14. Don't mention your work is for sale in the dealers' room or art show.
15. Do drink water or other beverages (no alcohol) during the panel to keep your voice happy. Don't eat during the panel. (Unless you are diabetic.)
16. Do watch your language. (There will be youngsters about.)
17. Don't make an intellectual panel about fart jokes.

1. Ask your panelists to introduce themselves at the start.
2. Make sure panelists only have their name tent on the table with them and not a book fortress.
3. All panelists should speak. Equal time if possible.
4. Please repeat questions from the audience so everyone can hear.
5. Always leave 5-10 minutes at the end of the panel for questions.
6. Keep track of time. End five minutes before the hour. (Some panels have set up
7. Stop a panelist if they are talking too much.
8. Include a panelist if they are being ignored by the rest of the panel.
9. Stay on topic. If it is getting away from you, interrupt and bring it back to topic.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

ArmadilloCon overview

I had a great time at armadillo con despite my shortened schedule. I wasn't able to leave home until 7 AM Saturday. I missed my first panel, which was at 10 AM, but I was able to get there in time for my autographing in the dealer's room at noon. That went well – better than I would've expected considering I just arrived and no one knew I was there yet.

The panel at 2 PM on what it your early writing was like went very well and was attended. Lillian Stewart Carl was the moderator, and I was joined by Martha Wells on the panel.

I'd say the highlight of the convention for me was my reading at 3 PM. It had probably the largest turnout I've ever had for a one person reading. I think there were 10 people there — not bad for minor author. The best part was how well my reading of great white ship was received. There were actually gasps of amazement and pleasure at the conclusion. I didn't know I had it in me!

That took a half hour; I spent the second half reading hearts made of stone.

The panel on SASS at 5 PM also went well. Scott Cupp was the moderator and I was joined by Bill Crider and Rie Sheridan Rose as a panelist. This was the only panel I had at the convention that was held at the conference center rather than a function room. I probably need to write up a full report on this panel, especially for the members of SASS. it also went very well and what we had to say was very well received by the members of the audience.

My one panel on Sunday was on religion at 10 AM, moderated by CJ Mills. I was joined by  Alexis Glynn Latner, Ian McDonald and Amanda Palmer as a panelist. I was amazed at the attendance considering the time and day. That panel also went very well and I know those enjoyed by the members of the audience.

That's my broad brush overview report for now. I offer my usual disclaimer that if there's any strangeness in this post, it may be because I dictated it using Dragon software.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two nominations

I recently learned , from when the SFWA published its rundown of nominations for the Nebulas, that my story "Hearts Made of Stone" received two.

I took a little time this past spring to encourage people to read the story, with the excuse to consider it for a nomination. My attitude was, if I was able to get anyone to read it, fine, if anyone wanted to nominate it, better. I thought it was a good story.

I received a couple of Nebula nominations for "A Rocket for the Republic" in 2006, and one for "The Witch of Waxahachie" in 2009.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ready for ArmadilloCon

Stocking up copies of "The Clock Struck None" in anticipation of the ArmadilloCon Convention in Austin next week. I will have a signing Saturday at noon in the dealers room, and also a reading at 3 p.m.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Lou Antonelli answers the Usual Questions

I have been interviewed for an Australian ezine in its feature "The Usual Questions". Here is a copy:


Lou Antonelli is an American science fiction and fantasy writer

Antonelli got a late start in his fiction writing career; his first story was published when he was 46 years old in June 2003.

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

Yes, it's been a big encouragement to know people read and enjoy my work.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

The first s-f con I attended, in 2003 in Dallas. I had always been a reader, but I didn't attend a con until I was 46, and only after a press release crossed my desk at the newspaper where I worked. I attended the convention with a press pass. It was there I made the connection that led to my first submission and publication.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

Howard Waldrop. I always liked his sense of wonder and weirdness. I was very honored when he wrote the introduction to my first collection of short stories, Fantastic Texas, in 2009. He is the only author I am compared to in my Encyclopedia of Science Fiction entry.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

Howard Waldrop.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

N.K. Jemisin

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

My family. I am very much a homebody and I'd never leave them -- my wife Patricia and my three kids, who are all canines.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

To impart a sense of wonder and infinite possibilities, to make people realize that despite the large number of accidents and assholes fate foists on us, there are still wonderful people and marvelous things out there.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

When I finish a story and it all comes together and I read it again and have a Tommy Lee Jones moment: "Damn, I'm good!"


Here is the link the actual page, if you like.

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.


- James Hanzelka, Diabolical Plots

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