Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Bettie Page Reveals All"

This weekend, one of the chapters I finished in my my new book, "Letters from Gardner", was about the story I wrote years ago where the Maguffin is a clone of Bettie Page, "The Queen of Guilty Pleasures".

On Monday, I read there's a new movie opening in limited release about the famous pin-up, "Bettie Page Reveals All". I found a link on the Yahoo movies page, here.

I doubt there was ever a pin-up who had a more iconic look or has been more imitated throughout the years. At the time I wrote my story, she was still alive, but she died a few years later.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Three Chapters wrapped up for "Letters from Gardner"

This weekend I polished off three more chapters of "Letters from Gardner", chapters 11-13 which cover the stories "Rome, If You Want To", "Berserker" and "The Queen of Guilty Pleasures". The manuscript  right now just under 70,000 words. I anticipate three more chapters, plus a prologue, since we're almost at an end of the stories I sent to Gardner, which rest of which are are "The Runner at Dawn", "Pen Pal" (which was a YBSF honorable mention) and then "A Rocket for the Republic".

Friday, October 25, 2013

Purdy

Editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt has released the dust cover of the collection of space opera stories done in the pulp style, "Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera For a New Age", which is having its release party at the OryCon convention in Portland Nov. 8-10 and then general release in December. I'm proud to be a part with my short story reprint "The Silver Dollar Saucer".

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

More on "The Stinky Men"

A rare sight
Got an email from Bill Crider yesterday. He writes:

"I read "The Stinky Men" yesterday and got a kick out of it. Anybody who can write a story in a con dealers' room has my admiration, especially a story that mentions alligators and Dr Pepper. Thanks for sending it along."

 This is the story I wrote in the dealers' room at ArmadilloCon in 2011, using my Smith Corona Classic 12 portable typewriter.

 Bill at the time wrote: "We're back from Armadillocon, where we had a great time and saw a lot of friends. We also saw a rare sight, a science-fiction author banging out a short story in the dealers' room. On a typewriter. That's Lou Antonelli clicking the keys of his Smith-Corona, and he's composing a story titled "The Stinky Men." It if turns up somewhere, I'll let you know."

Monday, October 21, 2013

"More Than Just Blood"

Fellow SASS member Park Cooper sent me a galley recently of a horror novel he's penned with wife Barbara Lien-Cooper, "Something More Than Blood". He asked me if I'd read it and consider it for a blurb. I finished it this weekend, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. He's what I wrote for the blurb:

"Something More Than Blood" is a well-crafted, fast-paced story of a fresh-faced young German farm boy who volunteers to serve his country in the Great War, and get a lot more - and worse - than he bargained for. In the process of going from naive young "soldat" Johannes Fassbinder to becoming an undead B movie actor - stage name Lykan Fuller - we follow a man who wanders through some wild and weird places - Weimar Germany, Depression Era USA, Hollywood - and copes with his unsought fate while surrounded by people who often seem less human than he is.

The writing is tight, the dialogue crisp, the settings pitch-perfect, and the plot compelling. Park Cooper and Barbara Lien-Cooper have written a vampire tale with lot of chills, but also sad insights, and a few chuckles of recognition along the way.I enjoyed it, and you will, too. It's a welcome addition to the horror bookshelf.-

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The South American Shatner

A number of years ago - sometime between 2005 and 2007 - I was working at my newspaper job one day, and I covered an event at a local Rotary Club. It featured a recap of a trip club members made on an exchange with a club in South America.

It was to Uruguay or Paraguay - I don't remember which - and in the course of the report, the club leader mentioned - by way of "It's a small world" - that one of their host club members was William Shatner's brother, Louis Shatner. He had the photo to prove it - the fellow looked just like Bill.

I later checked up on the story, and found that Bill Shatner doesn't have a brother, but he had an uncle named Louis. This fellow in South America is probably his first cousin. I assume the Rotarian either misspoke or didn't understand the translation.

Like I said, the family resemblance was striking.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thoughts while shaving

My short story production this year has been diminished somewhat by the time I've spent working on my latest collection, "The Clock Struck None", which should be coming out in a while from Fantastic Books, as well as my current work on "Letters from Gardner". I haven't completed a story since April.

I've also spent some time working with the writers' group SASS, which I serve as secretary - which means I handle a lot of paperwork.

Still, I've had six stories published so far this year, and two are in line for upcoming publication: "Riders of the Red Shift" in Stupefying Stories, and "Bindlestiff's Daughter" in The Lorelei Signal. And of course, "The Silver Dollar Saucer" is being reprinted in the "Raygun Chronicles" anthology.

I'd say the highlight of the year was being a finalist for the Sidewise Award. That story, "Great White Ship", is the lead-off in "The Clock Struck None".

The nice thing about slowing down short story production is that I've had more time to mentally work out some plot outlines and issues on stories I plan to write.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Latest chapter penned for "Letters from Gardner"

Tossed off Chapter 9 of "Letters from Gardner" this afternoon.  This case involves the only story I sent him that was never published, a riff n the Columbia Space Shuttle tragedy called "Jerusalem, Jerusalem". I posted it here on this blog back in 2005, but otherwise it's never seen the light of day (and it's been subsequently removed.) It had multiple problems, and I simply didn't think it had enough potential to merit a rewrite. It;'s more of a historic artifact now.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Ready for release

Bryan Thomas Schmidt has sent along the table of contents for his upcoming anthology Raygun Chronicles, releasing December 2013. I'm proud to be on board with the reprint of my story "The Silver Dollar Saucer", originally published in Raygun Revival in 2009.

Here’s the book description:

A school teacher who moonlights as an assassin, a corporate agent kidnapped and faced with a man she never wanted to see again, galactic knights and pilots defending the spaceways, a black bear who wants to be a priest, and a time traveler who discovers he was born a prince - these and more tales await you inside RAYGUN CHRONICLES: Space Opera For a New Age, a collection of new tales in the Golden Age style. With larger than life heroes, rayguns, space ships, robots, pirates, romance and more, here come 25 new tales of great fiction from top names like Seanan McGuire, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, A.C. Crispin, Allen M. Steele, Mike Resnick, David Farland and more. Strap in, set your weapons, and get ready for a fun ride!

“RAYGUN CHRONICLES breathes supercharged life into the space opera genre with exciting and inventive new tales by a superb line-up of writers. This is why science fiction will live forever!” - Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Patient Zero.

“RAYGUN CHRONICLES is an impressive anthology with an impressive list of contributors, a real showcase of the color and scope of what science fiction can be.” - Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of the Saga of Seven Suns

“Good old fashioned fun awaits within!” – Glen Cook, Author of Black Company, Dread Empire, and Garrett, P.I.

“These stories bring the reader back to the days when we dreamt of blasters and flying cars. Golden age space opera fun with a strong Western feel.” -Alex Shvartsman, Editor, Unidentified Funny Objects

Check out the impressive table of contents:

Essay: Taking Back The Sky by Johne Cook
“Frontier Abcs: The Life And Times Of Charity Smith, Schoolteacher” by Seanan Mcguire
“Rick The Robber Baron” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“To The Shores Of Triple, Lee!” by A.M. Stickel
“The Silver Dollar Saucer” by Lou Antonelli
“Around The Bend” by Sarah A. Hoyt
“Sword Of Saladin” by Michael S. Roberts
“Malfunction” by Jennifer Campbell-Hicks
“Catastrophe Baker And The Ship Who Purred” by Mike Resnick
“Holly Defiant” by Brenda Cooper
“Shooting The Devil’s Eye” by Keanan Brand
“Last, Full Measure” by A. M. Roelke
“Spider On A Sidewalk” by Paula R. Stiles
“King Of The Galaxy Knights” by Robin Wayne Bailey
“The Slavers Of Ruhn” by Rob Mancebo
“Can Giraffes Change Their Spots?” by Jenny Schwartz
“Captain Quasar And The Insurmountable Barrier Of Space Junk” by Milo James Fowler
“Conversion” by Shaun Farrell
“Twilight World” by A.C. Crispin
“Catastrophe Baker In The Hall Of The Neptunian Kings” by Mike Resnick
“Ever Dark” by T.M.Hunter
“Nor To The Strong” by Michael Merriam
“Space Opera” by Peter J. Wacks
“The Heiress Of Air” by Allen M. Steele
“Saint Orick” by David Farland
“The Legend Of Rae Raygun” by Kaolin Fire

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Taking care of business

I finished the mailing for SASS yesterday evening and it's in the mailbox.  It includes a newsletter and membership roster. With the recent new members who have joined, it was time to update the roster, and this is the first time a membership roster with contact information has gone out to all members. The key thing we are looking for now are volunteers for open positions on the Board of Directors, which include President and the at-large members.

I also took the time to attend to submissions, and dropped stories into the slush pile at Asimov's, Analog, and Ideomancer - a nice trio,  I should say.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

SASS-tisfaction

I've been working for the past few days in my role as the secretary of the SASS writers' group, preparing an updated membership list and preparing for an election. SASS - which stands for Society for the Advancement of Speculative Storytelling - is a writers group that spans from fans and unpublished, aspiring writers, to genuine pros. When it coalesced last year, one requirement that was put in the draft bylaws was that it wouldn't move forward unless and until it had at least ten dues paying members. We reached that goal this summer, but since the bylaws call for a Board of Directors of nine members - four officers and five members at large - I didn't think ten members gave us enough of a pool to draw from, but we've kept getting memberships, and with a spurt of four last week we are up to 19, so its time to solicit volunteers and nominee for offices and move forward.

I've updated the membership list and I'm working up a newsletter, which will be mailed out to everyone. Although email, Twitter and Facebook are ways to communicate with people, they seem to be hit or miss - you can never tell if and whether someone saw a message. The finality and formality of paper communications still seems to attract people's attention. We have a few hundred dollars in the bank, thanks to membership dues, so paying for postage is not a problem.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Half a FenCon is better than...

..no FenCon. The convention this weekend in Dallas went very well, but I was barely there half the time. I drove to Dallas Friday night for my two panels but then drove back home because of two personal issues I had to deal with, one job-related and one related to my being president of the local Optimist Club.

The first panel Friday night, on disruptive technologies of the future, went real well. Theresa Nielsen-Hayden was the moderator and did a great job. The third panelist was a fellow I never met before, Martin Shoemaker. Theresa lives in Brooklyn and Martin in Michigan. I had been on a panel with Theresa at WorldCon. She was very friendly and informative and considerate of the audience members. Martin is a real nice guy, and we all enjoyed the panel very much. I think the audience members also got a lot out of it.

Next I attended the opening ceremonies. I'd say the highlight was John Ringo's entrance, piped in by a genuine Scottish bagpiper. I think Ringo followed him in doing a Highland fling, although it looked more like he stepped in a bed of Texas fire ants.

The second panel, on dialogue, was a dialogue between me and Vicki Malone Kennedy. It was strange, I can't recall being on a panel with only two people. But there was a good audience and between the two of us we still were able to muster enough advice and anecdotes to keep them engaged.

Saturday I returned for my book signing at 2:30 p.m. Despite only having a half hour, I sold a half dozen books. I also had a nice visit with some people. I lucked out that the only other author scheduled for that half hour didn't show up, so for that half hour I had the table to myself.

My last panel was at 8 p.m., on where the (bleep) are the aliens. Geoff Landis was the moderator and together with Bill Ledbetter provided the real science support for the topic. Chris Donahue was the fourth panelist. This was a hard topic to nail down, but what we lacked in certainty we made up in entertainment.

I had no panels scheduled for Sunday, so I took advantage of that to conserve my energy, and I drove back home, arriving at 10:30 p.m.

Despite my limited time there, I met everyone I wanted to, and had a real good time. I think I've attended ever FenCon ever held over the years, for at least one day, so I know just about everyone at this point.

I had some great conversations, with among some others Adrian Simmons and Sam Taylor, and was able to touch base with a few people such as Bill Ledbetter, Rie Sheridan Rose, Selena Rosen, Michael Finn, and others.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

At FenCon

I'm attending FenCon in Dallas - not staying over, I'm commuting. I had two panels Friday night, and then had to return to work at the paper from midnight to 2 a.m. Had to get up at 7:30 a.m. and go to a community service project being done by a club I belong to. I'm driving back to Dallas now. I'll be pretty tired tonight, and since I don't have any panels Sunday, I'm just going home afterwards and rest the rest of the weekend.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

"The Stinky Men" published

The British mag Fevered Dreams has just come out with its Issue No. 3, which features my story "The Stinky Men". This is the story I wrote on a Smith Corona Classic 12 portable typewriter in the Dealers Room at ArmadilloCon in 2011.

This story is a blatant homage to Howard Waldrop's "The Ugly Chickens" and in fact an alternate universe version of Howard appears as "Professor Waldrup" from the anthropology department of the University of Texas.

You can download a free PDF of this issue, all 99 pages, here.

This is my sixth story published this year, my 81st since 2003.

The time I stepped on Brian Aldiss

Word has come that the great British science fiction author Brian Aldiss has passed away at the age of 92. After such a long and distingui...