Saturday, March 28, 2020

My run for the SFWA board - by Lou Antonelli

I’ve been a member of the SFWA off and on since 2006. I qualified as an associate member in 2005 after my story “A Rocket for the Republic” was published in Asimov’s Science Fiction. I had my third pro short story sale, “Great White Ship” in 2012 in Daily Science Fiction and qualified for full membership.

I say I’ve been a member off and on because there have been a couple of times I’ve let my membership lapse because money was tight.

I tried running for Vice President in 2013, but the hatred and animosity directed towards me was so great that I dropped my campaign after a week. I never said anything about quitting because I would have been mocked over that, too.

I thought to run for President last year, but I was told the rules now state that you cannot run as an officer unless you have been a director first, and you cannot run for a director unless you have been a member in good standing for at least two years. Because of a recent lapse in my dues, I was ineligible to run.

It seems as time goes by the rules for joining the clique running the SFWA racket get tighter and tighter.

This year I was eligible to run, but I didn’t bother. But when the ballot was sent to members, lo and behold, they didn’t even have enough candidates to fill all positions. There was only one name on the ballot for two two-year posts as a director at large.

I saw that, and reasoned, why not seek votes as a write-in? And so I did.

As would be expected, it took a very short time for the traditional lynch mob to attack, led by a no-talent political correctness enforcer named Tempest Bradford. For a week there, it was pretty wild.
Things seem to have calmed down. Voting remains open until April 14, but just about everything constructive as well as destructive has been said by now.

One thing that’s occurred to me as a result of this is to reactivate this blog for my many fans. The attacks on my humanly existence by the Khmer Rouge wing of science fiction has only generated sympathy and more friends for me.
The hate and vitriol directed towards me is very illuminating. My enemies must be tremendously privileged. Normal people, who have to work and scrape for a living, know that you often get into arguments and have to deal with disagreeable people.

Indeed, if you check into their background, you'll find many of the usual suspects either hold government jobs or work at universities. They are insulated from the real world.

Mike Glyer, who runs the web site File 770, used to be an auditor for the IRS (he's retired now).

These people act like being different and disagreeing with them is the worst crime imaginable. Also, because of their jobs they have all the time in the world to attack you on-line. It's not like they do anything for a living.

Chumps like me, who are self employed small business people, only have so much time to engage is this bullshit.

The pile-on instigated by Tempest Bradford, however, was so extreme that I thing it began to disgust some people. It's like the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution - even supporters are afraid they will eventually come after them.

The best way to understand it is to know they have combined the worst elements of both the Communist Party and the Nazi Party.

The old fashioned Communist Party under Joe Stalin in the Soviet Union had what was called the "Party Line". The government determined the narrative for all public events and subjects, and you had to repeat or follow it, or you would be arrested or persecuted.

There was even a term for this, "deviationism".

The SFWA is just an organization, a tool as it were, and it can be used for ill or good. It is not responsible as a group for the worst excesses of the politically correct gang.

They are small, tight-knit like-minded bunch who follow very closely the "Party Line" theory. They come up with a bullshit narrative and then enforce it. Stalin used to purge people or have them shot. The s-f crowd uses the blacklist.

The Nazis under Adolph Hitler followed the "Big Lie" theory of propaganda. Repeat the same story enough times and the people will believe it.

So what we have seen here, for the past ten or 15 years, is the usual suspects use the Big Lie and repeat the Party Line to oppress dissidents.

People have complained about some things I have done in the past, where the story is the Party Line repeated in the Big Lie echo chamber. At this point, the racket is wearing thin. Whether you succumb to these obviously ridiculous accusations is essentially an IQ test.

If you believe in these tall tales, you don't have much credibility yourself.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

"Something More Than Blood"

Tune into the Debut episode of Reverie Radio for a conversation with host Lori Hays and author Barb Lien-Cooper about her novel Something More Than Blood. Learn about her different take on Vampires, crafting a novel typically written by the male persuasion and developing relatable characters who go against the "typical" criteria.

Barbara Lien writes with Park Cooper at their creative studio Wicker Man Studios, and together they have written comic books and graphic novels, including Half Dead, a creator-owned vampire graphic novel that was published jointly by Marvel Comics and Dabel Brothers Productions.

The first volume of her digital comic Gun Street Girl, drawn by Ryan Howe, was recently published by Bedazzled Ink. While co-writing a manga project for Tokyopop shortly before that company's exit from the field, Barbara and Park switched also editing and adapting manga, such as V.B. Rose for Tokyopop, Nora for Viz Media, and many, many more.

Most recently, Barb and Park started writing prose novels and stories, including Something More Than Blood, published by independent publisher Black Curtain Press.

Listen here:

Saturday, September 6, 2014


Welcome to the newest member of SASS, Lawrence Buentello of San Antonio.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The SASS panel

Lou Antonelli, Scott Cupp, Bill Crider and Rie Sheridan Rose
Photo by John Husisian
The panel on SASS that was held at ArmadilloCon on Saturday, July 26, was the first event of its kind. I thought I’d take a few minutes to put down a report from what I recall. I didn’t take any notes at the time, I concentrated on participating in the panel.

The convention was held at the Austin Omni Southpark Hotel; this panel was held at 5 PM Saturday in the conference center. I would estimate they were about 15 members of the audience. The panelists were Scott Cupp, Bill Crider, Rie Sheridan Rose and myself. There were two members of SASS in the audience, Stony Compton and John Husisian.

We had free copies of “Rebel Moon” graciously donated by co-author Bruce Bethke to hand out to all participants.

Scott was the moderator and after allowing us introduce ourselves he explained what he found especially attractive with the organization was the support and member mentorship it offers.

Panelists didn’t really want to mention any other writers groups, but the pro group SFWA was hard to avoid. Scott specifically mentioned how sometime in the past he had looked into joining the SFWA and despite mentioning his publishing credits and honors, was basically told “we’ll get back to you.” He decided after that kind of interaction he really wasn’t interested in becoming a member.

Scott’s comments brought up the topic of snobbery which was a hard subject hard to avoid in the context.
I told how I ran for an SFWA office and was attacked because in my biography I referred to my dogs as my adopted “Canine American children” and I was accused of being disrespectful to the ethnic identity movement. That got a good laugh from the audience.

I explained my motivation for helping organize the group came from my interaction with professional writers. The SFWA  is an organization really geared towards people who make a living writing, and I simply didn’t feel it’s a good fit for a semi pro like me who has a full-time job and writes on the side.

Although a qualified for full membership in the SFWA couple years ago, I really don’t get much encouragement from it. I said that rather than complaining, I went to do something about it and I helped get together a group that bridges the gap from fans and aspiring writers to pros.

I still belong to the SFWA and so do a number of SASS members; most fighters belong to different groups and get different things from them.

During the introductions, Bill Crider wondered out loud why he be put on the panel — he was the only non-SASS member. But when he understood how the group was formed, he said he “got it”.  He is involved in a group that has a similar outlook for Western genre authors, the “Western Fictioneers”, that also only started a few years ago.

Rie Sheridan Rose explained how enthused she was when she learned about the group because it does not discriminate against self-published authors.

We explained we are interested in all forms of storytelling, and that includes gaming. One member of the audience pointed out that “Rebel Moon” is based on a game. Another audience member noted that we allow horror writers as members.

The panel included a nice-wide ranging discussion on a number of practical subjects, not just specific to SASS.

Audience members asked about workshops and critiquing, and one thing I said was SASS would not be part of the crab bucket affect, which so often afflicts writers groups, where everyone pulls down each other and nobody has any success climbing out of the crab bucket.

We did talk about the recently – floated idea compiling an anthology, and that met with a lot of approval. Crider said the Western Fictioneers have done that and it has proven to be so successful they don’t  even have to charge dues any more because they are making so much money from the anthologies.

Unfortunately, because of the way I had to rush to get to the convention – I worked until 2 a.m. that morning and drove to Austin starting at 7 a.m. – I didn’t have a chance to run any SASS literature off to hand out.

- By Lou Antonelli
Secretary, SASS

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

SASS panel at ArmadilloCon

SASS panel at ArmadilloCon

The SASS panel at Austin's Armadillcon has been moved to Saturday, July 26 (it was originally set for Friday).. Here is the program listing:

Sat 5:00 PM-6:00 PM Conference Center
Cupp*, Antonelli, Crider, Sheridan Rose

The panel description is as follows:

"The Society for the Advancement of Speculative Fiction (SASS) is a non-profit group out of Denton dedicated to encouraging and mentoring aspiring and new authors of speculative fiction."

This will be the first panel ever held about SASS at a convention.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


SASS welcomes its newest member, John Husisian of Spring, Texas!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

SASS panel at ArmadilloCon 36

ArmadillonCon 36, being held in Austin July 25-27, will feature the first-ever convention panel about SASS. It will be held Friday night from 8-9 p.m.

The panel description is as follows:

"The Society for the Advancement of Speculative Fiction (SASS) is a non-profit group out of Denton dedicated to encouraging and mentoring aspiring and new authors of speculative fiction."

Scott Cupp will be the moderator. Panelists will be Lou Antonelli, Bill Crider and Rie Sheridan Rose. All except Crider are SASS members.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Praise for SASS member's collection

The Reference Library column by Don Sakers in the upcoming July-August double issue of Analog focuses on short fiction, specifically collections and anthologies, and he has high praise for "The Clock Struck None" by Lou Antonellli (Secretary of SASS):

"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. For example, take the time travelers in “Meet Me at the Grassy Knoll.”

 "As for alternate history, well, one of the included stories, “Great White Ship,” was a finalist for the 2013 Sidewise Award, which is given for outstanding works in the field of alternate history. In “Pirates of the Ozarks” the New Madrid earthquake of 1812 turned the Great Plains into a new sea. “The Starship Theodora” posits a universe in which a Christianized Roman Empire conquered the stars."

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Pittman-Hassett published in On Spec

SASS Treasurer Shedrick-Pittman Hassett has been published in the Spring 2014 issue of the Canadian speculative fiction magazine, On Spec. It is his first professional publication. "Gauntlet" took third place in the FenCon short story contest in 2010. It is the story of a freelance courier in a post-apocalyptic landscape making a very dangerous delivery.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Torgersen gets two Hugo nominations

Congratulations to SASS Vice-President Brad Torgersen, nominated by the World Science Fiction Convention in two categories for the Hugo awards:

Best Novelette: “The Exchange Officers" (Analog, Jan-Feb 2013)

Best Novella: “The Chaplain’s Legacy”, (Analog, Jul-Aug 2013)

The winners will be announced at the World Science Fiction Convention, LonCon 3 in London August 17, 2014.