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:

Sa1700CC SASS
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

Welcome!

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.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Pillars of Salem

SASS member Harold Carper has published a short story on Wattpad. Feedback would be appreciated:


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Burstein named president of SASS

Distinguished science fiction author Michael A. Burstein has taken office as the first permanent president of the Society for the Advancement of Speculative Storytelling, Inc. (SASS), as of Jan. 1, 2014.

SASS was incorporated as a non-profit group in the State of Texas on July 30, 2012. It is dedicated to encouraging and mentoring aspiring and new writers of speculative fiction. In so doing, its activities shall include, but not be limited to, keeping its members informed of issues within the field, providing avenues of constructive critique and collegial discussion for its members, and encouraging interest and appreciation for all aspects of speculative fiction in multiple media.

SASS expressly disavows any socio-political goals while asserting the right of its members to discuss and explore any and subjects in speculative fiction writing. Members are expected to be respectful of each other at all times.

Burstein leads a nine-member Board of Directors, including Vice-President Brad Torgersen, Secretary Lou Antonelli, Treasurer Shedrick Pittman-Hassett, and members at large Bruce Bethke, Dario Ciriello, Park Cooper, Liz Burton and Rie Sheridan Rose.

The group's web page is:
http://www.sasswritersgroup.blogspot.com/

Its Facebook page is:
https://www.facebook.com/SocietyForTheAdvancementOfSpeculativeStorytelling

#

Information on the members of the SASS Board of Directors follows:

President - Michael A. Burstein, Brookline, Massachusetts
Michael A. Burstein is a multiple Hugo and Nebula nominee, a former Secretary of the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA), and a former Vice-President of the New England Science Fiction Association(NESFA) . His  first published story, "TeleAbsence," appeared in the July 1995 issue of Analog, and was nominated for the Hugo Award.  Burstein won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer at the 1997 World Science Fiction Convention.

Vice President - Brad Torgersen, Sunset, Utah
Brad R. Torgersen was a winner in the 2009 Writers of the Future contest, and has been published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact and InterGalactic Medicine Show. His 2010 novelette "Outbound" won the Analog reader's poll, and his 2011 novelette "Ray of Light" was nominated for both the Nebula Award and the Hugo Award. He was nominee for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2012.

Secretary - Lou Antonelli, Mount Pleasant, Texas
Louis S. Antonelli's first short story, "A Rocket for the Republic", was the last story bought by Gardner Dozois before he retired after 19 years as editor of Asimov's Science Fiction. He has published 81short stories since 2003 in magazines in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and India. His time storm story, "Great White Ship", published by Daily Science Fiction in 2012, was a finalist for the Sidewise Award in alternate history.

Treasurer - Shedrick Pittman-Hassett, Denton, Texas
Shedrick Pittman-Hassett is a professional librarian and has had several pieces published in professional journals. An aspiring speculative fiction writer, he has received honorable mentions in a number of writing competitions, including Writers of the Future. He is also an avid gamer and has had two pieces published in the award-winning Knights of the Dinner Table magazine.

Board members-at-large:

Bruce Bethke - Oakdale, Minnesota:  Publisher of Stupefying Stories

Liz Burton - Austin, Texas:  Executive Editor of Zumaya Publications

Dario Ciriello – San Francisco, California:  Editor and Publisher, Panverse Publishing

Park Cooper - Austin, Texas:  Writer of prose and graphic novels, co-owner of Wicker Man Studios

Rie Sheridan Rose -- Austin, Texas:  Small press author and lyricist

Saturday, December 7, 2013

It's book bomb time for "Raygun Chronicles"!

It's book bomb time for the brilliant new Space Opera anthology "Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera For a New Age". It's release day was Tuesday, Dec. 3, so this is the first weekend you can log onto Amazon and buy your copy here:



If you haven't read about it already, here is the cover blurb:

"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!"


My contribution is a reprint of a story that was originally published in Raygun Revival in 2009. Writing on the Amazing Stories blog, reviewer Keith West said:


"Lou Antonelli is a northerner who lives in Texas these days and mines the history and folklore of his adopted state for his fiction, fiction that’s unique and unlike anything being written by anyone else. In “The Silver Dollar Saucer” he takes a couple of two bit desperadoes on a flying saucer ride."


Other reviewers report:


"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".


"Wonder, adventure, romance, humor-space opera delivers all of these, and this anthology brings together some of the finest talent in the business. Strange new worlds await. So lower your shields, engage your thrusters, and prepare to jump to warp speed!" -- Dave Wolverton, New York Times bestselling author of "Star Wars: The Courtship of Prince Leia".


"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".