Friday, January 31, 2020

Luna Anthology: Squeeze on the Moon, by Lou Antonelli

We got the Dragon Award finalist Lou Antonelli to talk about writing his short story Squeeze on the Moon

There’s history, and there’s alternate history, and then there’s secret history- when the tale told is fantastical but doesn’t conflict with the public record. Here’s a little tale of an exploration you’ll never hear about in the media. You wonder about these little government projects sometimes, don’t you?

It's Lou doing alternate history. How can you say no?

An expert in disaster recovery gets the opportunity of a lifetime – plus a little walk down memory lane. Sometimes you find nostalgia in the strangest of locales.

Over the years I’ve had songs become the prod, if not the basis, of a number of short stories. Song titles can be useful hooks to get the author off high center and putting words on paper – or pixels. Stories I have written that take off from song titles include “Hearts Made of Stone”, “Rome, If You Want To”, “Stuck in the Middle with You”, “Video Killed the Radio Star”, among others,

A song can be an excellent way of setting a story’s locale in time. Also, sometimes you can work it into the plot. For example, in my short story “The Return of Alfred Bester”, a crucial clue is given when one character mentions Fontella Bass as a way of giving someone a signal. The clue being Fontella Bass was a one-hit wonder from the 1960s, but that one hit was the song “Rescue Me”.

The music of my youth was the British New Wave, or Second Wave, whatever you want to call it – of the late 1970s and 1980s. When I heard the call for the Luna anthology, I recalled the song “Wrong Side of the Moon” by Squeeze from the album Argybargy. That was in 1980.

That got the gears turning, and so led to the story “Squeeze on the Moon” for the Luna anthology. It’s probably an unusual creative process, but it’s mine and I’m sticking to it.

One thing spec fic allows the author, and reader, to do is venture forth and explore without leaving his or her armchair. “Squeeze on the Moon” is that of story. This harkens back to the old days when a sense of wonder and “I wonder what’s out there?” drove so many stories. Literary science fiction has retreated and contracted into home-bound political correctness. Even when a story is set in the future or outer space, it’s just another left-wing fantasy.

I cut my teeth as a reader in the days before mainstream science fiction was politicized liberal bullshit, and so I like to think my stories still go back to those days when the future was bright and it was all still out there to be explored.

The millennial’s attitude towards spec fic seems to be “The world (or the future) sucks and so do we.” It’s projection from a generation of losers raised by the generation of traitors who collaborated with the Soviet Union so the U.S. would lose the Vietnam War.

Hopefully, we’ll see things slowly turn around. In the meanwhile, I think of Psalm 118:22: “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”


A life-long science fiction reader, Lou Antonelli turned his hand to writing fiction in middle age; his first story was published in 2003 when he was 46. Since then he has had 86 short stories published in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, in venues such as Asimov's Science Fiction, Jim Baen's Universe, Dark Recesses, Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine, Greatest Uncommon Denominator (GUD), and Daily Science Fiction, among others.

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