THE CLOCK STRUCK NONE by Lou Antonelli. Fantastic Books (www.FantasticBooks.biz), 2014, 272 pp., $14.99. ISBN 978-1-61720-944-4. Click here to purchase.
This collection by Lou Antonelli is marketed as a “collection of alternate and secret history short stories.”
I think these read well:
“The Great White Ship.” A tall tale of a huge and devastating East Texas thunderstorm and the arrival, at a small airport, of a huge white Airship (a dirigible) from an alternate time in America when the Hindenburg never blew up and World War II didn’t end with an atomic bomb.
“Meet Me at the Grassy Knoll.” A junket through time for a multimillionaire sends him to Dallas, Texas, in 1963 – and to examine the mystery of the two men in the grassy knoll. Why do some insist that separate shots were fired? What about the Lone Gunman Theory? And a lesson about how preventing a tragedy can sometimes CAUSE it.
“After Image.” It has been many long years since a major nuclear war transformed a great deal of the planet. One man is recruited to finally stage a scenario to break Texas free of the union – but at what cost in human lives in agony and sorrow?
“Double Exposure.” One of the 1970s-era Kodak photo developing booths appears to a man, Jake DeRidder, desperate to exit his failed life. But the photos he will pick up show him an alternate life that he could have had.
“The Relic.” What was simply a wheel to mount a garden hose is under scrutiny by archeologists thousands of years later, who speculate about its possible religious significance. They really don’t know what to make of a wheel mounted on a wall.
“Damascus Interrupted.” In this alternate history, Christianity is a small, struggling religion in modern times, overtaken by pagan rituals, adapted for the politically stranger world which has evolved from the Roman empire.
“Twilight on the Finger Lakes.” As a young boy, Rod Serling meets up with “Old Henry,” the (very) short story writer William Sydney Porter, who offers sage advice to the admiring young man. This is a book in which Rod lives to convey his own sage wisdom to Paulina, who speaks with the multiple-award-winning scriptwriter and then transfers her knowledge and respect for him down through the ages.
“Tell Gilgamesh I’m Sorry.” Omar Peshtigo is an old man. Really old. He knew, personally, Gilgamesh of Uruk, and in the epochs since, is living as a recluse in East Texas after the Crash. One boy risks it all to visit the legend, but has to come to grips with his own fate – which transforms (in the end) Omar’s history, perhaps for another hundred years. I wish Antonelli would write a novel with Omar alone – it would be fascinating, as this is one of the many rare memorable story characters ever brought to life.
“Black Hats and Blackberrys.” Time and the present can be altered forever by even one text message sent via smartphone – to the past, that is.
You can only postpone, for a time, inevitable history in “Mak Siccar.”
“The Amerikaan Way.” In this alternate timeline, U.S. and South Africa switch places – and circumstances – over Apartheid.
“Wet and Wild.” Speedboat races in the Florida Keys have a new twist in this tale.