Lou Antonelli’s BOLO Story

Lou Antonelli poses with sign outside Hugo, Oklahoma.

Lou Antonelli poses with sign outside Hugo, Oklahoma.

This BOLO story is not about sentient tanks.

Those who listened to last week’s Superversive SF Hugo livestream already know, but the rest of the world has just learned that online discussion featured Lou Antonelli’s claim to have written a letter to the Police Department of Spokane, Washington, telling them to be on the lookout for someone who may incite violence — Sasquan guest of honor David Gerrold.

Lou J. Berger asked Antonelli if he really wrote the Spokane PD. Antonelli answered –

I said I thought Gerrold’s on-line comments were so intemperate they were an incitement to violence, which is what I believe. I wanted them to know in case there were any disruptions at the convention….

I just suggested they (the PD) be aware of the controversy and possibility of people getting, uhh, maybe too enthused.

I verified Berger’s report with Antonelli myself who agreed, “That’s the way I recalled it. If I said anything stronger than that, I don’t recall and I must have been drinking some beer at the time.”

Now Jim C. Hines has published a transcript of Lou’s quote:

I’m referring to your quote at 1:00:28 in the video linked below:

“I really didn’t know much about [Gerrold] before the Hugo nominations came out. Following his discourse and his level of discourse as a result, I personally wrote a letter addressed to the police chief in Spokane and said I thought the man was insane and a public danger and needs to be watched when the convention’s going on, and I mean it. I attached my business card. I said this guy’s inciting to violence. Somebody—a weak-minded might attack somebody because of his relentless strength of abuse. I think, honestly, I think he belongs in a secure psychiatric facility.”

Update: Lou Antonelli subsequently responded to Jim C. Hines’ Facebook post with an apology for his actions.

Thanks for your polite request for an explanation. I’ve thought about what to say, which is painful to admit.

It’s become public that on July 1st I wrote a letter to the chief of the Spokane Police Department expressing some concerns over potential security issues at the upcoming Sasquan.

I’m sorry for what I did. Without looking at the big picture I reacted in a manner that I thought I was being treated. It was stupid and wrong. My subsequent participation on a podcast was also a mistake because the environment further fueled my fear and I lashed out again.

I’m sorry I bothered the Spokane PD. They probably are ready to throw the butterfly net over ME when I enter the city. And I’m sorry and apologize to David Gerrold. He probably understands why I did what I did better than I do.

I need to ponder the hurt I have caused. To give me time to think, after Sasquan I am taking a half-year hiatus from attending any conventions and/or submitting any fiction.

I think I’ve become my own crazy uncle…