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Aphelion Editorial 025

June 1999

The Senior Editor's usual drivel about whatever...

by Dan L. Hollifield


Hello again and welcome back for another thrillinginstallment of...

Hmmm, wait a minute- This column was supposed to be about current issues or topics of interest, but I think I need to make a few explanations here. Some folks have been getting peturbed every month when the newest Aphelion isn't the first thing to go online on the first day of each month. Well, there is a reason why we don't commit to a first day of the month publishing schedule and use a first week of the month uploading.

That reason is called "life"- specifically, life offline. The REAL WORLD- which still exists, take my word for it, offers constant obstacles to online publishing in the amateur realm that Aphelion inhabits. I suppose that if this were a profit-making Zine then I'd feel obligated to get a new issue out on the first day of each month. But there is no money to be made from Aphelion. (Plenty to be spent to keep the website, but none to be made without making the readers pay to see the stories.) I pay about $50 per month to keep the website alive- out of my own pocket -and have to sometimes(!) take time offline to earn that cash. My other bills have to be paid as well, naturally, so I do have to keep my day-job. I'm not griping about Aphelion being a free Zine- in fact I rather prefer it that way, we can have a better variety of stories than we could if we had to expect readers to pay for access to the website. If we had to charge the readers, we'd also have to provide only the best, pro-quality stories- and none of the ones that would enable new writers to be able to grow and improve enough to become pro-quality. I'd much rather that we make a place for writers to learn and grow than for me to be able to quit my day-job and edit full-time for Aphelion.

In short, because all of the Aphelion staff have lives offline that swipe lots of our spare time, I feel that the looseness of a week-long deadline enables us to make a better Zine for you to read. Despite the objections to our not being a "professional"-seeming publication for not having a specific publication date each month, Aphelion is a much better, more enjoyable, more vital Zine than a rigid, unyelding, deadline-oriented magazine could be.

Kinda reminds you of the old arguments about Fandom itself that were so much fun in the '60s and '70s; "Fandom is a way of life..." versus "Fandom is just a hobby...", doesn't it? That argument reflected the dichotomy among fans that were, frankly, obsessed by the convention scene (and other aspects of fan activity) as compared to those fans that led their own personal lives while just enjoying the work of favorite writers. Multi-interest fans vs single-interest fans. Would you believe that people often got downright vehement about how dedicated to fandom each other were. Sheesh! (My light-grey cat is better than your dark-grey cat, as it were.) My reply to that would have to be that Aphelion is more than a hobby, but not the be-all and end-all of our lives.

Aphelion is fun to do, rewarding to do- and for me, necessary to do... but its not my whole life. Neither should it be yours, gentle reader. Your lives should be bigger than a Zine, Newsgroup, or Chatroom - otherwise you're selling yourselves short. When that happens, its MY loss - as well as your own, and as well as the rest of the world's loss. Each of you is more than just the sum of your online spare time, more than just web-geeks with no lives. You're people, real people that matter - each with your own offline lives that matter. The Aphelion staff and I are no different.

Aphelion is a real-world publication, with real-world problems, and real-world delays. The best compromise that I've been able to come up with is to allow for the real-world to rear it's ugly head and screw things up for a while. So we don't tie our new issue uploads to a specific day, but rather aim for a wider range of time to publish in. Its better for the writers, the staff, and in the end- its better for the readers too.

Dan L. Hollifield, Senior Editor/Publisher

P.S.

In case anyone is curious as to exactly what's been keeping me so busy, I'm planning a few webpages that show the progress of my landscaping, interior decoration, and housework. Look for it by the end of the summer in my personal pages. Its a sort of photographic timeline of my yardwork and such. I don't know why anyone would want to see it, but Rob thought that someone might.

THE END


1999 Dan L. Hollifield

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