Aphelion Editorial 046
The Senior Editor's usual drivel about whatever...
by Dan L. Hollifield
Hello and welcome!
Roger Bennett got back in touch with me over this past month
and was highly complementary about Aphelion and what we've become. I
asked him for a quote for this issue and this was his reply:
"It is sometimes quite interesting and indeed rewarding to see
where one's efforts wind up. When I launched my old webzine, THE
DRAGON'S LAIR, way back in 1996, this fellow by the name of Holifield
sent in a submission. I recognized a good writer; and over the next few
issues I realized that he would make a great Editor.
After a severe disappointment involving losing a story to a
hardcopy magazine, I decided to close the LAIR. Dan begged me not to;
and in the end he offered to keep it going. I agreed, and sent him all
the files needed to run a 'zine. A name change took place, and APHELION
Now, several years later, APHELION has matured into one of the
oldest and perhaps the best 'zines on the Web. With a lot of innovative
changes (including the Mare Inebrium Shared Universe Project) APHELION
offeres the reader a true Science Fiction and Fantasy experience; one
not to be missed.
To Dan and all his staff, a loud and resounding WELL DONE!!
Roger also said that although his job takes up more and more of his time, he's still writing. As a matter of fact, he came
up with a great title as he typed one of his messages to me. I wish I'd thought of it, actually.
For those of you who have been reading my editorials for a while, by
now you've figured out that I do a lot of reading on
the internet in a wide range of fields. It has a way of paying off- not
only with story ideas, but because I get a kick out of learning
something. Frankly, it doesn't matter whether its the cutting edge of
science or the history of JFK assassination conspiracy theories... I
just like reading up on things.
Well, science has finally caught up with one of my personal favorite
genres of Sci-fi and Fantasy- the alternate universe story. According
to the Astrophysicists, "our universe contains an
infinite number of other, similar universes, called O-regions." Cosmiverse- Space News has all the details, but I'll try to condense it
It seems that Larry Niven was right and that every choice you make
every minute of every day spawns alternate universes.
There's a universe born for each possibility. Every time you've stubbed
your toe in the dark, another you somewhere else decided to turn the
light on and thus missed out on stubbing their toe. On the other hand,
if you've ever had a narrow escape from death-- some other you
somewhere else wasn't so lucky. Other writers who've explored the field
of alternate universes have covered other aspects of this new
development in Astrophysics. Each universe has a slightly different
history than our own and there ought to be a copy of each of us them
all... Except for the inevitable universe where we didn't happen to be
born in the first place- there'd be one of those for each of us also.
L. Niel Smith, H. Beam Piper, Andre Norton, Keith Laumer, Robert
Heinlein-- and many, many more have explored the idea of
sideways-in-time stories. Now it looks as if they were each and every
one describing a possible version of our reality.
If anything is possible, then everything becomes required.
If these scientists are truly drawing a more accurate picture of the
universe we live in, then M.C. Esher doesn't look so
strange any longer. And, they add, new alternate universes keep being
created as the visible universe expands... Perhaps we writers are
scripting out these emerging universes using nothing more powerful than
our imagination and creativity. Whatever we create exists, somewhere.
One thing to keep in mind, you are the only copy of you whose life
you can live, so the choices you make in your life aren't trivial. So
what if a billion other yous are doing everything
that you could have chosen to have done? You're still unique, you have
no access to any of the yous on other timelines... Except that the
article also mentions that these researchers think that it may one day
be possible to communicate between these alternate universes. Travel
always seems to follow communication... Where could it all end?
Only time will tell. After all, who is to say that the Astrophysicists
have got it exactly right this time? Not me. I'm still waiting for
Heisenberg to make up his mind.
Thanks for your time.
© 2001 Dan L. Hollifield
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