Aphelion Issue 232, Volume 22
September 2018
 
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Well, well, well... This is a special month for us. As was pointed out to me by someone on the Niven List, July marks Earth orbital aphelion. We're as far out as we're going to get this year. Which is a good thing, when you stop to think about it. 'Cause if we were at perihelion and it was still Summertime around here, I've got a pretty good idea that concrete would start melting. Atlanta would be one big puddle of hissing and bubbling liquid goo, boiling away in the Summer sunlight. If everyone East of the Mississippi went out and bought half a dozen garden hoses, we could hook 'em all together and help drain off some of the flood water that's afflicting the Northeast. Just pipe it down here into these parched mud puddles that used to be lakes. And if it worked, the Georgia General Assembly wouldn't have to go ahead with their plans to redraw the state lines so that they can start stealing water from Tennessee.

Have you heard about that? It seems that convincing people to conserve water didn't work out the way that the state government wanted. We conserved water all right. But the state and local water utilities lost money on the deal. So they raised the rates. And with the drought conditions, our congress critters found their lake shore homes and boat docks were further and further away from the water every day. Their solution, dig up some old paperwork from the 1800s or so that showed the state lines as being much further North than they presently exist. So much further North that some sizable watershed lakes in Tennessee would then be in Georgia, which would allow the state government to start stealing it.

Naturally, the people who live in Tennessee are just a little bit upset at those plans. Is this legal? Probably not, but these are the people who make up laws to suit themselves. Then they've got the nerve to tell everyone that it is in the "public interest" to insure that their lake shore homes and their golf courses have enough water to keep from drying up and blowing away. And if the legislators pick the right advertising firms to spread their brainwashing, they'll be able to get away with it.

But if we don't get a break from the drought soon, the brain washing will have to be done by Dry Cleaners.

It really doesn't matter if you believe that the Sun is heating up or that pollution is ramping up the greenhouse effect. Personally, I believe that it's both, but you should form your own opinions. It'd be really nice to cut down on the pollution. Clean skys are better to live under, in my opinion. But I don't hate humans enough to believe that they are the sole cause of all the evils in the world. Nature doesn't need any help from mankind when it comes to wreaking havoc with the weather. Earth went through all sorts of changes all by itself - long before humans were introduced into the equations. We're just tiny little creatures, but we have huge egos. We're not all that powerful, but we can sure screw things up all out of proportion to our size. If we work together, we can change the world. Again. But maybe for the better this time, 'eh?

Meanwhile, the cockroaches and fire ants are going ahead with their plans to exterminate the puny humans that have oh so recently begun to become a nuisance to the insectoid masters of Earth...

See? A writer can turn anything into a potential story idea. All it takes is that little twist into a new direction, and the simplest of comments can become the basis for the plot of a story. I bet you thought I was just going off on some political rant. But once again I've tried to surprise you with some real content about writing. My message is this; look at the world around you, think up new directions for things to go, then write your story. You can turn anything into a story, anything at all. There's inspiration everywhere you look.

And now for something completely different; Chattanooga, Tennessee's LibertyCon is coming up the weekend of the 11th through the 13th of July. Lyn and I will be there. I've been asked to be on a discussion panel on the subject of Internet and Small Press Publishing. It ought to be loads of fun. The whole convention is usually loads of fun. The very next weekend, we'll be going back to Tennessee for a family reunion on the 19th. That ought to be fun, too. Be on the lookout for a huge family gathering at Cove Lake State Park in Caryville, Tennessee. You'll know it's us. We'll be loud, happy, and totally crazy. Bill Wolfe ought to be able to hear us party from his home. We'll only be about an hour's drive away from him. I'm hoping to get a chance to talk with my cousin Steven about what he's working on for NASA, as well as catching up with other family members that I haven't seen in a long time.

Well, it's high time I shut up and let you get to reading. Enjoy!

Dan