I'm really tired of Winter now. Thank goodness that Spring is only a few weeks away. Although this hasn't been the worst year for Winter weather that I can remember, it is high among the top five. Perhaps what makes this Winter feel so bad is the amount of time I've spent fighting off a cold or flu. I seem to get well for a week, then get sick again. Over and over and over... Not fun at all. Oh well, things could be worse. Today looks beautiful outdoors. Last night's little breath of snow has all melted away. The sky is a beautiful cloudless blue. I can hear birds singing. Not a bad day at all, really.
There are many things that give me reason to celebrate every new dawn I'm privileged to witness. Lots of those have to do with Aphelion, of course. Lots more are little victories in my private life. The best of these are indeed private, but the public one of which I am most fond I told you about last month. The sale of my second short story, I mean. I have learned that in mid-April of this year, 2011, "The Immersion Book Of Steampunk" will be released by Immersion Press featuring my short story titled "Test Run." It is an adventure story, in the tradition of Jules Verne's classic fiction, yet full of anachronistic elements that bring it into the steampunk genre. It even has a dash of romance, as well as tragedy, humor, and my usual love for inventing things. I hope it turns out to be as much fun to read as it was to write. We shall see, in two month's time!
Meanwhile, in two week's time, Lyn and I will be communing with our fellow steampunks from the Southeastern US at the third AhachroCon convention in Atlanta. February 25 through 27th, at the Holiday Inn Select Perimeter hotel. Writers Jana Oliver, Nick Valentino, Emilie Bush, Kimberly Richardson, and G. D. Falksen are among the guests. The Extraordinary Contraptions and The Vauxhall Garden Variety Players are among the musical guests. J.D. Sutton as Thomas Jefferson, Bill Pacer as Ben Franklin, and Scott Hodges as General James Edward Oglethorpe are among the historical character guests. Steampunk Boba Fett (John Strangeway) will be there. Lyn has been asked to play hostess for an authentic British Tea Party for the convention guests and the convention's Eternal Membership purchasers, and I will be on at least two panels myself. More details and the full guest list are available on the AnachroCon website. Check out the website, come to the Convention if you can. Memberships can still be had, though I hear that the hotel has been booked solid for Saturday night. Day passes are still available and are still inexpensive. We'd love to see you there!
This is the Birthday issue of Aphelion. 14 years have passed since the first issue went live online. There have been many changes over the years. We've all seen many websites come and go- Brief, firefly flickers gleaming brightly against the darkness. Things change, people change, time marches on as we grow and mature together. As is our usual habit whenever Aphelion's birthday rolls around, the Editorial Staff have sorted through all the stories and poetry submitted over the past year. They have picked out a representative sample of the year's best submissions to re-post in this issue. Then too, there are also a full compliment of brand new works for the readers to enjoy. Please do venture into our Forums to offer the writers comments and critiques on their work. Reader comments in the past have helped each writer become better at our craft. What readers have to say about each story serves to ensure that the next submission is better than those that came before. Your comments are important. Help your favorite Aphelion writers turn pro!
And now, it's time for me to cease babbling and let you get to reading. Enjoy!