We've reached the end of another year. It's been a crazy roller coaster of a year with many ups, downs, and a few loops we've all been thrown. We've seen new lives enter the world and old friends make their exits. Joy and sadness, birth and death, happiness and despair, changes in all manner of things have come and gone. It doesn't seem like all that long ago we entered into 2011. But now the year is nearly gone. It is time to celebrate everything that has gone before. It is time to look ahead to whatever may come.
Aphelion is winding up our 14th year. We've leaped into our teens with added maturity as well as a youthful zest for the stories and poetry we all enjoy so much. So it is time for us to bring out our double-sized Holiday issue to say farewell to 2011. The Aphelion staff and I are already working on the February Best Of 2011, Aphelion Birthday Issue. But we've put together this huge Holiday issue to hold you readers over until then.
There are some special surprises inside. Extra Features, extra stories, extra poems. Just our way of thanking you for allowing us into your lives. So let us all join together to bid our fond farewells to the past year. No matter who you are or where you are from, you are all members of the Aphelion family. Readers, writers, artists, editors all together in a world-wide celebration of the fiction we love so much. Welcome to the party, everyone! Come on in and make yourselves at home. Pick up a story and begin reading. I'm sure you will find something special here. A present, just for you, gift wrapped in bright festive colors, and tied up with a pretty bow. So gather round, pass your gifts from one to another, and share in the joy.
It's time to open your presents...
*** Speaking of presents, Dan has graciously provided a preview of Book IV of his Steampunk novel, "The Pursuit of Happiness": "Against All Odds". Please note that you will need to return to Aphelion the hard way (using the "Back" button on your browser, or that "Favorites" entry we KNOW you have -- sacrifices had to be made in order to preserve the format Dan envisioned.***
The Pursuit of Happiness Book IV: Against All Odds - an excerpt
By Dan L. Hollifield
In a world not unlike our own, the Industrial Age began with the ancient Greeks. The history of this world has progressed differently from our familiar past. In the present day, great fleets of airships range the skies, armies are equipped with steam-powered vehicles, and Earth has repulsed a series of invasions from another world. Armed with alien devices scavenged from the wreckage of the invader's war machines, the inventors of this alternate Earth have made great strides in some areas of science. In other areas, this steam-powered civilization still has much to learn. This is a world of adventurers, pirates, explorers, inventors, heroes and villains. This is their story...