Hello Readers, and welcome to another new issue of Aphelion Webzine!
I'd like to announce that Bob Moriyama has decided to step down as our Short Story Editor. Well, not like so much as Bob has worked his butt off for us over the past several years. Rather, I want to
announce that Bob is stepping down. He will be missed, and I hope you
will join me in wishing him the very best, as well as wishing that he
continue to be associated with Aphelion for a long time to come. This
isn't so much of a goodbye as
it is a 'Thank you for a job well done! Now take a break, and never go
away completely! We want you to stick around and keep doing that voodoo
that you do so well! Now you have time to write more of your own
Change is inevitable in an online publication such as Aphelion. Our
staff has changed several times since I started this e-zine. It was
very much a one-man-band sort
of thing back then. And it showed. As the only staff member, I really
sucked at editing and constructive criticism of works by new writers. I
knew it at the time. I couldn't do it alone and manage any sort of
quality at all. Aphelion readers deserved more than I could give by
myself. But an amazing thing happened just as I thought I'd have to
shut Aphelion down forever. Friends stepped in to lighten the load.
People with more talent than I asked what they could do to help.
Knowing my limits, I accepted their offer, and Aphelion was saved. Some
of those folks are still Aphelion Staff, others have chosen to step
down after a stint doing a difficult job for no pay. Each and every one
of them has my eternal thanks for everything they have done to keep my
little hobby going. Aphelion is something special. A permanent floating
writer's workshop, designed solely to teach new writers the tips and
tricks they might need to eventually begin to sell their work to pro
publications. Over 200 Aphelion writers have graduated to the ranks of
the pros. Aphelion is read in over 200 countries around the globe, and
with each new issue the number of readers grows. If anyone googles Aphelion Webzine there
are multiple thousands of hits. I am proud of what we have become, and
of what we will be as time goes by. Thank you, each and every one of
you! You made this all possible!
As you can imagine, finding a successor for Bob was never going to
be an easy task. But I got lucky. There was someone already a member of
the Aphelion Family whom I thought had everything it took to step up as
Bob was stepping down. I messaged that person, asking if they had the
time to spare to do a difficult job, an unpaid job, one that required
skills unique to the position. And once again, I got lucky. They said
yes. So, long story short, Nate Kailhofer is our new Short Story
Editor, as of this issue. Bob and Nate are going to work together as
Nate gets the hang of all the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes into
producing a new issue of Aphelion.
Nate is hell-on-wheels as an editor. I know this from experience,
myself. Not only has he helped many of us hone our writing skills on
the Forums Flash Fiction contests every month, but when I was writing Fly By Wire
for Jeff Williams & Bob Moriyama, Nate was my harshest and most
valuable critic. Even more so than Jeff, who was my story editor during
that time. Nate wouldn't let me get away with anything but my best
work. He pointed out every flaw in my writing and reasoning. He debated
every questionable plot point, trope, and maguffin. He never let the
fact that I'm the Publisher get in the way of an honest critique. Nate,
like Bob and Jeff, was never afraid of my level of awesome old dude who owns the zine.
And I listened, I rewrote, and the story was better for it! Nate was
second only to Jeff & Bob as a tag-team as the critic & editors
whose suggestions I valued most. Nate is going to be good as Short
Story Editor. He, like Bob, isn't going to let you get away with being
lazy. He, like Bob, is going to ask you to learn how to be better than
you once were. He, like Bob, is going to work with you in order to make
your stories the best you can write. And you're going to learn so many
Now, Nate isn't Bob, and he isn't going to pretend to be. Both have
different personalities, different strengths, and different styles of
working. Nate is going to challenge you to go beyond what you thought
was your best work, just like Bob did. And Cary Semar before them both.
Every writer needs an editor who isn't afraid to point out whatever
flaws they see, and suggest changes you can make to insure that you
write the best story you possibly can. I write better with an editor
calling bullshit when I take
unnecessary shortcuts. You will too. Trust me, I know from experience.
But Nate becoming our Short story Editor does leave us with a vacancy.
Nate says he can't do two jobs, so we need someone to take over the
Flash Fiction contests on the Forums. We asked a couple of people, but
they turned it down. Nate has a candidate he thinks would be perfect,
so we'll see if they accept. But the Flash Fiction contests are going
to suffer until someone steps up to fill Nate's shoes there.
Now, personal stuff from me to you...
This issue is late because I was shocked by the unexpected deaths of
a good friend at work and one of my Mom's brothers. I had to work
through that grief over the past week. I'm good, now. But my friend
Fred Jordan and my uncle Bill Griffith have passed beyond the veil,
into that uncharted country beyond whose borders no travelers return.
Raise a glass in toast to their memories, please. To Fred! To Uncle
Bill! The universe is poorer for your passing, but yet infinitely
richer for your having lived among us. Salude!
In other news, I finally heard back last week from the publisher
upon whose desk my own contributions to the Mare Inebrium series have
been sitting for a while. He asked me to send him a rewritten and
re-edited version of all of my completed Mare stories. 14 Mare
stories to date, 4 of which no one has ever seen, totaling 103,347
words. This was finally finished today, Sunday, May 19th, 2013. The
stories will go before one of the publishing company's editors tomorrow
morning. There are 7 more new, unfinished stories that can be added to
the que as I complete them. 11 new Mare Inebrium stories that no one
but myself and my editors have ever read? Well, that's a tad exciting,
don't you think?
OK, far more than enough about me. Send Nate congratulations on
becoming our new Short Story Editor, send Bob messages asking him to
stick around and not vanish on us, and go read the new stories! This is
the 173rd issue of Aphelion Webzine. Hopefully, no one finds us boring
Go read! Now! Comment on the stories in the Forums. Help our writers
learn more and become better. That's what we're here for. That's why
Aphelion exists. Enjoy...