Hello and welcome to the February Birthday issue of Aphelion Webzine!
Congratulations to the Aphelion Staff and all the writers! Aphelion
tied for 2nd Place in this year's Preditors & Editors Reader's
Poll! That's the highest we've ever placed in all the years that we've
been nominated. And a big Thank You to everyone who voted!
Aphelion began on January 27th, 1997 when the first issue went live
after some frantic scrambling to fill the void left by the closing of Dragon's
after a successful two-year run. I was one of a fanatic handful of
regular contributing writers who had our first online publication
credits due to the Lair. Roger's decision to shut down the zine
was something of a shock to all of us. As a reward for getting the word
out about the zine in various online forums and chat rooms, I had been
appointed Assistant Editor after only a few issues. When Roger
announced he was giving it all up, I offered to step up and do the
necessary editing if he would only keep providing the web space and
keep the site alive. Sadly, he was adamant about retiring. Rob Wynne
suggested that I start my own zine, Roger sent me all the files of
unfinished serials and short stories in the Lair's backlog, and
Rob walked me through the beginning of my education into the coding of
HTML. Needless to say, something about Aphelion struck a chord with
amateur writers around the world. By the end of our first year, we were
getting submissions from the US, England, Australia, several other
countries, and even from one guy on a US submarine out in the middle of
the Pacific Ocean. Our readers cam from many, many countries around the
My first two Mare Inebrium stories originally appeared in Dragon's
as did the first few chapters of my original attempt at a World of
Bethdish novel. I eventually set the novel aside to write short stories
because I wanted to become a better writer faster than the longer
format allowed. It was slow going for me, learning the tricks and
habits of good writing. No one would offer critiques of my work because
I was the publisher. Actually, for the first couple of years I was
everything. Aphelion was pretty much a one-man-band, with me wearing
all the hats. It didn't take long before I reached the point of
becoming overwhelmed by the number of submissions. I couldn't keep up
any more, the quality slipped drastically downward, and I was on the
verge of giving up, but then, a miracle happened.
Friends offered to become the Editorial Staff! Aphelion was saved!
The quality took a great, huge leap upward. Aphelion became far better
than it was when I was doing it all alone. The Staff grew, changed,
evolved, and the zine kept getting better and better. Our contributing
writers began graduating to the pro markets. We're always happy to see
that happen. Yet we are always sad to lose regular writers to the
status of pros, but then, that has always been the reason Aphelion
exists. For amateur writers to learn, to grow, to eventually begin to
get paid for their work. Those success stories are our greatest
Now I am about to receive my own personal reward for my years of
slowly plodding along, learning to be a good writer. This month,
February of 2015, will see the publication of my own collection of Mare
Inebrium short stories. I will officially join the ranks of the pro
writers whose work I've loved since I first learned to read.
The release date has not been announced yet. My Publisher, Dark Oak Press,
is still working on the exact date the book will go live. It will be
available in hardback, trade paperback, and e-book formats. The ISBNs
have been awarded. The prices have been set. The cover art has been
completed. Pro artist and Mad Scientist Darrell Osborn was kind enough
to do the cover art for me. Everything is almost ready to go. Rest
assured that I will spam everyone on the planet when I learn the exact
release date! Here is a link to the test promo page over on Dark Oak
Press: Tales From The
I'm not sure if that link will change to a slightly different URL once
the book goes live, but for now anyone interested can go take a quick
peek at what it is going to look like.
Regular readers of the Mare series will no doubt wonder what will
be new about the stories in this collection. Well, there are 16 stories
and a filksong lyric in the book. 10 of the stories have never been
seen by anyone besides myself and the publisher's staff. 10 brand new
stories you've never seen! Also, the original half-dozen stories have
been rewritten with the help and advice of a professional editor. The
usual characters, literary references, in-jokes, Tuckerisms, and
shout-outs to the other wonderful series writers that Mare Inebrium
readers have come to know are all there.
As a special treat for you in this issue, there is a brand new Mare
Inebrium story for you to enjoy. It's called "Against All Odds" and was
written after I turned in the finished manuscript for the book. Think
of it as a bonus feature that only you will get to see. At least until
I get to write a Volume Two collection!
I may have started the series, but I owe a great debt to the
Aphelion staff as well as every single writer who has joined in the
shared universe. I also owe a great debt to all the people who have
read the online stories in the entire series. I couldn't have gotten
this far with all of you. Furthermore, I'd like to thank Stephanie
Osborn for becoming my writing mentor, Darrell Osborn for the awesome
cover art, Allan Gilbreath for taking a chance on publishing the book,
and Lori Titus for her editing magic.
Thanks for believing in me. This is a great moment in my life.
Now, lets not forget the real reason that you readers and writers
are here on the Aphelion website. There is an amazing selection of
stories and poetry on tap for you this month. The staff have outdone
themselves to kick off our newest year. Time for me to shut up and let
you get to the zine!
First off, if you do the Facebook thing, feel free to join us on the
Aphelion page there. The link is Aphelion Webzine.
As an aside, the Editorial Mafia and I have found Facebook to be useful
while we transition between e-mailing lists. Given our different
locations and schedules, it's come in handy as a way to discuss
production details of new issues. Sometimes there are several of us
using Facebook at the same time, so it's almost like the old chat room
Music Page This is my promo page here at Aphelion. All the links
below, and more information about the albums, are located here.
Bank On A Learning Curve CD on the Create Space
website. My first
album, with a wide range of styles and genres, covering the past three
years of my working with the MAGIX Music Maker programs.
Helping CD on the Create Space website. My second album,
as wide a range of different musical styles, showing just how much I've
learned in the past three years.
Page on the Bandcamp website. Digital downloads of the albums,
or each individual song if you prefer it that way. Just click on the
album cover thumbnails and you'll see a list of each song on the album.
Next to the song titles are links to read the liner notes, or to
download the individual song. You can listen to each song for free.
There is also a link to download each entire album at one go. I cannot
say enough about Bandcamp! This is an amazing website. I have Rob, and
many other friends, to thank for finally talking me into checking it
Here are some links to pages I have up promoting my music. When my
book comes out I'll add those links to the promotion page, too. So far,
there are links on that page to the Create Space Preview songs, the
Create Space page for each album, the Amazon.com listings, and the link
to the digital downloads page.
And here's a link to my Sound Cloud page:
Dan's Sound Cloud
Page where all my music has been stored for your free listening
pleasure. These are not as high a quality recordings as the ones on the
CDs or on Bandcamp. But SoundCloud does have the virtue of having
everything collected together in one place.
Check those links out, buy a CD or download if you like what you
hear. And once again, thank you for your time,
Dan all my music has been stored for your free listening pleasure.
These are not as high a quality recordings as the ones on the CDs or on
Bandcamp. But SoundCloud does have the virtue of having everything
collected together in one place.
Check those links out, buy a CD or download if you like what
you hear. And once again, thank you for your time,
ON THE COVER
Title: Interacting Galaxies
ARP 273 or "A Rose Made of Galaxies Highlights Hubble's
Photo Credit: NASA,
ESA, and The
Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI/).