Aphelion Issue 230, Volume 22
July 2018
 
Editorial    
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Poetry
Features
Series
Archives
Submission Guidelines
Contact Us
Forum
Flash Writing Challenge
Forum
Dan's Promo Page
   

P&E Top Ten P&E Top Ten
March is off to a big start here.

I have been asked to become the Literary Track Director for Atlanta's alternate histoy convention, AnachroCon. AnachroCon started off as a steampunk convention, but has evolved into embracing all sorts of alternate history genres. My duties will involve putting together discussion panels with various writers and so forth as panelists, setting the schedule of those panels, making sure that the con's tech staff know about any special needs a panel may have, keeping track of how well attended the panels are, and general problem solving for the Literary Guests. I will not have any special powers to decide who gets what perks, however. That's up to the senior con staff. AnachroCon's website is up and running with various apps where one can apply for guest status here: AnachroCon. If you visit the site, you'll see that there are apps to apply as a panelist as well as a guest. Lyn and I have attended the first seven years of the con. February 15th-17th of 2019 will be the 10th anniversary. The con staff are looking for a hotel at the moment, so that information isn't available yet.

As some of my Facebook friends already know my wife recently spent a week visiting her youngest daughter's family out in New Mexico. She rode a bus there and back again because of my reduced income from my changing jobs at the factory two years ago. The trip out wasn't bad, but the trip back was a nightmare. The bus company made a scheduling error for one stop on the return trip. Hundreds of people were caught in a loop of riding to one city, then back to the previous one, then re-routed, then stranded, then re-routed again. The 48-hour trip home turned into 96 hours in my wife's case. Other people merely suffered a 26 hour layover in Oklahoma City. Basically, the problem was that the bus company's computers made a mistake. Any passenger arrriving in OKC expecting a ten minute layover on the night in question found themselves with a 24 hour layover instead--while the bus they were supposed to transfer to in Memphis TN would have left without them 16 hours or so into their unexpected layover in OKC. Now, the people caught in this glitch had already paid for their entire trip. Some few were forced to deal with company staff who were somewhat less than polite in the various locations where they were stranded. Then another interesting detail was revealed: all of the bus company's staff at their various terminals are actually contractors, not bus company employees. Furthmore, the bus company's customer service staff, both online and on the phone, are also contractors--located in the Philippines. I foresee a class-action lawsuit in the bus company's future. Notice that I have not named the bus company. I don't want to give them free advertising. I will say that their company logo is a large racing dog. In any case, my wife finally made it home. Neither of us is very happy with the "dodgy doggy" bus company.

In Aphelion news: Iain has finished updating our online archives of all the content we've put online over the past twenty years. It is up to date, online, and ready for your reading pleasure! In fact, we've alread gotten a couple of requests to remove a few stories that authors have sold or are planning to sell to paying publishers. We take stories down for the writers because we don't want to stand in the way of them being able to sell their works to paying publishers. Aphelion is here to help writers turn pro, after all. You own your work. You're encouraged to shop it around to the paying markets at any time. And when something sells, we are overjoyed for you. Now that Iain has done all this work, searching the Archives for a particular story by a particular writer is quick and easy.

Hopefully, last month's slowdowns for page loading times has not been repeated. Getting the extra server space seems to have done the trick. The staff and I have's been getting the "running out of server space" messages any more. Now lets see how long it takes us to fill up the extra room with more content, LOL!  Oh! We did dodge a bullet last month. Someone contacted me to run some sort of trial version of adverts on Aphelion to show me how I could start making money off of the website. It took an exchange of several messages for me to explain that we didn't WANT ads in Aphelion, and we weren't interested in plastering our pages with clickbait only they could control. As long as I have a say in the matter, Aphelion isn't ever going to be about making money in any other way than helping writers learn everything they can in order to sell their work.

In closing,  I thank you all for coming to Aphelion month after month, year after year, and being the best bunch of readers and writers any website could hope to have. I'd like to thank the Staff, past, present, and future, for all the work you do to make Aphelion the success it is. Y'all have kept me going when I wanted to give up, stood beside me when times were bad, encouraged me when I was down, and been the best people I've ever known. Thank you! Thank all y'all!

All right, it's about time I shut up and let y'all get to reading the second issue of Aphelion of 2018! Enjoy!

Dan


BOILERPLATE:

This is a little something I made early last year. It's a little advert for Aphelion. I wrote the music and added a slide show of past cover art. It's short, and showcases a lot of the changes we've made over the past two decades. Feel free to share it around.


Feel free to share this on Facebook, G+, blog posts, and other webpages. But only with the permission of the page or group owners! Be polite and considerate, always. You'll have to look up the embed code for the ad on You Tube, sorry about that, but the code won't display correctly here. But the Share Code for Facebook and G+ is:

https://youtu.be/23qfziyt9Jo

Mare Inebrium Collection

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 very useful. 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 days back in the 1990s.

My first collection of Mare Inebrium spaceport bar short stories was published in February of 2015 by Dark Oak Press. It is available in both Kindle an Nook e-book formats, paperback, and hardback. I also have three albums of instrumental music out through the Create Space self-publishing website. If you like, you can click on the photo or the link below to find all the info you would need to purchase my book in your preferred format, or an e-book of Flash of Aphelion, buy a CD of my music, or listen to tracks off of the albums on my Bandcamp website. Enjoy!

Dan's Promo Page

I'm happy to announce that unless the world ends, I should be able to retire from the factory in 5 more years. I ran the numbers through a spreadsheet that I wrote up to calculate exactly when I could afford to walk out of that factory for the final time. Barring unforeseen disasters--or last-minute adjustments, my final day of gainful employment should be February 7th of 2023. After that, I'll be a pensioner, on a fixed income, and my hated alarm clock will only ever be needed for special occasions forever afterwards. I'm literally counting down the days. 1287 workdays left! Yes, I actually have a calculator written to do the countdown for me, LOL! It's true that the first year of my retirement will require some careful budgeting, but during the second year all of my retirement funding will kick in and things will become much easier.

Dan



ON THE COVER

Title: Stellar Spire in the Eagle Nebula

Photo Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team ( STScI) / AURA)