Hello and welcome to the first issue of Aphelion of 2019!
As you can see by the additional awards illos, Aphelion came out very
well in the online Reader's Poll this year. We placed 5th in Fiction
Magazines, tied for 2nd in Poetry Zines, I came in 2nd for E-zine
Editor, and Aphelion writer Denny E. Marshal landed 1st place in Artist, Artwork, Magazine
Cover Art , & Poem for work all over the internet, and tied for 9th
place in SF&F Short Story for his Flash Fiction piece in
Aphelion's December 2018 issue, "Levels," while Sergio Palumbo placed
4th in Steampunk Short Stories for "The Last Of The Mortals" written by
he and his late friend Ernesto Canpa. Now, those are only the awards
that people have actually told me about--there may well be others that
no one has mentioned to me. In any case, congratulations to everyone!
And many thanks to everyone who voted, too!
It is Aphelion's 22nd year online, with 250+ Aphelion writers having
turned pro during that time, so we must be doing something right, LOL!
Well, we're not going to go away any time soon so we hope to add to our
collection of "newly-fledged" pro writers as we continue along during
this new year, and for however many more years to come we are granted
upon this "mortal coil." And you, Dear Readers, can help evolve our
writers into that celebrated Pro status. How? Easy. Visit our Forums
section, comment on the writer's work. Tell them what you thought
worked and what didn't work in their stories. Not just once in a while,
but as often as you can. YOU are the driving force that moves our
writers to learn more about how to write successfully. You share that
power with all the Editorial Staff, to be sure, but you have been
granted the power to comment. And with power comes responsibility to
use said power both wisely and as often as you possibly can. You are
the audence our writers need. They need you so that they can learn more
and more about how their work can be improved enough for them to reach
their goal of being paid for their work. This is why Aphelion exists,
to help writers learn to become better writers. Your feedback is
important to each and every writer featured in the pages of Aphelion.
They NEED you. You can make a difference. Comments don't need to be
long and involved critiques, unless you want them o be such, but your
comments are one of the most important teaching tools Aphelion can
boast of providing. It can only take a few moments of your time--or you
could spend as long as you feel the need to comment and critique. But
the thing is, every comment you might make will serve to help a writer
become better, to take one step closer to the goal of selling their
work. You want to see the writers wind up with their names on the
spines and covers of books in your local bookstores, don't you? You
have that power. Please use it.
For informational purposes: I got an e-mail today from a pro artist.
He's looking for clients to do interior story illos for as well as
potentially doing cover art for books y'all might be working on
bringing out. I'll quote the e-mail below and link to his website in
case you're interested.
Firstly, thank you for your time in reading this email.
My name is Simon Walpole and I'm a freelance illustrator. I would
appreciate it if you could spare the time to look at my online
portfolio here: Hand
Superheroes with a view to
me having the opportunity to work with you.
Most of my commissioned work is based around ancient history, fantasy,
horror and science fiction. However I can adapt my skills to other
genres. My work is hand drawn with my chosen media being pencil, pen,
promarkers and ink. I use digital for finishing, tweaking and
My speciality is interior illustrations but I have also illustrated
Some of my most recent and ongoing clients include:
Heroic Fantasy Quarterly: http://www.heroicfantasyquarterly.com/
Luna Press Publishing: https://www.lunapresspublishing.com/
Aurealis Magazine: http://aurealis.com.au/
Fighting Fantazine: http://www.fightingfantazine.co.uk/
Rob Wingfield (Science Fiction and the Inca Project):
Ancient Warfare Magazine:
British Fantasy Society Journal: http://www.britishfantasysociety.org/
Independent authors including: C.R.May, Gordon Doherty, SJA Turney,
Griff Hosker and Paul Bennett
Thanks and I look forward to hear from you.
Sorry I didn't take the time to make all his reference links clickable,
but the guy has nearly as many pro credits as Sergio, LOL! But the gist
is that if any of you want to hire a pro artist to do interior illos
for your stories, or to do covers for any books you may have in the
works, he's good, and he's looking for work. Check him out and make up
your own minds.
Now, as to personal stuff: I was recently able to recover a scan of a
photo of my original Map of Bethdish--the big, poster-sized thing that
I spent months hand drawing and hand-coloring as I wrote my earliest
Mare Inebrium and History Of Bethdish stories back in the early
1990s--before the Internet was a thing. I'm involved in
computer-coloring the faded out photo of my map--that was destroyed in
a house fire back in 2007--so that I have a reproducable copy of my old
artwork. The same artwork that was essentually a mnemonic device to
help me remember all the details from my planned stories from back in
the day. The map is like a huge notebook of planned stories, history to
make said stories work within the framework of my created universe, and
between the map and my Timeline file, it's how I want stuff to go when
I make it go. And things are still going, all the time!
Other news: in November, I released a new album on my Bandcamp site.
over the two days following, I released three more. The first one is
based on the theme of airships as a trope vital to the steampunk genre.
after that are all live music fom my garage band days--back in the
1980s. So that gives me seven albums out now. All of them can be
listened to for free, or downloaded for a small fee. If you want to
give them a listen head on over to
my Bandcamp page. If you don't want to hear that
stuff, don't worry about it. No pressure, LOL!
All right, it's about time I shut up and let y'all get to reading the
new issue of Aphelion! Enjoy!
The Trifid Nebula
Photo Credit: ESO