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Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Issue 111, Volume 11 -- June 2007

Editorial

It's that time again: Time for another new issue of Aphelion. This issue is dedicated to an online friend whose untimely passing has affected myriad SF and Filk fans world-wide. So before we begin, let us all raise a glass in toast to the memory of Frank Gasperik, SMOF, Bard, Hero, and SF Fan Extraordinaire. To Frank! Rest in peace, old friend. You are at last reunited with your loving wife, Peggy. You made our lives richer, and helped feed the imaginations of a multitude. We'll miss you, you stubborn old goat!

Here is a link to a web page over on the Larry Niven fan site that is dedicated to Frank and Peggy. There is another page with video and audio links here to some of Frank's work. Also, here is a page of memories posted by some of his closest friends. Bill Warren is working on a memorial sculpture that will reside in the LASFS clubhouse. In part, the inscription will read:


FRANK GASPERIK, 1942 - 2007
PRESENT BUT NOT VOTING
DEATH WILL NOT RELEASE YOU!

In other news: I have to offer thanks to Kevin Che of Penguin Books, and SF writer L. Neil Smith for giving me the kick-start I needed to resume doing the Aphelion Reviews section. Kevin and Neil provided me with some books that I couldn't resist reviewing. So look out, world. Vila is back! Those of you who have sent books that have failed to appear in the reviews section will be pleased to find out that I will get to them in the near future. They may be late, but they will appear!

The yearly Aphelion party was a grand success, though fewer people were able to attend. Much fun was had by all, much food was consumed, many tales told, and old friendships renewed. Next year, the location may change. Keep your eyes peeled here for updates o the plans for ApheliCon 4! And start making plans for a trek back to Casa Vila this year. In November, I will be throwing myself a small Birthday Bash. After all, I'll only turn 50 once, so I better make the most of it!

In roughly eight weeks time, Lindsey and I will be in Chattanooga, Tennessee to attend LibertyCon 20. Anyone planning to attend should drop us an e-mail so that we can meet up. I'd love to meet more Aphelion readers and writers in person. That's the last weekend of July, so you haven't got much time to make plans.

Bill Warren, the pro artist who contributed last issue's cover art, has asked Lyn and I to consider going to a small Con in Montana next year. The plans are a bit vague at present, but if everything works out I'd be a minor guest speaker in a panel on e-publishing. We'll have to see if transport can be afforded, but I'm hopeful that something can be worked out. I think it would be fun to do. Bill has also suggested a new Shared Universe Series here in Aphelion. The series would be based on the Aphelion 1 & 2 spacecraft of the Mars Lander & Solar System Explorer missions portrayed in Bill's cover art. Bill would like to see some hard science stories spun off from his artwork for last month. The rules would be few, the possibilities many, and the series would be open to everyone. So start thinking about how you can be inspired to try your hand in a new series. I'll work up a very simple series bible and let you know when it goes online.

ip>I'm pleased to announce that Larissa March was the winner of the first Flash Fiction writing contest over in the Aphelion LetterCol Forums. This is a new Forum feature that is organized by Nate Kailhofer. Plans are to find a way to feature the winning stories over here in the main part of Aphelion. These plans have yet to be finalized, but we're all discussing how to best present it. If you aren't yet a member of the forum, please do join up. If you are, please post more often. Remember, the forum is where the writers look to for constructive criticism on their work each issue. Without your comments, they never know what they got right or wrong. They need your comments. Remember, your comment might be just what it takes to give one of our writers that final shove to making their first professional sale. You can make a difference. So please join in and post comments on the stories in each issue.

Well, I ought to shut up now. I think I've blathered on quite long enough.

Dan


Serials and Novellas

On The Corner of Galaxy and Fifth
Part Three of Five
By Rob Wynne and Jeffrey Williams
Trauma and his companions team up with an unlikely ally and devise a plan to try and rescue the damaged timestream.
(Read Part One and Part Two here.)

Short Stories

Alien Mosquito
By Joseph Vadalma
At first, they thought that some new and terrible disease had killed all but one of the space pirates who had hijacked a prospector's vessel. But what kind of disease literally burned a man alive -- from the inside out?

The Zeitsev
By Michael Hart
The Zeitsev, a warship named for a general who had been expected to do great things in Afghanistan -- but who had failed, like so many before and since -- was a relic of the old Soviet Union. But it still had an important role to play...

Ochre
By Jonathan Lowe
Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Carter had disappeared. His wealthy, powerful family wanted answers. Now Border Patrol Agent Fletcher and a private detective hired by the Carters had to find those answers without any messy police involvement -- preferably answers that made sense.

The Pathetic Motley Clown
By M. B. Barlow
It was a mistake for Armero to send Sarra Slylaw to Varsam, no matter how much they wanted the weapon she hoped to obtain in trade. After all, an android was a machine, and in Varsam, machines were prohibited. But both sides had failed to recognize that a far more valuable weapon was right there in front of them.

The Moost Beautiful Leddy in the Warld
By Adam Ferrarri
Arrg the dwarf -- or maybe troll -- brought Adam into his world to rescue -- and woo -- the beautiful daughter of the Duke. There were a couple of problems with that plan, starting with Adam's complete lack of experience in the damsel-rescuing business.

Edward's Visitor
By John Pegg
The stranger said that he was an angel. That he was something strange was pretty obvious, so the bizarre list of tasks he gave Edward as a means to earn a reward wasn't quite as outrageous as it could have been.

Out of Body
By Matthew A. Reed
Ka'Rul crystals were rare and precious for their healing properties, even without their connection to the Goddess Sorilla. What Ta'Mon was about to do was probably suicide in more ways than one...

The Survivor

*** Material removed by Author Request ***

Rubican's Crystal
By Gust Dimoulias
Before the beginning of recording history, there was magic in the world. It faded and was lost, except for half-remembered tales twisted and distorted by time. Now it's back -- along with an evil that should have died along with it.

Announcement: First Forum Challenge Winner Selected

Congratulations to Kitanzi, winner of the first-ever Aphelion Forum Writing Challenge. Check out Kitanzi's story, "Dual Dreaming", and four other entries, in the Fun and Games folder of the Aphelion Forum!

And check the Forum in the months to come for more Challenges, open to anyone with a keyboard and an Aphelion Forum username. (Registration is free and easy -- all you need is a valid e-mail address to help us to keep spambots from muddying the waters.)

Poetry and Filk Music

A Biblical Conundrum
by Richard Tornello

Don't Run!
by Kenneth Brown

Wolf's Bane
by James Matthew Byers

Scifaiku
by Richard H Fay

Oh, Heavenly Body!
by Bryon D. Howell

Wounded Bear
by Thomas D Reynolds

Magnus Retail
by Mary Crowell

Features

Thurdsay Next - First Among Sequels
by Jasper Fforde

Review by Dan L. Hollifield
Fifth in the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde.

The Probabality Broach: The Graphic Novel
by L. Neil Smith and Scott Bieser

Review by Dan L. Hollifield
L. Neil Smith's Prometheus Award-winning book returns to print as a Graphic Novel.

The Listening Room: Courting My Muse
By Rob Wynne
Rob slips into the sultry, sexy world of Mary Crowell's jazz-infused torch filk.

With Great Boyfriends Come Great Responsibilities
By Becky Kletnieks
Becky Kletnieks has some words of advice for anyone considering a romantic entanglement with a costumed superhero.


Aphelion Webzine is © 1997-2007 by Dan L. Hollifield