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Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Issue 130, Volume 13 -- March 2009

Editorial

Whew! How about that Global Warming?

Dunno about you, but I need a t-shirt that proudly proclaims that "I survived the blizzard of 2009 and all I got to show for it is $10k in property damage..."

If I ever meet Al Gore, I'll be hard put not to slap him. But enough about that... If several EPTs can be trusted, I'm going to become a Grandfather again-- about Thanksgiving or so. Michelle is going to have a baby sometime in late November or early December, according to the tests that she's taken here at home. She and Marc are planning for her to move from here at Casa Vila to somewhere near Marc's parents' home in Virginia so that they can set up house as husband and wife. It is still early days yet, and Michelle hasn't gotten confirmation from a doctor that she really is pregnant, but Momma Lyn and I are working on getting her an appointment with said neo-natal care physician before the April issue of Aphelion is due to hit your computer monitors. Keep your fingers crossed! It may be a false alarm, but we hope that it isn't!

In Aphelion news: Jaimie Elliott has written his first Mare Inebrium story for your reading enjoyment in this issue. His choice of setting and characters leads me to wish that Aphelion's own viking warrior, Wishbone, might be prompted to write a follow-up story. We shall see. Our own McCamy Taylor has another in her series of manga reviews for you in this issue, as well. Guest columnist Seannan is expecting her very first pro sale to be published this year. Live Journal friends Cherri Priest and Eugie Foster have new books out that should appeal to all our readers. Lyn and I have won a charity auction to be cast as characters in P. N. Elrod's next new Quincy Morris novel. And my own steampunk novel is roughly half-way written. Research into the American Civil War era and the War of 1812 era is proceeding slowly, with spurts of writing being done as and when inspiration strikes during my reading.

Aphelion writer Mary Brunini McArdle is in the process of submitting one of her stories that has appeared first here in Aphelion to FUTURES for their 2010 anthology. Let's all wish her luck! It's a fine story, and any publisher that turns it down would be working against his/her best interests.

In other news: Roger Zelazny has a new novel out! It's called "The Dead Man's Brother" and was recently found in his files- Having been written some 35 years ago and never before submitted to a publisher. It isn't SF/F, being more of a spy thriller adventure novel, but it is a wonderful read- Look for it, buy it, read it, love it! You can thank me later.

OK, I'm in a rush to make sure that I'm not holding this issue up from being flipped online. My computer has been down a lot during the last three weeks because of the power outages connected with the recent snowstorm down here in the Southeastern US. Brownouts and blackouts and voltage spikes and BLAH! have conspired to induce some expensive damage to my computer systems here at Casa Vila. Computer parts are having to be bought or ordered, and installed to counteract the damages... But yet I remain. Aggravated, but undaunted, I and the Aphelion Staff are working night and day to make sure that you readers have the best stories and poetry to ever grace a monitor screen. Forgive us when an issue is late, for off-line life sometimes conspires against us. Not to mention weather, and hardware breakdowns, and medical stuff, and... and... and....

It's just life, you know? LOL!

Time for me to shut up and let you get to reading. Go! Enjoy the stories and poetry and articles. You've earned some good times.

Dan

Serials & Long Fiction

Saturn and Sphinx
By JD McDonnell
Why were we put upon this earth? Why does Saturn have rings? Why did they take the cat? Find out the answers to these important questions in this science fiction story about the first manned space expedition to Saturn..

The Francher
By Rob Hunter
No matter how bad the future gets, American industry will be there to supply us with what we think we want. Too bad want and need are not always the same thing.

Short Stories

The Wellness Center
By Lee Gimenez
When humans colonized Azulation, they found the natives to be very useful, as slave labor -- and more. But when some of the Blues forget their place, Detective Erik Larson must investigate.

OZ
By Michele Dutcher
Voluntary cryogenic suspension was the only hope Cooper had of "earning" his way out of permanent poverty. And it was safe -- usually -- up to a point...

The Simulation Addict
By Vincent L. Scarsella
"Mary" knew that spending time with simulations of lost loves -- or with unattainable objects of lust -- was addictive. That's why she gave prospective clients a free demonstration.

Symbol of the Order
By L. D. Dailey
Something peculiar was happening in Jerusalem, and spymaster Sylvanus Moschus needed to find out what -- and who -- was behind it all. As a holy place for Jews, Muslims, and Christians, the city bred intrigue and danger like fleas.

Baby Doll
By Kim Rush
Ian Dough had a limited budget and limited time to find a Christmas gift that would really please his wife. With Baby May in tow, he hit the mall -- and found a deal that seemed to good to be true.

Just an Illusion
By Edward Rodosek
Jim thought he knew whom he could trust. On the one hand, there was the Covon interrogator, who would use trickery and illusion to pry vital information out of him. On the other, there was his twin brother, commander of the human expedition to Xanadis.

The Office Worker
By Anthony R. Pezzula
Like many office workers, Harlan endured an unending stream of tedium interrupted only by petty annoyances and flat-out humiliation. But Harlan was different. Harlan was going to do something about it.

An Acquired Taste
By S. D. Hilderbrand
He went to the remote Italian village in search of his roots. What he found made him regret ever having made the trip ... and very, very thirsty.

Coincidence?
By Kevin McFarlane
The President fit the pattern of coincidences that linked assassinated Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy to an astounding degree. But he couldn't let an infoweb message that had been circulating for decades affect his plans.

Lethargy's Rainbow
By Pedro Cerda and Daniel Stiles
Christopher Richmond had always wanted to be a Hero, and at last, he had his chance.

The Protector
By Amber Douglas
Meredith and Jacqueline planned a leisurely vacation at a lakeside motel, their reward for surviving the endless hell of high school. Okay, the place had an odd reputation, but that was probably meant to lure in curious tourists.

And last, but definitely not least --

The Door of Renown
A Mare Inebrium Tale
By Jaimie L. Elliott
The games people play is as nothing when compared to what deities can get up to the the Mare Inebrium's Pantheon Room... Gods and heroes and writers- Oh my! Jaimie Elliott's first ever Mare Inebrium story!

***February-March 2009 Forum Challenge***

Is still open! Be one of the few, the proud, the contributors to the "Aphelion Project" Mars Mission shared world "Spaceman's Birthday" challenge! Click here for instructions and a sample story. You will also find links to the original series proposal and a drawing of the ships.

Poetry and Filk Music

Around The Campfire
by E. J. Tett

Autotrophic Man
by William Landis

Black Fantasy
by James Dye

Commander
by Mary E. Cody

Cyberpunk
by J. Davidson Hero

Diamonds And Toads
by Jennifer Lawrence

Dogstar
by Jonathan Pinnock

Drifting Flakes
by Richard H. Fay

Midgets
by Stephen Jarrell Williams

Mother Edith At 98
by Michael Lee Johnson

Strength In Letters
by Richard Tornello

The Condemned
by A. K. Sykora

Features

Thoughts on Writing #7: Write What You...Hell, No
By Seanan McGuire
In an ongoing series, Seanan McGuire takes apart the engine of writing to find out how it works, and offers her insights into how to put it back together again.

The World is Mine: A manga review
By McCamy Taylor
Our Serials and Novellas Editor reviews a Japanese manga (graphic novel) by Arai Sedeki, The World is Mine. This one isn't yet available in an official English-language edition, but maybe if we all wish really hard...

Ego Tutela Custodiae Custodie: Zack Snyder's "Watchmen"
Review By Terence Chua
Terence takes in Zack Snyder's film adapation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's classic comics mini-series.


Aphelion Webzine is © 1997-2008 by Dan L. Hollifield