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Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Issue 138, Volume 13 -- November 2009

Editorial

It's time for another editorial, but I'm worn out from my day/night job. Not to say that I can't consolidate my feces long enough to type out yet another fun-filled episode of "why my world revolves around Aphelion and the online family the Zine has become..." But you should know up front that I'm sorely in need of about a week's worth of sleep, so I might come across as a demented fan-boy running at half-speed solely off of my commitment to this family and my desire to be there for each of you. Pig-headed? I know. Stubborn in the face of incalculable odds? I know. Totally unable to bow down before the relentless press of a mortgage, bills, job stress, and a thousand other slings and arrows that the real world TM© chooses to throw my way? That's right. You want to know why? Family. Biological, extended, and online- but family, nonetheless. You, dear reader. You, fellow writers. You, Mom, Dad, brothers and sisters and cousins and Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents and step-children and grandchildren and my lovely wife... I can be beat, but I cannot be beaten. I can be depressed for a minute amount of time, but I cannot be defeated. I choose to survive and prosper, no matter what the odds. Life can raise me up to the grandest heights and then smash me down into the lowest depths - But that means less than nothing. Why? Because *you* are there, and I'm well aware that each and every one of you has my back. I'm never alone. I'm never without all those things that give my life meaning. Bad times may come, but "bad times" will always be told what to kiss, and when. And right now, "bad times" are put on notice that there is a fresh sprig of mistletoe pinned to the back of my pants.

I've got a newborn grandson as of November 7th of 2009. The eldest beautiful daughter that I was gifted with by my marriage to the Earth-bound Goddess Lindsey Burt has just given birth to her first child. A boy, named James Edward Fultz. Born at seven pounds and eight and a half ounces. Growing every minute that passes. He's beautiful, he's healthy, and he's going to grow up to be- Whatever he chooses. That's for the future to reveal. Right now he's a baby, and it's my job to see that his future has even fewer limits than the one my parents gifted me with. Kids are the joy and bane of their families, but only if they aren't given all the love, care, positive role models, and eventual freedom to learn from their own mistakes that they require as they grow up. And grow up they do, altogether too rapidly for their families to grasp.

Jamie, always remember that grandpa Dan loves you. Come January of 2010, Marc, Michelle, Jamie, Anthony, and Judith will all be visiting for a week or so. I'll be wanting to spemd as much time as I can with all my children then. The only thing that would make that week better is if Shawn dropped by with Jackson in tow. I can dream, can't I? It's fun being a Dad, even more being a Grandfather. I should know, for I'm the son of Superman and Wonder Woman. Thank you, Wayne and Sallie. You taught me lessons I never thought I would need, but wound up needing after all. Family is a wonderful thing.

Which brings me to my online family. That's you, dear readers and writers. I got some great news last month after the October Issue went online. I made and announcement on the Forums, but now it is time to let the rest of you in on the sweetness. Aphelion, among other E-Zines, has been contacted by a Literary agency who has implimented an open call for book submissions! Here, for the edification of everyone at Aphelion, is the text of a page that will soon be available as a link in one of our Zine sections- Just as soon as the staff and I figure out where it needs to be posted, LOL! The quoted text will be the rest of this editorial. Once you read it through, stop, think about it, and then go read this issue's stories whil you plan your next step. And now, here is all the rest of the news that's fit to be tied... Um, fit to print:


I recently received an interesting e-mail from an intern at a prominent Literary Agency. Of course, I looked them up on Preditors & Editors, Writer Beware, and several other reference websites to see if they were indeed real. Then I used an e-mail address from one of the reference sites to ask if the offer was real. Everything checked out. This is genuine. This is an open call for novel submissions from a respected, established Literary Agency. Read the rest of this page, then start getting your manuscripts ready for submission! Good luck, everyone!

This is the full text of the original e-mail:

Hello,
I work with a literary agent who is actively seeking new clients, especially in the science fiction and fantasy genres.We think that there is a lot of undiscovered talent on the internet and fan fiction circles. Your publication looks very well run and features some high quality writing. What we would like to do is publish a letter in your next few issues outlining who we are, what we do, who we represent, and what we can do for a new author. I've attached the intended letter for you to look at. There is a great opportunity for everyone involved, so I hope this is an amicable proposal. Let me know what you think, I hope to hear from you soon. Sincerely, Daniel Rogna intern@ethanellenberg.com (212) 431-4554

This is the reply I got from my query to the agency itself:


Dan,

I appreciate you following up regarding our open call for submissions. As you
may know, The Ethan Ellenberg Agency is a small agency specializing in
commercial fiction whose clients include John Scalzi, Mary Janice Davidson,
Sharon Shinn, Karen Miller, Mel Odom, and Gail Martin.

Our intern, Daniel Rogna, was indeed asked to contact several online
publications specializing in sci-fi and fantasy and present them with a letter
asking for submissions.

We are currently seeking new talent in the sci-fi and fantasy genres, and rather
than labor through several unrelated queries in our general mail box
(agent@ethanellenberg.com)we decided we'd make a more devoted effort to attract
up-and-coming talent by setting aside a separate inbox for science fiction and
fantasy queries and by imploring publications such as yours to post our open
call for submissions. That inbox, as listed in the letter, will be fantasy@ethanellenberg.com

If you have any further questions or concerns, then please let me know. Otherwise, I
look forward to seeing submissions from Aphelion contributors.

Thanks,

Evan Gregory
Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency 548 Broadway, No. 5E New York, NY 10012 (212) 431-4554

And here is the message attached to the original e-mail:


The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency

I'm writing to introduce you to myself and my agency and let
you know we are actively seeking clients in the Science Fiction and
Fantasy genre.

We opened in 1984 and have always had an interest in both
genres. We are a full service agency, representing writers at
every stage of their career from unpublished through
maturity.  We are a very active, successful seller of
translation rights with agents in all foreign markets and a track
record of approximately 50 new sales per year. There is no
sub right we do not represent - movie, audio, e-book,
translation, United Kingdom rights.

We're privileged to represent a number of top
talents. In Science Fiction we represent Hugo winner John
Scalzi, probably the top talent to emerge in the last ten
years. We also represent Ian Douglas whose military science
fiction series for Avon have been selling well and in print for more
than a decade. We recently contracted for 5 more books in
these series. A recent client who is building nicely is Ed
Willet, whose most recent book TERRA INSEGURO was published by Daw.

We are even more known for our representation of fantasy
writers. Karen Miller is an international bestseller with
publishers in Australia, the United Kingdom and the USA. We
have represented Sharon Shinn from her very first book and today,
twenty one books later, we still represent her. We
represented Gail Martin for her first sale to Solaris and just
concluded a 4 book deal with Orbit to continue her TALES OF THE
NECROMANCER. We represent Mel Odom whose Tolkienesque series
beginning with THE ROVER was a hit for Tor.

Our success in this area is not confined to the adult market, Karen
Miller, Mel Odom, Sharon Shinn, and Ed Willet have all sold young adult
fiction.

We're actively acquiring new clients. The ideal
submission for us is an introductory letter, synopsis and the first 3
chapters of manuscript. We welcome electronic submissions to
fantasy@ethanellenberg.com. We also welcome submission by
mail with a self addressed stamped envelope for response.
Please check our website (ethanellenberg.com) and follow the directions
carefully so as not to fall afoul of U.S. postal regulations.

We remain upbeat, active and committed to the highest standards of
professional conduct and representation. We are members in
good standing of the Association of Author's Representatives
and consistently receive high marks from all the top professional
writer's organizations. We look forward to your
submission.


That's it folks, if you're one of our writers, go get a manuscript ready to submit. If you're a reader, cheer the writers on and then go read the stories and poetry in this issue.

Dan

Serials & Long Fiction

New Columbia - Part 2 of 3
By J. B. Hogan
Ari Blanque's perilous journey continues through lawless Meshica and Long Wound...

One Day in Hell
By Gregory Adams
“There are many lines in Hell; so many that it has been said that a day in Hell is a day spent waiting.” An account of a day in the life of a condemned man in Hell, a place that may seem strangely familiar.

Short Stories

From The Skin Of The Lamb
By Gary Budgen
A war long past had erased centuries of technological progress. The naked man Esther found in the ruined church brought some of it back -- but at a terrible cost.

Be Then What You Be
By Ann Hasseler De Carrasco
Scamper's new stepmother had a problem: the woman became a small white dog whenever Scamper was around. She claimed that Scamper was a witch...and Scamper's father believed it.

Blood, Bears, and Canvas
By P. F. White
A two-fisted -- well, two-pawed -- tale set in the dark and dirty world of underground interspecies boxing.

Special Effects
By Chris Sharp
Christian Hodges was looking for something different to do with his family. What could be more different than the conjuring of a ghost on the beach?

Playing God
By Ilan Herman
One minute, Jack had been walking through the park. The next, he was on board a spacecraft, and his host -- or captors -- had a rather unusual job for him to do.

Tithonus Redux
By Richard Tornello
It all started when Artie took pity on the cat -- the very large, apparently blind cat -- that had parked itself in the middle of the road. The whole 'three wishes' thing came later.

A.F.T. Inc.
By Erin Fanning
Jake was already the star of his high school football team, but the stranger had promised him a shot at the big time. Of course, there was a price to be paid -- in advance.

Blow-Up
By Dave Weaver
Eric Payne had been a good employee for Primus Disposal -- right up until the moment when he ran screaming out of the teleportation feed room and tried to cut his wrists.

Imagine Getting Away...
By Joseph Thompson
Esau was in a rut, arranging travel for other people, but never traveling himself. Realizing how deep that rut was would change his life.

Ethelbert
By Thomas G. Vincent
Prince Ethelbert was something of a disappointment to his father the King. King Felder thought the boy needed to be a strong and skilled warrior to lead the kingdom; Ethelbert had other ideas.

*** October 2009 Forum Challenge***

Congratulations to McCamy Taylor, winner of the "Campfire Ghost Stories" Forum Flash Challenge. Check out McCamy's entry "The Rites of Fall" and six more Tales To Keep Campers Awake -- after you have read and commented on our other stories, novellas, poetry, and features, of course.
(This challenge was the second test for a new voting system combining PM'd scores by category with Poll voting. Next challenge will probably have a different system...)

(All entries will also be available (shortly, if not immediately) via the Flash Index in the Fun and Games section of the Forum, provided by Nate Kailhofer, Flash Editor and Challenge Master.)

Poetry and Filk Music

But I Do Feel Safe
by Richard Tornello

Donna the Donor
by Richard Tornello

Nothing Up Ahead
by J B Hogan

Ode to Odo
by Cyndee Davis

The Sheerie
by Richard H Fay

Where Owls Rove
by James J Dye

Wings
by Joseph Roque

Features

Thoughts on Writing #15: Follow Your Bliss
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.

Serious Science Fiction Manga
By McCamy Taylor
McCamy Taylor looks at three manga series that qualify as serious science fiction through detailed visions of the future -- even if they're often funny, too.


Aphelion Webzine is © 1997-2010 by Dan L. Hollifield