Issue 143, Volume 14 -- May 2010
Great news! This has been in the works
for a while, but no one was talking about it much for fear that it
might not come to fruition. Well, it has finally happened, my
Aphelion Webzine has published its
first anthology, via Lulu.com
While my wife and I were at AnachroCon 2 the first weekend of this
month, an anthology of flash fiction short stories came out that
contains some of the best entries to our monthly Flash Fiction
competitions. The book is is called "Flash of Aphelion" and is a
Print-On-Demand at Lulu.com
and it was edited by our very own Nate Kailhofer. This volume was
Nate's brainchild, he did most of the work necessary to make this
happen, and he has overcome many obstacles that could have stopped this
production in its tracks. Nate deserves a huge round of applause for
Lulu has a good reputation among the writers I know who have used it
for their small, specialized projects. This collection falls under the
heading of "specialized" quite well. The nice thing about
Print-On-Demand is that no one gets stuck with a warehouse full of
unsold copies of the book. No, a copy is printed, bound, and shipped
only after someone orders it. I've ordered one copy for myself already,
and will be getting another one for my Mom and Dad later on. Each
month, if the sales have built up to a specific level, Lulu.com sends
out a payment to each writer.
That's right, a book exclusively featuring Aphelion writers, for which
the writers get paid (a small sum, 10¢) for every copy sold.
That's the share for each writer in the collection; one dime per story.
I have one story, others have three or four, others have more. There
are 70 stories in the book, 236 pages, by 17 writers. It is split up
into chapters according to which month's competition for which it was
written. My story is in the chapter for the Steampunk-themed
competition. Warning: there is only one chapter of steampunk
stories, not a whole book of them.
OK, a dime per story isn't much but according to the pro
writers I asked it does count as a professional sale. That means that
several of us who contributed have just made their First Professional
Sale! I've been squeeing since I heard the book was in development, but
couldn't tell anyone for fear that the deal might fall through. Well,
it didn't fall through, Nate has checked the quality of the printing,
and it is now available in 6x9 paperback for $18.72 as well as e-book
format for $10.99. There will probably be a hardback edition added
Here is the link to the book's page at Lulu: Flash
of Aphelion edited by Nathan Kailhofer.
Thank you for all the hard work, Nate!
In related news, Lyn and I seem to have made a positive impression on
the folks who run the steampunk convention in Atlanta, AnachroCon. Lyn
has been asked to host a Tea Party at next year's convention. Not the
political kind, the hot tea that one drinks. As some of you might
already know, in Great Brittan tea is a serious matter. The entire
country comes to a halt for the afternoon cuppa. Lyn has long been
familiar with the ins and outs of this practice. So the convention
chairman personally asked her to undertake a panel devoted to this
custom. She's already hard at work on the logistics of providing tea
and traditional munchies for a party of 30, or more. It should be a
As for myself, this year I was asked to be on a panel on Steampunk
Superheroes. The discussion centered upon books, movies, graphic
novels, and so on- Those which used steampunk elements and themes. Also
included was a mention of people who make costumes of comic book
heroes, but with a unique steampunk flair. The Con Chairman was on the
panel, with the cowl and shoulder pieces for his steampunk Batman
outfit. Sitting next to him was yours truly, dressed in an outfit that
would look natural on a Zorro or Nightshade, if they had been written
by steampunk authors. I was asked to explain the details and the idea
behind my outfit. Once the crowd learned that I was dressed as a
character from my own novel-in-progress, they demanded more
information. In fact, they were delighted to hear that I was working on
a story that might see print in the future. They were even more
delighted to hear the breakdown of how I actually go about writing, the
world-building, the crazy little details that I go to in order to add
depth and development to my characters. In short, once I started
talking about the novel, no one would let me shut up. I think that if
I'd had copies of the finished book with me, I could have sold one to
everyone attending the panel discussion- Right then and there. The Con
Chair was so impressed that he asked me to come back next year and host
a panel of my own: "An Hour With Dan Hollifield." I'll also be on
another panel or two on other subjects that are near and dear to my
personal interests. Rest assured that Aphelion will continue to loom
large in anything I talk about!
Which brings me to the real subject of this little editorial: What
writers do to promote their work. I've seen it online, I've seen it at
conventions, and I've discussed it with pro writers. Friends, writing a
book is only part of getting it into the hands of readers. There is a
huge amount of self-promotion involved after the book is sold to a
publisher. Writers go to Cons to talk about "the book." They do radio
and Internet interviews. They go to bookstores and give readings. They
sign autographs. Some blog about it online in various forums. Sometimes
a newspaper or magazine interview is asked for by print publishers in
various media. The publisher lines up publicity appearances, the writer
does too. In short, lots of time gets taken up getting the word out
that "the book" exists and is available for purchase. That equals a lot
of work, sometimes a lot of travel, and a lot of talking. The job
doesn't stop when the final draft goes to the publisher. No indeed,
shameless self promotion is a respected fraction of making a writer
successful. Getting the word out is a big deal, especially for those
writers that are just starting out- Those who have just a few, or even
just one book published. Part of the marketing is getting out there and
promoting "the book." Seanan can tell you more about this than I can.
She's involved with it right now. Her insights have appeared in our
Features section in her articles on writing. If you haven't read them
already, you owe it to yourself to do so as soon as possible. I can
promise you that you will learn a lot.
Now I'd probably better shut up and let you get to reading the new
issue. There are loads of great stuff on tap this month. Don't skip a
single thing. You never know what might turn out to be useful in the
future. And please, when you're done, go to the Forums and make some
comments. Remember, comments and critiques of the stories is a big part
of what Aphelion is all about. Anything and everything that you say
about a story can help the writer become better.
Serials & Long Fiction
Two Stone Trolls and a Prince
By Glenn Hackney
A sequel to "A Shadow in the Hills." While battling the stone trolls who killed his family, Liam becomes lost underground, where he encounters a strange new race of creatures. Enemies turn to allies as Liam is sent on a mission that will determine the fate of his captors.
The Essential Nightwatch
Our review of pivotal episodes from the Nightwatch series continues with Part 2 of "The Kindness of Strangers", in which Simon must prevent drastic changes to the course of history...
Nightwatch: The Kindness of Strangers (Part Two)
By Jeff Williams
Time is changing. There's a timequake coming, something so drastic that all Simon knows of the future could be changed, and he is the only one who can prevent any further alterations from happening. If only he can find what is causing them...
And "Tinsel Rime", in which everything Simon thought he knew about Maria, his long-lost wife, is called into question.
Nightwatch: Tinsel Rime
By N. J. Kailhofer
The ghosts of Simon's past revisit him in this Christmas future.
The Cassandra Connection
By E. S. Strout
When they removed the cancerous mass from Claire Rowland's brain, the doctors feared that she might lose memory, speech, mobility... they never imagined what she might gain.
A Lifetime of Memories
By Lester Curtis
Paul Beaman took almost everything from Lisa Willet: her money, and the memories that had made her who she was. But with the help of a friend, Lisa would make things right.
Murder at the Space Olympics
By Mike Wilson
2052 - the first Space Olympics, with new events tailored to hard vacuum and freefall conditions. Unfortunately, some things that should have stayed earthbound had tagged along into orbit.
A Lack of Power
By K. W. Ramsey
John was, to be honest, a mouse of a man, scurrying fearfully to avoid the roving gangs, tolerating his boss's abuse without complaint. But even mice have teeth and tempers...
By John Carrick
Dr. Andrew Fox had a secret -- an unauthorized invention that gave him an edge over his competitors. The penalty, if he was discovered, would be death.
Coffee With The Last Man On Earth
By George Potter
Eric's visits were the highlight of Mary Ellen's day. He was young, and charming, and handsome, and that more than made up for his claims of being from a million years in the future.
The Ultimate Experiment
By Walt Trizna
Dr. Donald Ball had an unusual theory about the nature of one of the eleven theoretical dimensions associated with string theory. To test it, he needed a volunteer -- a dying volunteer.
The Magic of the Quooda
By J. Davidson Hero
Frizzle was a shaman and healer... but not a wizard. He would have to believe in magic to be a wizard. But he had to rely on the supposedly magical properties of quooda seeds to save his village from the monstrous gant.
Time of the Season
By Christopher Pender
The little group of college students thought they had escaped the plague that seemed to be killing whole cities. But one by one, they were dying...
By Thomas Goulding
Joseph Brooke valued the well-being of Beatrice above all else -- certainly more than he valued the lives of the women he introduced to her.
Results of Forum Flash Challenges for April 2010
The April 2010 Flash Challenge asked authors to "fill in the blanks", using specific instances of four "standard" elements in a medieval fantasy setting. Click HERE to read the winning story, "Treasure (Box) Hunt", by Sergio Palumbo, and five more tales of questy goodness... after checking out our other short and long fiction, poetry, the Editorial, etc., etc.
Poetry and Filk Music
by Richard Tornello
by J B Hogan
By the Numbers
by Chrissa Sandlin
Coney Island Feast
by Mike Berger
by Bob Brill
by Heather Kuehl
Parting Red Curtains
by Richard H Fay
by Robert William Shmigelsky
Speak Easy My Friend
by Richard Tornello
The Lingering Scent
by Bruce Whealton
by Stephen Jarrell Williams
Thoughts on Writing #20: Boundaries
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.
By McCamy Taylor
McCamy Taylor takes a look at Billy Bat, the latest offering from Eisner-award nominated Naoki Urasawa.
Off the Shelf: Feed
By Larissa March
Larissa March spends some time with Mira Grant's dystopian science-fiction zombie political thriller, Feed.
Conventional Wisdom: AnachroCon 2010
By Dan Hollifield
Our fearless leader spends a weekend traveling back to a time that never was, at Atlanta's second-annual steampunk convention.
Aphelion Webzine is © 1997-2013 by Dan L. Hollifield