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Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Issue 153, Volume 15 -- June 2011

Editorial

Guest Editorial by Lindsey Hollifield:

Life After England; or to loosely quote a paranoid Android, "don't talk to me about it".

Greetings from Casa Vila! This month's Aphelion editorial is brought to faithful readers by Lyn, because the Editor-in-Chief is currently far too busliy rewriting Mere Inebrium stories for a project he can't discuss (even with me) to focus on anything other than a looming deadline.

As many of you will know, Dan and I spent a couple of weeks visiting my family in England last month. It was once again rather a whirlwind of a visit -- so much we wanted to do, yet so little time. This visit was, much to our regret, not so much a vacation but rather the necessary seeing to of my father's estate. However, we not only got that done, but we also were able to fit in a day or two of '5:00 somewhere' with friends, as well as renew our marriage vows five years on!

Our marriage blessing rocked; positively rocked! Hosted and officiated by a Celtic offshoot of the High Anglican Church, we renewed the vows we'd made to each other in 2006 in a delightfully candle-lit and 'heavily incenced' chapel amongst friends that were able to join us, and friends we hadn't met before. The ceremony was video-taped, and any who wish to see a copy, let us know.

During our fornight in England, Dan experienced a proper English downpour, something he'd only read or heard about before. Neither of us had umbrellas with us, nor rain macs. We were left to the elements. As we dashed across the road to a Greek chip shop in my home town, and then stood dripping, waiting for our chips, I remembered all the things I miss about England -- yes, even those downpours -- they're quite different from Georgia rain, although it's difficult to explain exactly how. There are similarities. Georgia rain is just a little more gentle, I suppose. When the heavens open over England, it pelts down. Harshly. And one cannot even see Heinlein's harsh mistress.

Now that we're home, Casa Vila has been a hive of activity. The porch needed repainting, and the garden definitely needed seeing to; the cat pen also. I needed to go through my dad's various papers that we'd shoved into an el cheapo purple suitcase we'd bought, because shipping would be costly. And, as mentioned, Dan has been rewriting his Mare stories.

I will confess that Dan and I started spitting at each other once we'd arrived in Atlanta, my being pulled aside because my muffin top looked suspicious didn't go down very well with me. The pat down that followed was in order for us to leave the airport and head to MARTA, to catch a ride to where Rob Wynne would be waiting for us at North Springs. Never a lovelier sight have I seen as Rob, with hat and tie, waving at us!

Dan should be back next month. Although, I've quite enjoyed writing this month's editorial on his behalf!

Serials & Long Fiction

Chatterton Reef
By McCamy Taylor
The descendants of the human race left dry land behind long ago, choosing to live in the oceans with varying types and degrees of genetic modifications. But the one thing they took with them was the instinct for war.

Whispers From The North
By Matthew Acheson
A gothic horror tale about the lengths some will go for love.

Revelations Man
By S. H. Hughes
A science fiction tale about an alien invasion of the Earth -- based upon the Book of Revelations.

Short Stories

After The Flood
By Francisco Mejia
The strange liquid lifeform called Messina has covered the planet Zamparero. Only two living things still move independently on the surface of the planet: the bio-engineered vehicle called the Lezuna Express, and the seemingly-invulnerable mutant Entrada Solár...
***Contains adult language and situations***

A.M.A.N.D.A.
By E. S. Strout
Physicist Paula Lynch is sent to an Antarctic neutrino detection lab to investigate strange phenomena affecting satellite operations. SHe finds that her old rival is doing more than just studying the ghostly particles...

Bedtime for Roswell
By P. B. Hampton
The Roswell crash was not the beginning of the story, and it was far from being the end.

Windows
By Andrew Nagel
The enormous, grotesque creature -- a god or monster out of a Lovecraft story -- had already taken his wife. Now, to learn more about its nature and purpose, he would put his son at risk.

The Hill With an Evil Heart
By C. B. Lovas
The storm turned the hilltop suburb into a series of islands separated by rushing rivers that used to be streets. But Kyle soon discovered that the rains have done more that knock out the power -- they have opened a doorway to hell.

A Confidential Correspondence in Capitalist Conflict
By P. F. White
A Steampunk tale of sibling rivalry gone mad, told through the medium of the letters exchanged by the two brothers.

An Instrument of War
By John Dougherty
Oren Greene was on a mission: infect the nearest colony of the man-eating alien Attero with a deadly virus. But then he was shot with a plasma rifle and dragged away -- and his captor was all too human.

Music Man
By Bruce Memblatt
Dikon was content to eke out a living as a street musician, playing his sax on 'his' corner. The club owner, Virgil, had something else in mind for him.

The Dark kNight
By Richard Tornello
A fairy tale, involving a princess, a dragon, an evil wizard, and a knight. But not the one you're expecting!

Another Night at the Chronos Tavern
By David Barber
The Chronos Tavern was the preferred hangout for the varied -- really varied -- travelers passing through the Canaveral Timeport.

Nightscreams
By Kurt Heinrich Hyatt
Mike thought that Blanca would enjoy a real camping trip. Blanca, on the other hand, would have preferred someplace more comfortable -- and that was before the screaming and mayhem started.

Apotheosis
By R. Christophe Ryber
All Shannon wanted was to delay having to deal with Heather and her endless series of problems. Daniel Singh and the statue of the goddess Kali that formed the centerpiece of his yoga studio was purely an accident.

The Hook...Revisited
By Benjamin Green
Matt would do anything to get closer to the unattainable Chloe, a girl far out of his still-nerdish league -- even invoking the mix of urban legend and rumors surrounding the escaped mental patient they called Captain Hook.

Operation Jupiter
By James O'Sullivan
The search for life on Europa had succeeded a little too well. People had been changed by what came back -- and the only way to save their lives was to change them even more. The military was only too happy to oblige.

Little Friends
By George Morrow
Adolf Scipio told his guests an amazing -- and terrifying -- tale of strange rituals carried out in the jungles of South America. But it was what he showed them afterward that would change their lives.

Dutch
By Richard Tornello
The townspeople -- all relative newcomers, refugees from the city -- called the odd, pale, folk who had been living in the area for centuries 'the Dutch'.

Fighting for No One
By Francis Bass
The outpost was surrounded by the cannabalistic ransals, once human, but transformed by some contagious magic into ravening and ravenous savages. Some wanted to flee -- after all, if the kingdom had already fallen, for whom were they putting their lives on the line?

The Process
By Mike Wilson
Martin Ruhe found the key to unlimited energy. Unfortunately, there were those who would kill to keep that key a secret.

The Husband
By Jeremy Kuban
The knocking on his door awoke Doctor Ned Whallup from a sound sleep. The man at the door wanted something from him -- something strange and horrible.

Field Disruption
By Dave Weaver
When time travel became possible, it was only natural that scientists -- and others -- would try to witness the Tunguska Event.

***May 2011 Forum Challenge***

Congratulations to Rick Tornello, winner of the May 2011 Forum Flash Fiction Challenge. Check out Rick's "A Dental Persuasion" and five more tales of ordinary actions in a science-fiction world here, after sampling this month's editorial, poetry, short stories, and long fiction, of course...

***June 2011 Forum Challenge***

Congratulations to J. Davidson Hero, winner of the June 2011 Forum Flash Fiction Challenge. Check out J. D.'s "The Blind Rebellion" and four more stories of conflict on a wandering world (implied, not described!) here.

Poetry and Filk Music

The Dagger
by Boghos L. Artinian

Fairy So Fine
by Robin B. Lipinski

How Old Am I?
by Brian S. Lingard

Mirror Dance
by Amit Parmessur

Peg Powler
by Richard H. Fay

Usual Thoughts Before Sleep
by Richard Tornello

Death's Ship
by Richard H. Fay

The Poet as Voyeur
by Richard Tornello

Red Ball Runs the Bull
by Robin B. Lipinski

Features

Thoughts on Writing #29: Continuity Trapper Keeper
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.

Off The Shelf: Deadline
By Larissa March
Larissa March takes a look at Mira Grant's Deadline, the sequel to the Hugo-nominated novel Feed.


Aphelion Webzine is © 1997-2013 by Dan L. Hollifield