Issue 160, Volume 16 -- March 2012
Once more to the well...
I'm happy to report that AnachroCon was a great success last month. Over 1200 attendees filled the hotel. Lots of excellent panel discussions and demonstrations were there to be enjoyed. The panels I attended were amazing, interesting, and informative. I can only hope the two I was on were as good to the folks in the audience. The official charity for the con was Reading Is Fundamental, with $800 being raised. There was a blood drive, which collected 25 pints of donations. The Dealers Room was backed near to bursting with wonderful items from very talented people. Clothing, hats, jewelry, ray guns – Just a huge variety of steampunk accessories. Various writers were in attendance, some selling copies of their works. There were a few publishers there, too. Craftspeople were more numerous than last year. In short, the convention once again doubled in size, as well as in fun. Next year holds the promise of of the Con being even bigger!
I got the chance to hang out with several of the writers and craftspeople. In almost every case, these folks demonstrated an amazing variety of interests beyond just their own work. The experience was akin to holding a conversation with a living, breathing encyclopedia. I couldn't possibly list even a bare hint of all the topics we covered. Not and do it justice, no. Just imagine the best party you’ve ever been to, combined with the best school class you ever attended, and crank it up to eleven.
And rest assured there will be even more, and better at AnachroCon 5 in 2013!
My two ray guns were a big hit. Lyn and I were met with dozens of requests to look at and photograph them. I also wound up handing out a stack of Aphelion business cards, so we might see an influx of new readers, and perhaps even some new writers.
Once again, I was surprised by the number of people who already knew about Aphelion. Some said they were regular readers. Others mentioned that Aphelion is well regarded among other websites and blogs. I run into that almost everywhere I have a chance to pass out a few more Aphelion cards. "I've heard of that," or "I've read some good stories there," or even "Is that still online? Wow! I used to go there all the time..." Those are the most frequent replies I hear. It is good to know that the word is still getting out there.
And now it is time I let you all go explore the new issue. Enjoy!
Serials and Long Fiction
By Anthony Bell
In a dystopian future, life expectancy is determined by one’s usefulness to society. Manual laborers can look forward to thirty-eight years of hard work before they are sent “walking” into the wilderness. Sixteen year old Benjamin dreams of a better life, but with the earth’s resources destroyed, where can he find it?
By Steve Cuffari
Michael and Amanda had spared no expense in building their dream house, using the rarest and most expensive materials they could find. Even their bed was crafted from the wood of a tree that the "indigenous men" had said was sacred.
The Wizard of Cai
By Gary W. Feather
Magic and martial arts collide in ancient China as Lady Jin and her pupil, One-Eyed Nu, battle a sorceror who plans to rule the world using magic fueled by human sacrifice. A sequel to "Gory Pearl of Doom".
All That Glitters
By Edmund Wells
In which the roguish thief and adventurer Bladeor (pronounced BLADE-or, NOT bladder!) learns that stealing from faeries and their friends doesn't pay.
Body and Soul
By James M. Hines
Jenna Carr would do anything to get an exclusive story about the elusive billionaire scientist Wade Tressler and why he had returned to the habitat orbiting in the asteroid belt. She would even promise to keep his darkest secrets.
By E. S. Strout
Paula Merchant's graviton-based space-folding drive made it possible to travel to Europa and back in a matter of days. Nobody could have anticipated the effects of taking a small sample from Europa's hidden oceans.
For the Want of a Mouse
By T I M James
The witch Francelly was frantic. With magic fading from the world, her life of power and ease was coming to an end. Her twin sister Ethele's apparent lack of concern was more than she could stand.
By H. R. Gillette
Mary first saw the old man talking to the silver tabby during her great uncle Arthur's funeral. Stopping to talk to them when she returned to check on the newly-installed headstone would change her life forever.
The Story No One Knows
By Alex Niculae
The Book of Genesis tells of the creation and the fall of Man from grace. There are some details that got left out along the way...
***February 2012 Forum Challenge***
Congratulations to Lester Curtis, author of the favorite entry in the February 2012 Forum Flash Fiction Challenge. Check out "Jed" and three more tales of love between characters from different worlds (literally or figuratively) here, after sampling this month's editorial, poetry, short stories, and long fiction, of course...
Poetry and Filk Music
A Goblin’s Work Is Never Done
by Stuart Sharp
Aren’t They All Like This?
by Peter Adamakakis
At the Edge of the End
by Stephen Jarrell Williams
by Mike Berger
Don't Cry, Little Robot
by Kevin Long
The Magician Boy’s Cat
by Kristin Roahrig
by Richard Tornello
The Robots in Gomorrah
by John M. Marshall
by Robin Lipinski
by Jim Gardner
Thoughts on Writing #35: Gimme a Break!
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 Case of the Displaced Detective, Books 1 & 2, by Stephanie Osborn: A Preview
By Dan L. Hollifield
Dan provides a look at Stephanie Osborn's series featuring a time-shifted Sherlock Holmes battling evil in a high-tech modern world.
iSLY, by Stanley Gerson: A Preview
By Dan L. Hollifield
Dan gives us an excerpt and comments on Stanley Gerson's novel of 'droids gone wild -- or worse, wily.
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