Issue 21, Volume 3 -- Febuary '99
Issue 22 will be online 1st week of March.
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Since January 27th 1997
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The Aphelion Daily Comics Page
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Freefall, or The Melonpool Chronicles!
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from Aphelion's featured cartoonists!
Happy Birthday Aphelion!
Yes, Aphelion starts its third year with this issue. We've passed
beyond the boundaries that I set when Aphelion first came online and
now we're breaking new ground. Lots of things have changed over the
last year. Life has become weirder than I ever imagined that it could.
The rate of that change has brought home to me a
realization of how momentous happenings can sneak up on you- and jerk
the rug of your personal reality right out from under you. Overnight,
everything is different, everything is strange and new. You make
adjustments- and wait for the next shockwave to hit.
The only constant is change.
All you can do is try to make things better than they were
Hard work, but very rewarding when you can pull it off. I
think that the hard work is paying off now- none of the changes killed
us, so we have become stronger! (Anyone know how to
spell Nietchie? I don't, LOL) I find my mind going back to the everyday
upheavals I've seen lately- big changes have come to everyone and left
us all scrambling to cope. That's what I think that life is all about-
the constant scramble to cope. When the first fish crawled out of the
sea and onto a beach somewhere, somewhen- it was trying to cope with
changes in its life at sea. Then it had to cope with learning to live
on land. This air stuff is a whole lot thinner than water- got to learn
a new way to breathe! When our early ancestors climbed out of the trees
and began to walk erect they had to cope with new problems- the need
for shelter, to feed their young, to communicate with each other, flat
feet, fallen arches, and backaches from standing on their own two feet,
preditors that couldn't reach them before... all the joys of modern
life. But they adapted, they grew, they prospered against incredible
odds- and the changes kept coming. Evolution is change, enlightenment
is change- the very fabric of life in all its forms is the fact that
nothing stays the same for long. You and I don't even expect things to
stay the same any more- we've grown up (somewhat), knowing that what we
see today may not be here tomorrow. And we know that's a good
thing- 'cause something that doesn't change, soon
gets left behind. Growth- of any kind -is change... You either cope, or
get left behind.
Aphelion has grown into being like some kind of flower bed. It was a
little rough-looking at first, but hard work and a little weeding have
allowed it to blossom. Not to mention the fertilizer, LOL. I'm just
proud to see that Aphelion has become an annual, rather than drying up
and blowing away. I can only hope that it continues to be a perennial
OK, enough of the gardening puns. Back to the party! We're
going to have a couple of special birthday treats in this issue; the
announcement of a writing contest, a list of the stories that I've
enjoyed reading most since Aphelion's first issue, and more fun stuff!
Everyone grab a party hat, the punchbowl is over there- We have
Champagne for those of legal age and sparkling cider for the younger
set. Help yourself to cake, icecream, and all the other treats. When
you're ready, grab a story and enjoy!
I'd like to thank those of you who have sent e-mails or signed the
Guestbook for your feedback. Keep those messages coming, folks! Without
those messages we will never know what we need to improve upon. Hope
you like the improvements so far!
Senior Editor, Publisher
Short Story Editor
SFTV Schedule Reporter
Saucerfull of Secrets -Part 3-
By Dan L. Hollifield
While Dan is on vacation, we're running a classic
Hollifield story never before seen in Aphelion. Threat of Valleor will
return in March!
By Neil McGill
A side-splitting sci-fi romp through the cosmos. Look
out Douglas Adams! McGill may just steal your thunder!
the Corner of Galaxy and Fifth -Conclusion!-
By Robert Wynne & Jeff Williams
Everything depends on Hamlet as "Galaxy and Fifth"
thunders to it's exciting conclusion.
By A.D. Jackson
The mystery of Maya continues...
"Ray Guns and Space Ships and Fires...Oh My!"
Not long ago, Cary Semar posted a request on the Lettercol for more
"hard SF" types of stories,
tales involving space ships and science and gun fights and. . . Well,
what started as a joke among the staff ("Gee, why don't we
just have an all Space Opera issue?") is turning into a
reality, with your help of course.
ANNOUNCING APHELION'S FIRST EVER
Yes, by popular demand, we are requesting submissions for an issue of
short fiction dedicated
entirely to tales of starships, to ditties about intergalactic war, to
works about strange discoveries in space--in short, an all Space Opera
When the stories are published, we will pick what we feel to
be the three best pieces submitted
(ranked 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of course). Winners will receive a prized
featured space in the special issue and will also receive a graphic for
their webpage or desktop wallpaper. The graphic will be provided by
esteemed publisher Dan Hollifield and by notorious webmaven Robert
Submissions for this special issue should be sent to
firstname.lastname@example.org and should be
clearly labeled as entries for the Space Opera Contest. (DO NOT submit
serials as they will not be
affected by the contest.) Stories should be no less than 2500 words and
no more than 10,000 words
in length. All submissions for the contest must be received by May 20,
1999. Multiple entries will be accepted. Editorial review will be
limited to technical issues only (format, length, spelling,
The theme issue itself will be published in July 1999.
This contest is not open to the staff of Aphelion though their
stories may appear in the issue if they
choose to write one and if space is available.
So charge up those disrupter banks, let loose the dogs of
intergalatic war, look out for the Grey Lensmen, and may the best
a House of Evil on a Buyer's Market
By C. Adam Scott
Written by an atheist who thought that comments made
"Salem's Lot" would make a good basis for a story.
Truth Will Set You Free
By McCamy Taylor
An old secret, an old ghost, and new technology.
By Gregory Thompson
Only the bravest and only the best can conquer "The
We Shadows Have Offended
By Liz Martin
From "down under," an homage to Shakespeare's "The
By Tony Ruggiero
To the gods, we are as frogs to evil boys; they kill
us for their sport...
By Jeff Miller
It was a cruel, merciless existence. But it was the
the boys had known.
By John Gilmore
A tale of a luckless astronaut and his malfunctioning
By Dennis Tallent
Sometimes its what you don't know that can get you. A
Mare Inebrium story.
from the Strippings
By Frederick Rustam
Inspired by the Daniel Hanequand painting "The
By Jim Peters
The Bluesman had the gift of touching souls with his
music. A powerful weapon, indeed! A Mare Inebrium story.
By Vasilis Adams A.
Lucifer investigates a mysterious decline in business.
Dan's Birthday Picks
Some of my favorites from the previous issues of Aphelion
These stories aren't necessarily the best that Aphelion has ever
published, but they are the ones that I have read over and over again.
So many good stories have appeared here that I thought it would be
unfair to call these few the "best of..." so I'm just calling them my
favorites. I hope you like them as much as I do. I didn't include any
of the serialized stories and only one by a staff member, so you can be
sure that there was no nepotism involved and that these are a good
sample of what we have published to date. The Editorial Mafia made me
hold down the number of picks so as to leave room for the rest of this
issue's stories- Otherwise, this would just be another way to access
the Aphelion Archives. LOL!
in a Stony Place
By W. Fraser Sandercombe
Fraser has a way of bringing characters to life on the page so that you
actually care about what happens to them when the story is over.
Man Shoots His Own Dogs
By Bob Blacketer
Bob's work seems to grab you by the throat and shake you. Strong
emotions and convincing backgrounds are his specality.
By Frederick Rustam
Its always a delight to recieve a submission from Frederick- his
stories are well thought-out, surprising, and wonderful.
By Jim Parnell
A gritty little tale of cyberspace, detectives, and future crime- Jim
proves that he's not just a top-flight musician any more.
By Robert Wynne
Rob's only Mare Inebrium story to date and the best example of how to
add background characters to a Mare story. He even taught me a few
By Kate Thornton
Kate's shuttle pilots come across as living, breathing people. They're
as real as you or I and just as vital.
you his picks. Which was your favourite? Let us know in the
Poetry and Filk Music
The Mare Inebrium shared
I open up my own Spaceport Bar to other writers!
By Ian McDonald, Mark Stanley, and Steve Troop
Did he say daily? Yep, Aphelion is proud to feature three
of the funniest comic strips on the Internet, Ian McDonald's "Bruno the
Bandit", Mark Stanley's "Freefall", and Steve Troop's "The Melonpool
Chronicles". Bookmark this page, you don't want to miss a single
by Jim Parnell
Star Trek: The Vinyl Frontier. Where no man has gone
before (uh, at least, not willingly.)WARNING: Contains
by Rob Wynne
A report on the goings on at Gafilk I
Update SFTV Schedules and News
Compiled by Lee Whiteside.
Dan Hollifield reviews:
This month- Roadmarks
by Roger Zelazny
The Aphelion Cartoon Page.
51 JPGs you can download and convert to Bitmaps for
wallpaper. This is a slow-loading page, but well worth it.
|The Awards Page
All of the Awards that Aphelion has won.
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Click here to
A Challenge to
Short story submissions; Cary Semar
Serialized stories: Martin
Mare Inebrium Stories: Dan Hollifield
Click here to
Submissions Guidelines Page.
Aphelion Explanations and
Thanks Where the name "Aphelion" came from and other info.
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Aphelion Webzine is © 1997-98 by Dan L. Hollifield