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Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Issue 25, Volume 3 -- June 1999

Issue 26 will be online 1st week of July.


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Since January 27th 1997

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Editorial

The Senior Editor's usual drivel about whatever...

Hello again and welcome back for another thrilling installment of...

Hmmm, wait a minute- This column was supposed to be about current issues or topics of interest, but I think I need to make a few explanations here. Some folks have been getting peturbed every month when the newest Aphelion isn't the first thing to go online on the first day of each month. Well, there is a reason why we don't commit to a first day of the month publishing schedule and use a first week of the month uploading.

That reason is called "life"- specifically, life offline. The REAL WORLD- which still exists, take my word for it, offers constant obstacles to online publishing in the amateur realm that Aphelion inhabits. I suppose that if this were a profit-making Zine then I'd feel obligated to get a new issue out on the first day of each month. But there is no money to be made from Aphelion. (Plenty to be spent to keep the website, but none to be made without making the readers pay to see the stories.) I pay about $50 per month to keep the website alive- out of my own pocket -and have to sometimes(!) take time offline to earn that cash. My other bills have to be paid as well, naturally, so I do have to keep my day-job. I'm not griping about Aphelion being a free Zine- in fact I rather prefer it that way, we can have a better variety of stories than we could if we had to expect readers to pay for access to the website. If we had to charge the readers, we'd also have to provide only the best, pro-quality stories- and none of the ones that would enable new writers to be able to grow and improve enough to become pro-quality. I'd much rather that we make a place for writers to learn and grow than for me to be able to quit my day-job and edit full-time for Aphelion.

In short, because all of the Aphelion staff have lives offline that swipe lots of our spare time, I feel that the looseness of a week-long deadline enables us to make a better Zine for you to read. Despite the objections to our not being a "professional"-seeming publication for not having a specific publication date each month, Aphelion is a much better, more enjoyable, more vital Zine than a rigid, unyelding, deadline-oriented magazine could be.

Kinda reminds you of the old arguments about Fandom itself that were so much fun in the '60s and '70s; "Fandom is a way of life..." versus "Fandom is just a hobby...", doesn't it? That argument reflected the dichotomy among fans that were, frankly, obsessed by the convention scene (and other aspects of fan activity-) as compared to those fans that led their own personal lives while just enjoying the work of favorite writers. Multi-interest fans vs single-interest fans. Would you believe that people often got downright vehement about how dedicated to fandom each other were. Sheesh! (My light-grey cat is better than your dark-grey cat, as it were.) My reply to that would have to be that Aphelion is more than a hobby, but not the be-all and end-all of our lives.

Aphelion is fun to do, rewarding to do- and for me, necessary to do... but its not my whole life. Neither should it be yours, gentle reader. Your lives should be bigger than a Zine, Newsgroup, or Chatroom- otherwise you're selling yourselves short. When that happens, its MY loss- as well as your own, and as well as the rest of the world's loss. Each of you is more than just the sum of your online spare time, more than just web-geeks with no lives. You're people, real people that matter- each with your own offline lives that matter. The Aphelion staff and I are no different.

Aphelion is a real-world publication, with real-world problems, and real-world delays. The best compromise that I've been able to come up with is to allow for the real-world to rear it's ugly head and screw things up for a while. So we don't tie our new issue uploads to a specific day, but rather aim for a wider range of time to publish in. Its better for the writers, the staff, and in the end- its better for the readers too.

Dan L. Hollifield, Senior Editor/Publisher

P.S.

In case anyone is curious as to exactly what's been keeping me so busy, I'm planning a few webpages that show the progress of my landscaping, interior decoration, and housework. Look for it by the end of the summer in my personal pages. Its a sort of photographic timeline of my yardwork and such. I don't know why anyone would want to see it, but Rob thought that someone might.

Dan


Tell us what you think in Aphelion's Lettercol!

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!

Aphelion Staff:

Dan Hollifield
Senior Editor, Publisher
Roger Bennett
Editor Emeritus
Robert Wynne
WebMaven
Cary Semar
Short Story Editor
Kim Holec
Poetry Editor
Jeffrey Williams
Production Editor/Serials Editor

Serialized Stories

Threat of Valleor -Part 8-
By Dan L. Hollifield
The adventure pauses with this installment and will return later.
Next month "Abducted" will begin in this link.
In Arms We Trust -Part 4 of 5-
By Vasilis Adams Afxentiou
It is not because other people are dead that our affection for them grows faint, it is because we ourself are dying.
Maya -Part 6-
By A.D. Jackson
The mystery of Maya continues...
Superhero Nation -Part 1 of 5-
By Mike Tanier
It's 2049, and any kid can call himself a superhero if he's willing to spend a little money and break a few laws.
The Journeyman -Part 1 of 5-
By Allen Woods
Nothing in their lives could ever have prepared the citizens of Ithica, GA for the Journeyman.

Read more great stories from the Aphelion Archives


"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.

APHELION'S FIRST EVER THEME ISSUE IS ALMOST HERE!

Well, the submissions are all in, the inbox for the contest is now closed. Cary Semar is hard at work on the submissions even as we speak. Best of luck to all of the writers who chose to submit entries. Soon we will know the judge's decision.

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, those disrupter banks are fully charged, the dogs of intergalatic war have been loosed from their chains, the Grey Lensmen are one the case... may the best beings win!


Short Stories

Talking Heads
By Linda Kohut
This story is dedicated to those who stand guard on the frontier between reality and chaos.
Disposable Heroes
By Douglas Goodman
A tale of loss and redemption in a world where heroes can be bought and sold in an interstellar black market.
Don't Look Back
By Frances Taira
Commonwealth Operative Mike Campbell's first assignment is to bring Island Colony into the Interplanetary Commonwealth, bring about democratic elections, and prevent a civil war. The mysterious prophetess Medea has other ideas.
A Favor
By David Blalock
Assassination is more than motive, method, and opportunity. Sometimes it's about controlling the bigger picture.
The Hitchhiker
By Hans D. Christianson
There is always someone better than you.
My Intended
By McCamy Taylor
In Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness,' we learned that Kurtz's 'intended' is mature, independent minded and highly moral. This is her story.
The Burden of Grace
By Vasilis Afxentiou
The place is the Adriatic. The time is now. But this story was already old when Moses brought down the laws.
**** Removed by author request ****
*****
*****
Running of the Bulls
By Eddie Gibbs
For everything there is a season. And an off-season.
Silent Obsession
By Noel Carroll
When reality and dreams collide.

Poetry and Filk Music

Fate
By David Blalock

The Traveler
By Joseph B. St. John

Avalon
By Iain Muir

When the Hobbits Fade to Grey
By Sven Kloepping


Features

The Mare Inebrium shared universe project
I open up my own Spaceport Bar to other writers!
The Mare Inebrium Shared Universe Project
Aphelion's Daily Comics
By Mark Stanley and Steve Troop
Did he say daily? Yep, Aphelion is proud to feature two of the funniest comic strips on the Internet, Mark Stanley's "Freefall" and Steve Troop's "The Melonpool Chronicles". Bookmark this page, you don't want to miss a single installment!

The Aphelion Interview: Kate Thornton
by Jeff Williams
Jeff Williams sits down with one of Aphelion's most popular writers, to discuss her life and work. This is the first in a series of Interviews we will be bringing you over the next few months.
Double Wide
by Jim Parnell
Alternative Radio - What Happens if you Listen Too Hard, or, I Hear the FNORDS! WARNING: Contains language.

Wayward Musings
by Kim Holec
This month begins a new column by Kim Holec,in which she discusses books and authors of note, and whatever else is on her mind. This Month: Lois McMaster Bujold.
Excentrivial Musings
The Aphelion Cartoon Page.

Mare Inebrium Wallpaper 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.

If you would like to receive notices from Aphelion when this page is updated, please join our new, revised, automatic mailing list. To subscribe:
Send a message to majordomo@america.net with the following in the body of the message:

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As always, this mailing list will only be used to notify you of new issues and will never be given out to anyone else... 'cause I hate spam as much as you do!

Click here to see the Links Page A Challenge to Writers... Short story submissions; Cary Semar Serialized stories: Jeff Williams Poetry: Kim Holec Features: Robert Wynne Mare Inebrium Stories: Dan Hollifield Click here to see the Submissions Guidelines Page. Aphelion Explanations and Thanks Where the name "Aphelion" came from and other info.
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Back Issues:

Instead of the back issues the banner below now takes you to the Archives-where all our past stories are available for you to read.

I've decided to ditch the back issues in favor of the Archives. The Archives are easier to use and can be indexed by author or story title. Hopefully this will ease the task of finding a favorite story. We may start a page of our past cover art, if there is a call for it. Thanks for your readership for without you, nothing we do has any meaning.

Aphelion Back Issues!
You can e-mail the Senior Editor by clicking here.
Sideways to the Mare Inebrium!

Sideways to the Mare Inebrium, homepage of Aphelion's Editor: Dan L. Hollifield

Click HERE to vote for this page as a Starting Point Hot Site.


Aphelion Webzine is 1997-99 by Dan L. Hollifield