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The Senior Editor's usual drivel about whatever...
Hello and welcome!
What's the burning issue this month? Nothing big, really. I
was researching some details for a story and encountered some curious
coincidences about Mars and the missions launched to explore it. It
seems that everyone who sends probes to Mars suffers higher than
average losses of contact. No matter who sends 'em up, they crash, they
spin off into space- crippled, they just outright vanish with no hint
of why. When this series of facts ran into my interest in the Face on
Mars and my love of conspiracy tales... Well, the three of them just
set up light housekeeping in the back of my mind for a while. After
percolating in my subconscious for a while, their synthesis popped up
last week during a "Zen" moment at work- when I was simply bored out of
my mind and let my imagination roam.
Wouldn't it make a gripping story to suppose that the two
recent US Mars probe losses were actually nukes sent by some covert
group within the US government to blast the Face on Mars into rubble
before public outcry force them to spend money on manned missions? You
could develop the story in any of several directions and still wind up
with a good tale. Oppressive government, secret societies, covert
agencies, the military-industrial complex against the everyman...
Wherever your own imagination roams. I was able to use this in one
direction on the story I was researching and brought in unique details
during the outlining of it.
So what am I getting at? I think that a writer needs to have
a lot of interests and input in order to obtain the elements of a
rousing good yarn. Be eclectic in your reading, sample lots of
different viewpoints, and wonder "what if?" a lot. Listen to the back
of your mind from time to time.
By the by, I offer the previous story idea free gratis to any
or all, though I might want to try my hand at it myself at a later
date. I'm too busy with my real life to take the time necessary to
think paranoid enough to write conspiracy stories right now. I've got
half a novel that I'd like to finish- 'specially since it’s a Mare
Inebrium story that's turning out to have some important loose ends of
the mythos tied up within it. Plus, I'm working lots of overtime at the
factory still, because I spent too much money on vacation. Well, that's
enough blather from me for now.
Thanks for your time.
I'd like to thank those of you who have sent e-mails or signed into the
Lettercol 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
Production Editor/Serials Editor
Serialized Stories & Novelettes
WDPS --Part 2--
By Ray Griffiths "The year is 2550 and mankind is in decline. (Well, more in
decline than usual.) Edgar Connell, however, is not inclined to be in
decline at all. His job is Euro-Security and Euro-Security has sent him
to the domed city of Exeter to discover the reasons for its lack of
communication and apparent lifelessness. Connell discovers the reasons
By Alex Young Pacelac is a dwarf known throughout his world, feared and
admired as one of the greatest warriors of his age. His adventures and
mercenary exploits are the stuff of legend. But does this hardened
adventurer have what it takes to escort a marked young girl to her new
home? And what's with the pink armour?
By McCamy Taylor "Old City is home to the vagrants, to the poor... and to
some of the most powerful magicians in the area. But a mysterious
contestant at a 'magic slam' and a series of dark occurrences point to
something more sinister moving into the neighbourhood."
Who's Sword Is It,
Anyway? --Part 1 of 5--
By Ralph Benedetto, Jr. "The College of Ru'aath has turned out the keenest
swordsman, the ablest spell casters and the finest musicians of the
age. That's probably why Caitlin, Mal and Rivenbark got kicked out."
By Ralph Benedetto, Jr. Campbell Reese discovers new meanings of justice.
By Terry Bramlett Love and commitment bind us together, without regard
to tribulation, circumstance or age.
By George M. Scott To believe or not to believe. That is the question
Dickinson must answer if she is to save her life.
Forth And Multiply
By Stephen Thompson The end of the world was an exciting time for a
seven-year-old. It would
have been a lot of fun, if his best friend wasn't dying.
By Jolene Lau Do you see him? Do you see the story? Do you see
anything? It seems to me I
am trying to tell you a dream--making a vain attempt, because no
of a dream can convey the dream sensation, that commingling of
surprise, and bewilderment...that notion of being captured by the
incredible which is of the very essence of dreams....
--Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness.
By Daniel F. Beaupre' Here is a tale of one man who refused to accept the
Opium of the People
By J. Alan Erwine You can hide, or you can run. For Albert Silverberg,
it may already be too late.
By JonJack Hell opened up and spat out a hero. A
Writer's Challenge II Story.
No Business Like Snow's Business
By Craig Cornwell Hercules, A mythical Bull and a legendary task, all
add up to a very
strange case for Snow Spackman, the world's finest wise-cracking
You got a problem, who ya gonna call?
By Paul Gibson The aliens were everywhere, and the human race was
the 22nd Ohio Resistance Company had one final mission to perform.
End of the Road
By Iain McWilliam The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all
depends on the unreasonable man.
By Larry Ayres You may cling to life to the very end, but if you
have faith, you may take
a leap into the cold, cold dark.
"From the dizzying height of her full 5’2", the
waitress looked down at the heap of lace and
embroidery on the floor, an earth mother figure in a peasant blouse and
gypsy skirts. Hooped gold
earrings peered out from under her dark curled hair. She was carrying
four two-litre beer steins easily in each hand. She nudged his head
with one slippered foot."
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 instalment!
by Jim Parnell One Step Forward, Two Steps Back WARNING: Contains Language.
The Listening Room
by Rob Wynne Rob Wynne gives a spin to Bob Kanefsky's new album of
In case anyone is curious as to exactly what's been
keeping me so busy, I've planned a few webpages that show the progress
of my landscaping, interior decoration, and housework. Look for it in
my personal pages at Casa
Vila. Its the beginning of a sort of photographic
timeline of my yard work and such. I don't know why anyone would want
see it, but Rob thought that someone might, so I worked it up. Expect
to be updated as I get new film developed and scanned. I have two new
rolls of film shot for this page and expect to update it within the
next few weeks.
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Instead of the back issues the banner below now
to the Archives-where all our past stories are available for you to
I've decided to ditch the back issues in favour of
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
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