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Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Issue 40, Volume 4 -- October 2000

Issue 41 will be online 1st week of November.



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Editorial

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

Hello and welcome!

Stop whatever you're doing! Eyes front- pay attention! -OK people, as you regular readers know by now I don't usually tell you to do something. I figure that your lives are your own and that its no one's business but yours what you choose to do with them. That's my philosophy of life as well as my political view, but I'm going to have to speak out right now on two subjects that I feel very strongly about, so bear with me and please forgive me for being opinionated.

Item #1:

You see, last week I found out that a crime had been committed. Its not much of a crime, true, no one was killed or maimed. But every reader of Sci-fi was ever so slightly injured about a year ago- myself included -and I've taken it upon myself to clue you all in.

Have you ever heard of a couple of guys named Issac Asimov and Robert Silverberg? What? The names sound familiar, but you just can't place them?

Well, last week I found out for the first time that they had a movie come out about a year ago. Did you know that? (If you did, skip ahead to Item #2, this will be old news.)

The crime was committed by the folks who did the adverts for the film. No surprize, you say? Well, it was to me. These sorry gets made all of their ads to play up on the stars and the general plot of the film, and ignored telling us who the writers of the story that the film was based upon- thus depriving those of us in the know of a really big reason to go to the theater for this movie. Sure, the stars are very talented people, but the identity of the writers would have drawn a heck of a lot more people out to see the film than just the names of the stars did. At least judging by the box office garnered by the movie. The studio could have made megabucks by simply dropping those two names. They chose not to do so and I, like many others, missed out.

Imagine that. They ignored a sure draw for Sci-fi fans. And so the movie bombed for lack of advertising- or at least proper advertising. But you now have the oppertunity to get something back, as well as see a really great film.

Ready? Alright, here's where I tell you what to do.

Drop everything, stop whatever you're doing, and run, drive, fly, teleport if you can- do not walk -to your local video outlet and buy a copy of "Bicentennial Man" starring Robin Williams. Yeah, him. And you thought that it was just a funny movie about a robot, didn't you? So did I until I started watching the tape. Then those two names fairly leapt off the screen at me. Suddenly I knew for a fact that I'd been cheated out of a major good time. Right then I got mad, but settled back to watch the film just in case the screenwriters had done such a poor adaptation that the omission was pardonable.

They didn't and it wasn't. The basic story was called "The Positronic Man" and the film not only did it justice, but I found it to be the best film in recent memory- My memory, anyway.

Buy it, watch it, tell all your friends, give copies away as birthday and Christmas presents. Do whatever you have to do, but see this movie! 'Nuff said.

Item #2:

This one's directed mainly at America, so if you don't live here then adapt my instructions to the situation in the country in which you do live.

Its an election year here in the U.S. I don't give a tinker's damn what party you support, if any, or what your politics are. To my mind, that's irrelevant. Like religion, politics causes more arguements and outrage than anything else on Earth. In short, I don't really care what, who, or if you support any particular candidate or party.

But I do care that you choose to vote. You do have a voice and I want you to use it! Go register to vote, now! (You can do that on the way to the video store- save yourself a special trip.) Then go out and vote on election day! There may not be anything that you want to vote for, but there's sure to be lots that you want to vote against. There always is, but if you don't vote you've got no right to gripe about the mess the country gets into because of your personal apathy.

I can hear some of you right now saying that your vote doesn't count for anything. Well, it damn sure doesn't if you never cast it. Do you want someone else telling you what to do with your life? Isn't it your life? Isn't it time that you seized the reins of power into your own hands and told the politicians just exactly what you think of them?

Think about it. If you don't register and don't vote, you have absolutly no control over what new laws are going to get passed. Here's an example; at one time, the U.S. Post Office wanted the right to collect the price of a postage stamp for every e-mail sent on the internet. Now that one got squashed right quick, but what if it had not been? What would have come next? Laws governing the content of webpages? Laws restricting who can have a website? Mandatory websites that you have to visit? Taxes based on the number of megabytes that your website uses? The mind simply boggles- There's no limit to what a government thinks that it can get away with. And without your vote, there's nothing to stop the buggers from passing any law they please. And nothing you could do about it.

So if you live in a country where you (?still?) have the right to vote, get out there and vote! Voting is all the control that you've got over a government. And governments have to be controled by the people that they govern, or else we're all just slaves.

Don't be a slave, go vote. Tell your government exactly what you think of the job that they do. Choose to protect your family, your loved ones, your community, your country, your lifestyle. You do have the power, exercise it wisely- don't waste it.

OK, that's the end of my little rant. Please think about it. Please vote, the way of life you save may be your own.

Thanks for your time.

Da n


Tell us what you think in Aphelion's Lettercol!

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!

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 & Novellettes


  • The Anartek --Part 2 of 2--
    By Michael Patrick Aiello
    "For generations the Anarteks had lived apart from the rest of humanity, isolated in a far corner of the solar system. Their credo was technological creation, and now they had come up with the greatest of them all: the instantaneous movement of matter through space.

    For Earth the news couldn't be worse. The uncontrolled introduction of new technologies into the economy had already caused untold misery. More upheavals would not be tolerated. But for private investigator Angelo McAuley, the issues were simple: survive. And so when a mysterious Earthman named Samuel Tanner asked him to investigate the disappearance of a drug addicted aristocrat, Angelo could hardly say no..."

  • Whose Sword Is It, Anyway? --Part 4 of 5--
    By Ralph Benedetto, Jr.
    In which Caitlin, Mal and Rivenbark discover that their theft of the sword has annoyed some people quite a bit. And there are the shadow gnomes. Sometimes it just isn't safe to take a little walk.

  • Read more great stories from the
    Aphelion Archives
    And
    Aphelion Back Issues

    Or Take

    - 8\8\2000 - A Challenge to Writers...
    Not a contest, but a series of ideas to spark off a story.





    Short Stories


  • You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby
    By Shalane L. Weidow
    A Writer's Challenge II Story: "Beauty may be only skin deep, but evil goes all the way to the bone..."
  • The Barren Marsh
    By Ralph Benedetto, Jr.
    Magic, mayhem, a little confusion, the living dead, blood unusual pseudoreligious rites. Is this a great way to start a friendship or what?

  • Two Sides To Every Coin
    By Will Jenkins
    A short tale illustrating the dangers of sleeping in abandoned houses.


  • The Best of Us
    By Tim Nordstrom
    A historical horror intended to depict the effect of the first World War on the generation that lived (and died) in it, "The Best of Us" is derived heavily from poetry of the period, particularly that of the English poet Wilfred Owen.

  • Night Spawn
    By Shalane L Weidow
    Shalane considers this story raw and poorly written, but with a strong storyline. Feel free to give her hell in the lettercol (constructive hell, that is).

  • The Champion
    By Bob Yosco
    How do you kill a man who doesn’t flinch at the sight of a fireball, laughs at lightning bolts, and eats demons for breakfast? If you are a sorceror, you need to come up with a new trick.

  • The Orbital Cafe
    By Iain McWilliam
    On a dark night, a wrong turn takes two travelers on a lonely journey into fear.

  • The Tomb of Bill Gates
    By Frederick Rustam
    Now and in the future, never sell a billionaire short.

  • Charena
    By Saul Snatsky
    Charena knew that it was dangerous to become an alien lifeform, even temporarily.

  • Victims
    By Karl Eschenbach
    The greatest horrors are real.



  • Read the updated Submissions Guidelines
    Aphelion Submissions Guidelines Page


    Poetry and Filk Music

  • Come Close Children
    By David Blalock

  • The Vigil
    By Iain Muir

  • Hurry Up
    By Joseph B. St. John

  • Diamond Pete's Snapping Needlecorps
    By Jennifer M. Boudreaux


  • The Mare Inebrium

    Updated -- 9-10-00 --
    Each of the three links below have changed. Please take note and adjust your Bookmarks if necessary. The first link below gives you the introduction to the Mare Inebrium, the banner link now gives you acess to all of the Mare stories, and the third link now gives you acess to the Mare Inebrium Online Starter kit. The online Starter Kit will be updated as often as Mare writers make necessary.

    The Mare Inebrium shared universe project
    I open up my own Spaceport Bar to other writers!
    This link takes you to the full introduction to the project.

    All the Mare Inebrium Stories to date.

    The banner above links to
    all the Mare Inebrium Stories on one page!

    The Mare Inebrium Starter Kit.
    --Updated 10/02/2000--

    This is a link to all the background information for the Mare Inebrium stories so far.




    Features

  • 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!

  • Double Wide
    by Jim Parnell
    Jason Phone Home -- You make your own yuck
    WARNING: Contains Language.


  • The Awards Page
    All of the Awards that Aphelion has won.

  • A Challenge to Writers...
    8\8\2000 -

    Not a contest, but a series of ideas to spark off a story.


  • P.S.

    In case anyone is curious as to exactly what's been keeping me so busy, I've planed 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 begining of 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 so I worked it up. Expect it 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 nexw few weeks.

    Dan

    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:

    subscribe aphelion <email address>

    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!

  • - 7\21\2000 - Click here to see the Links Page

  • Excentrivial Musings: The Aphelion Cartoon Page.
  • Dan Hollifield reviews: Coming soon, a new review.
  • 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.


  • 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 1997-2000 by Dan L. Hollifield