Don't miss a single hillarious issue of Bruno the Bandit,
Freefall or The Melonpool Chronicles! Check back
every day for laughs from Aphelion's featured cartoonists!
Iain Muir filling in for the Senior Editor...
* Muir pulls out his soapbox and coughs nervously *
Good evening and welcome to this issue of Aphelion. I have volunteered to
write this issue's Editorial, as Our Glorious Leader, Dan Hollifield, is
still suffering from a bad case of the "dead computer syndrome." We, the
editorial mafia, have striven to put together the issue in his absence, but
I don't think any of us actually realised how much * work * Dan puts in on a
monthly basis to pull all of this insanity together. Days slipped away from
us, and eventually it seemed more meet to put out a combined August /
September issue, with added content, than to rush an August issue out and
delay September, thereby frustrating the authors who were slated for
September publication. (Trust us: it's all about service to the community,
not about buying ourselves more time!)
On to the actual editorial comment. As you read these words, we are
approaching the anniversary of the single largest act of terrorism in
history: the destruction of the World Trade Centre. At the time, I recall
feelings of shock, of horror, and a sense that the world had changed, that
from this day forward, things would never be the same again. A year on, I
look around and ask myself: has the world changed?
I look around me, living as I do on the far side of the planet from Ground
Zero, and I see that for the majority of people, life has not changed. We
still go to work, worry about our children, plan for our futures. There was
a brief spurt of security consciousness, which has dulled with the lack of
any further attacks. Airlines have instituted some new security rules,
which are of maximum inconvenience to the passenger, but are agreed by most
security experts to be of minimal effectiveness in stopping another such
attack. A government has been overthrown in a foreign country, but it
appears that the man responsible for planning the attack on the WTC is still
at large, and the world is no safer a place to live in than it was a year
Aphelion deals in Fantasy and Science Fiction, in tales of what may be, what
might have been, and what should never be. Niven and Pournelle called
sci-fi authors "the dreaming fithp," those whose duty it is to ponder the
imponderable, to conceive of the inconceivable. None of us foresaw the
events of September 11, 2001. None of us, as far as I know, has predicted
the aftermath of those events. Reality, it would appear, is not only
stranger than we know, but also stranger than we can conceive. Whatever
your conception of tomorrow may be, it is wrong. I find that a comforting
thought. When I look at the bleak futures some predict, where freedom has
been curtailed in the name of security, I take comfort that this is a
possibility, not a certainty. I take comfort that there is an equal
possibility that the future may be as bright and utopian as conceived by
In the shadow of tragedy and despair, take hope from the courage and
strength portrayed that grim day a year ago. We cannot know what tomorrow
will bring. We can only do our best to make today the best we can, and hope
that tomorrow we can improve on it. Speculative fiction can show us the
way: the possibilities for a brighter future, and the pitfalls we should
Dream on, my brethren!
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
Assistant Short Story Editor
Production Editor/Serials Editor
Assistant Serials Editor
Serialized Stories & Novellettes
By Indrapramit Das Jerusalem knew exactly what he was looking for-his father. He
also knew where to look-Hell. But that got him to the slight
problem in between-how to get to the place where he had to start
In the Halls of Power
By Greg Guerin
Exclusive ownership of land was considered a fundamental right. Could
one struggling farmer's small request lead to an abandonment of this
By Steve Bomkamp Ronnie had an imagination so vivid that he was able to escape
the unpleasantness of life by hiding in his own hallucinations,
until one day there came an intruder that could follow him even
into his dreams.
The Rage and the Reason
By Christain R. Bonawandt Del Gato and Fox leave Gradnuer to follow Rothin into
Gradnuer's dream where they meet the mysterious
By Stenger White You probably don't remember Eva Connelly, but if you were in
Tucson around 1991 you may have seen the newspaper articles about a
University of Arizona student who disappeared. There were lots of
guesses: somebody snatched her, she ran off with someone, or she
ran off by herself. I was there, and I saw it all, but you won't
believe me either... .
By McCamy Taylor The editors are pleased to present this narrative, penned by
the renowned criminologist, Inspector Silverdeen of the Avalon City
Police. Silverdeen is better known as the White Wolf, an epithet
that is used by friends and foes alike. Though his pedigree is one
hundred percent elf, he has a knack for sniffing out the truth that
would make a bloodhound green with envy. He also possesses a keen
mind and a pair of fists that could level an ox. Out of respect for
the latter, the editors have refrained from making corrections to
By Jeremy Kuban You probably don't want to know what it feels like to have only
a short time to live, but if you do, read this horrific tour de
force by Jeremy Kuban.
By Frank Dunsmore Detective Schmidt is not superstitious but as he follows the
trail of lovely dead women with puncture marks on their throats
from the Chicago Subway to the Adler Planetarium, he begins to
wonder if a vampire might have done it.
M. Comes in From the Night
By McCamy Taylor During the war, Manuela ran a diner that sat next to a lonely
highway in New Mexico. One night a stranger came in who spoke with
a slight German accent.
By Christian R. Bonawandt The surprising conclusion of Del Gato's quest.
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!
by Jim Parnell The collected wisdom of Bubba WARNING: Contains Language.
Aphelion proudly presents the installments of Double Wide all on
one page of links. We wanted to make sure that the wit and wisdom
of Bubba wasn't lost for new readers, so we made a mini-archive
list of just the Double Wide features.
Dan Hollifield reviews: "Accidental Encounter"
A novel by Noel Carroll Unwilling participants in a double-edged nightmare.
by Rob Wynne Rob Wynne bangs his head against Phoenix's "Into the
A Challenge to
Writers... --8\8\2000-- Not a contest, but a series of ideas to spark off a story.
Challenge 1 is the paintings of Daniel Hannaquand, Challenge 2 is a
collection of narrative hooks composed by Dan Hollifield.
Click here to see the Links Page. Our fellow E-zines, Astronomy,
research material, entertainment, and much, much more!
Aphelion IRC Chat --2\16\2001-- Information about a new feature for Aphelion. IRC Chat is a fun
way to talk to our readers, writers, staff members, and other
netizens. This link takes you to a basic intro and provides further
links to the IRC software that you can download for free. Look for
new updates as we refine this feature.
Chat --2\12\2001-- For a quick look at the JAVA chat client, this link launches a
new browser window that takes you to a Log-in form for a JAVA-based
chat in your browser window. No specian programs are needed. This
will be a very simple, but passable IRC client, very no-frills.
This will also tell you if there's anyone else in the chatroom, by
And banner artwork for links. If you want to link to Aphelion and want more than a text link,
then this page is for you. Some of these banners are finished, but
most of them lack only my adding text to make them complete.
Unfinished banners can be completed and e-mailed to you within 8
days. The banner HTML code-- and image --can be e-mailed on
request, or can be more simply copied from the "View / Page
Source" option in your web browser. Finished images can be copied
from the banner artwork page itself. An exchange of links or banner
links is always welcome. Link Swap E-mail should be sent to: Dan Hollifield
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 email@example.com 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!
Instead of the back issues the banner below now takes you to
the Archives-where all our past stories are available for you to
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.