What a long strange trip its been. Here we are- starting Aphelion's seventh year. Has it really been that long? I guess it has. My how time flies when you're running yourself ragged to keep up, LOL! No- its all been fun, really.
We've got a great line up of stories for you, scads of reviews of new books coming out, and lots of updates to our regular features. So grab a party hat and help yourself to some punch! Let's celebrate! Happy Birthday, Aphelion! Balloons! Where are the balloons? There's a slice of birthday cake for everyone.
And you thought I was going to rant about NASA being gutted by the Bush Space plan, didn't you? I'll just say that BS seems a fitting title for it. I can't help thinking that China's space program has a lot to do with the decision for the US to return to the Moon and then jump to Mars. There's a lot of people in China. Suppose they started sending large numbers of colonists out there? Why then, there'd be a Moon base gap and a Mars base gap and they might even try to claim the whole thing for themselves- And where would that leave the US? Stuck here on Earth trying to recycle everything that's been left behind... Ah, you read SF, you know how the plot goes from here on. We all know that music, the same tired old song and dance. Its time to change the beat. Sure, lets go set up some Lunar bases. Lets make them grow into cities. The same for Mars colonies, the sooner we start builting them the better. I imagine that Mars would be welcoming industries that put a lot of smoke in the air- to help with some needed global warming there. Lets do it just as soon as we figure out how.
What will we need? Some heavy-lift boosters, some new spaceship designs, a couple of space stations, a few million people to do the work, a few billion dollars, something to get the public interested... And what else? I don't know yet, but at least its a place to start.
Can we actually make it work? Sure, but we humans might be forced to grow up a little more first. Right now, we're still too interested in fighting among ourselves over trivia. "Whose God is holier than whose? Who has the correct skin color? Who stole a chicken from us ten thousand years ago- so its been war to the knife ever since? Who is sleeping with whom? Who is foreign and exotic and so has been stealing our women/men/mates/oil/earwax/whatever? Who has more money? Power? Followers? A bigger limo?"
How long is it going to be before we're ready to get out of the Day-Care center that is planet Earth? Actually, I was hoping to have been an asteroid miner by this time. I was born at the beginning of the Space Age. Am I doomed to outlive it? Only time will tell. Most of us can only influence world events by keeping our governments in line, by participating, by voting out the rascals, and voting in whoever we think will support our views. But we can't just keep sitting back and waiting. If we want the world to change, we're the ones who are going to have to do the work necessary to make that change. You want to go to Mars? Raise your voice and be heard! Get active, get involved, make it happen! The future's that way! I can only show you the door. I can't make you walk through it. But when you do make it through the door, we are going to PARTY!
I now return you to your regularly scheduled reading...
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!
By C. Francis Higgins
"Three friends find the spirits of the Old South rest fitfully in the
deepest recesses of the Bayou..."
By Indrapramit Das
His life in Calcutta destroyed forever, Alexander turns to the past
before starting a new life. To the hills of Scotland, an antique sword, an
amateur Satanic cult and forgotten feelings. (Note: This novella is a
continuation of 'Demon Son.')
Life in the Fast Lane
By Mike Morris
I was one of a long line of middle-class academic achievers, which
marked me as a troublemaker right away. These days, America was an
efficiently run insane asylum. It was just a question of everything
getting bigger and better and faster, something that the USA was
superbly suited for. Scams, sleaze and squalor led the way. After the
spectacular political rise of a well-known TV celebrity and his cabinet
of talk show hosts, things started to go downhill rapidly.
Close Encounters of the Enraged Kind
By Lee Alon
On Madison and Ashland the light turned red. Behind his beat up old Volvo he
could see a large car edging up to the rear bumper. He was with Robin and
hating the world for yet another fucked up day.
A Futuristic Tale
By J. L. Navarro
Dr. David Cervantes was all alone in the world in the year 2549. He was 283
Let My People Go
By George Condon
According to Legend, Moses was the adopted son of an Egyptian princess.
More likely, he was
just an ambitious shepherd. Or perhaps, he was an insurance investigator,
like Alex Dorian..
Keep The Change
By Kieran Fox
The Gifted Autistics Institution of America, a.k.a. GAIA, was part asylum,
part training facility, and part research lab. But most of all, it was a
The Eye of Time
By Brian C. Petroziello
If you take that path up the hill, you came to a set of stairs cut into the
rock. Just below the arch there's a little ledge. When an Indian boy was on
the verge of becoming a man, he would sleep on the ledge during a night when
the moon was full. He would have visions. Sometimes of his future, some time
of his past. The visions would guide his life, or save it.
By Al McDonald
He loved the beautiful Karen but he dared not speak to her. When he found
out she wanted
him too, it was too late. Or was it too late?
The Gentle Art of Salesmanship
By Shaun A. Saunders
When Ray arrived in heaven, he was not content with mere perfection; he set
about making it better.
The Chocolate Conspiracy
By Bob Downing The alien was determined to save our race from annihilation. Perhaps it was
because he saw some hidden worth; perhaps it was because he valued all sentient life;
perhaps it was his high ideals. Or perhaps it was simply because he liked Martha Jeffries' chocolate cake.
by Cary Semar Aphelion's Cary Semar turns his eye towards the political scene in this new feature!
Dan Hollifield Reviews: The Evil Side of
Lanaia Lee - Enter If You Dare
Poetry by Lanaia Lee. Thoughtful, evocatave, and sometimes spooky poetry.
Dan Hollifield Reviews: After the Fall
The new Horror novel by Monica Y. Russell A lyrical, elegant, yet disturbing vision.
Dan Hollifield Reviews: The Burning House:
Book Two of the Thran Chronicles by H. David Blalock An excellent sequel, even better than the first book.
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.
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 --7\31\2003-- Information about an underused 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 --Repaired 3\25\2003-- 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 special 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.