This is my last chance to convince you that you need to vote in the upcoming election. Should I wax poetic on the duties attached to being a grown-up in the US these days? Nah, you'd just scroll down the page. Should sling mud at one or the other parties? Why should I need to? Can't they do that perfectly well for themselves? My mission is clear here, I just want you to make your voice heard.
The best way to insure that you wind up with a bad government is to do nothing. Casting your vote tips the odds in favor with your point of view, your opinions, your ideals. Not voting just gives control of your life to other people. And they may not share your ideals.
OK, that's about all the time I want to devote to politics.
How about those folks that are flying SSO? They won the X-Prize! How about that? Civilian Areospace is here. We live to see it, folks! I wonder what we'll do next? An Hotel in orbit? One on the Moon? A second generation of inner solar system exploration stories has just opened up. And if we decide on a faster engine for our future ships, the outer solar system will be just as ripe for good storytelling. Just because some of the classic "Explore the Solar System" stories turned out to be based on information that turned out to be incorrect, doesn't mean that new stories witten with science accurate to our times should be neglected.
Something that I've always thought is that we writers need to give the readers something more than mere entertainment. If you can educate, please do so. If you can inspire, more power to you. If you can make the reader want to learn more, then I bow to you.
Just as the heroes and heroines of those early SF stories helped readers decide to take up the sciences, we, half a century later have the chance to influence the next generation of scientists, dreamers, artists, musicians, and heroes. Reading is the key to unlock the powers of the universe. Good writing is the key to unlocking the powers of reading and imagination. We writers have an awesome responsibility. We can shape the minds that build our world with the heroes and villians we create- to struggle out our petty dramas and dash some illumination upon the human condition like a lighthouse in the darkness, casting its beam out upon the crashing seas. We owe our readers our best work. Who knows what new reality may spring from our words?
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!
Senior Editor, Publisher
Short Story Editor
Assistant Short Story Editor
Production Editor/Serials Editor
Assistant Serials Editor
Serialized Stories & Novellettes
The Last Abbott
By Jon Wesick
Thousands of years in the future a group of monks guards the nuclear
waste left behind after modern civilization collapsed. One day Brother
Wigner discovers a library hidden in one of the tunnels. The young monk
and two companions set out on a quest to discover the books' meaning.
By Robert Southern
When high school science teacher Thomas Jefferson led a group of kids
on a historic excursion into the Rocky Mountain forests, he never
imagined he would have to fight them for anything more than his
A lost Shakespearean play, a lost research station, and Stephanie
Keel's lost past all converge in the steamy jungles of Amazonia. Simon
Litchfield's khakis keep their impeccable crease as he, Tom Weldon, and
Stephanie do battle over an incredible and ancient secret.
A new shared universe series: Nightwatch, under the direction of Jeff Williams.
After three kids disappear near a city park, the two other boys with
them but who didn't go along now live in a nightmare. What happened to
the three? That question is somewhat answered years later when the two
boys, now college kids, stumble into their nightmare once again when
they find something relating to the three kids who are still missing!
By Tom Arbino
Never trust a cat with evil eyes.
Hell and Back
By Joshua Scribner
Willie Tantel was smart enough for college, but he didn't have the kind of
patience it took to stick with something for several years. Like so many
kids his age, he had wanted it all and wanted it fast.
By Robert Starr
He knew what he had to say to be free, but somehow he could never bring
himself to say it.
By Fred Zachau
After thirty years of quiet desperation, a man encounters an old girl friend
and faces a rendezvous with a mysterious train.
By J.L. Navarro
You could describe this story as "Aldous Huxley meets J.L. Navarro."
By Joe Vadalma
After the bars close, the city dies. An atmosphere of hopelessness and
despair pervades. Only the evil and destitute are on the streets; the
homeless, junkies, muggers, killers, and worn-out prostitutes.
By Lee Alon
It was supposed to be a holiday for Lenny's mom, but there was an unexpected
side trip to a world of violence.
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.
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
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
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