Friends, I have good news. There is a lady to love in my life again. A longtime friend has been waiting for my grief to run it's course, for me to heal. ApheliCon was one of the healing bits. A neighbor's 50th birthday party was another bit. Spending time with Rob and Larissa, Jaimie and Tejal's wedding, birthday parties for my neice and nephew, a baby shower for a new neice or nephew soon to be born... All this and more have helped me face the roller coaster that the last year has been. And now that I'm ready to look for romance again, low and behold, there's someone jumping up and down, waving flags, shooting off bottle rockets... And I thought that I really ought to stop and take a good look at the woman who has been waiting for me to look up and notice her.
We're going to give it a go and see what we can make of it. Both of us have no illusions about how much work it will take. We're going to take one day at a time, as it comes. By the time the October issue of Aphelion comes online, she'll be by my side. Maybe I'll make fewer typos.
Her name is Lindsey, she prefers Lyn. She's 23 months younger than I. She's English, born in Venezuala, and has been living in New Mexico for the last 15 years or so. She'll probably show up in the Lettercol and chatroom for folks to get to know her. I know that you'll all welcome her. And I thank you for it in advance.
Now, with all that good news boiling in my veins, do I still have a rant in me? You betcha, Red Ryder. I had promised myself that I wasn't going to rant on NOLA and Katrina. But I've got to, after all. But maybe not in the way that you'd think at first.
I'm not going to wade in on the politics involved. I will only point out that the disaster highlighted governmental budgetary and planning deficencies that stretch back over a century, in all levels of government: local, state, federal. Less work was done than was needed, for the entire history of New Oreans. That's a sad fact that everyone has to face. Katrina was a monster, and the entire Southeastern US now knows what it feels like when Godzilla wades up on our beach. And no, that was not supposed to be a joke, but rather a reflection of the magnitude of the carnage. I'm not going to slather and foam at the mouth about photo ops and dog and pony shows. That's can be found on the TV news if you want it.
Instead, I'm going to point out that perhaps the US needed to be shown horrible disaster and suffering right here at home. That we needed to know that our city, county, parrish, state, and federal governments have been more interested in pork and power to do the work necessary to plan for huge disasters to occur, and to spend the money necessary to build and rebuild infrastructure to minimise the effects of a monster storm in areas known for them. And that it isn't just now, the rot goes way back into the past.
And perhaps, we Americans needed to be shown how thin the veneer of civilization really is, in the wake of disaster and deprivation. That even we prideful Americans are only three missed meals away from anarchy at any given time. That even we succumb to barbarism when the going gets tough enough. And that those of us who think "it can't happen here" or "we're too good for that" or even "well, that's just poor people for you" are blindly wrong. In desperate need of having their eyes opened.
NOLA and Katrina have shown us the best and the worst that the human animal is capable of being. There are tough lessons to be learned from this disaster. I hope the US has the guts to learn them and take them to heart. Earth is evolving, conditions are changing, the old models aren't good enough any more. We all have to work together, or we're going to see more and even worse disasters of every stripe.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." We are living in Interesting Times, friends. Scares the willies out of me.
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
Senior Editor Emeritus
Short Story Editor Emeritus
Serialized Stories & Novellettes
The Laws of Magic
By Joe Vadalma When Detective Martin Kopinski got the missing person case, he thought
he'd seen it all in his twenty years on the force. But dealing with the
occult was beyond even his tough, cynical expertise, when murder,
witchcraft, demonology, the Cthulhu and other dimensions are involved.
Nightwatch: Fly By Wire --Part Two--
By Dan L. Hollifield What was concealed
Shall stand revealed
In all its radiant glory.
Those secrets held
Shall be unveiled
And thereby hangs this story...
A new shared universe series: Nightwatch, under the direction of Jeff Williams.
By Andrew Beatty Wyclef had always been different, an outsider from the day he was born. But he didn't find out HOW different until the day he tried to end it all.
One Night at Eddie's
By George T. Philibin John Temmels thought he was a pretty good pool player -- until he met Eric. And when the strangers arrived to challenge Eric, John found out he'd been playing way out of his league.
By Joel Callahan
The cargo ship Merchanter's Luck was making a routine visit to deliver goods to a farming colony in an isolated star system when the Privateer attacked. But the Luck and her crew had a few surprises in store for their murderous foes.
Born Under Punches
By Mark Aspillera With the government monitoring every step you take -- or every step your shoes take -- you'd better pick up the pace.
By G. C. Dillon Once the forest dwellers had lived in harmony with Men. But that time had long since passed, and the armies of Man were pushing the faerie folk to the edge of war.
By JPhilip Hamm The members of Libertas Scriptor wanted to wipe forgotten literature from the data banks -- to preserve it in its original paper and ink form, safe from tampering by the government of the day. That meant that Jason Runner would have to do the unthinkable if he wanted to see the books he was seeking ...
By Iain Darby Josiah had lost everything. Joan was gone, and with her death, the joy had drained from Josiah's life. But when he found the forgotten shrine, he found much more.
The Yellow Leaf
By Joel Doonan What is a single dead leaf worth? To the people around the tree from which it falls, it is nothing -- one pretty thing among thousands. But let it travel far enough, and it can become precious.
By James Brian King Dr. Benjamin Ellsworth knew that time travel was risky. A tiny mistep in the past could change everything. A trip into the future, on the other hand --
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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