Hello and welcome to the December 2020 / January 2021 issue of Aphelion!
In this issue, we have not only our
regular issue's worth of outstanding original stories, but our Editor's
selections of their Best Of submissions of 2020.
We hope that this will hold you, Dear Readers, until we
return in February with our next regularly-scheduled issue--which will
be the first of our 24th year of continuous publication!
One of the things that will be
missing next year is the annual P&E Readers Poll Awards that
you see at the top of this page. P&E are undergoing a
move & reconstruction of their website, as well
as the retirement of their previous senior editorial staff. At
the moment, it looks as if the Polls have not been offered
this year. If the Polls are to return, they will be welcomed by all and
sundry. If not, then they will be missed.
Two things I will not be touching
upon in my Editorial this month are US Politics and the pandemic.
Quite frankly, politics is too divisive here and now, and the
virus is too well covered by any source of news that you have
access to. Both subjects are serious, and as such deserve
better coverage by wiser heads than mine own.
One thing that we have seen this past
year that I can
comment upon is the poliferation of Small Press Publishers and Indy
Publishing--both of which are proving to be a Good Thing. Which is not
to say that traditional publishing is in decline, but rather that they
now have healthy and worthwhile competition. Competition is rarely a
bad thing. This has been building up since the creation of the
Internet. As of now, it is rapidly becoming a recognised force for
traditional publishers to recon with. What will happen is that the
readers/purchasers will make their voices felt in the wider
marketplace. I expect several waves of up and down before everything
shakes out into what can be called a New Normal.
I expect to see a healthy
balance between Traditional, Small Press, and Indy Publishing to
eventually become the above-stated New Normal. However, we're
still within the "shake-down" period when those new norms have yet to
be fully defined or extablished to everyone's satisfaction. This could
go on for quite a while before everything settles down. Stay close to
the candles, the staircase can be treacherous.
For now, I'm going to keep on keeping
on, and see what developments the future hold. Y'all stay safe and have
fun. Aphelion will return in February of 2021 with more of that best
online amateur fiction you have grown to know and love. Whatever
holidays you each may celebrate, I wish you and yours the very best and
About time I quit talking and
let you get to reading!
Title: Title: Phoenix Cluster
Courtesy:NASA, ESA, and NRAO