Aphelion Issue 256, Volume 24
November 2020
 
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P&E Top TenP&E Top TenP&E Top Ten

Hello and welcome to the November 2020 issue of Aphelion!

Thanks to being knocked offline by a broken wire, this issue is several days late. By the time I wrote this, we here in the US will only have had two days left to go before our big election. I wanted to urge all eligable US voters to get out there and cast your ballots. Lyn and I did the mail-in voting thing back in September, but Tuesday was still in the future, as of that moment, so there was still time to let your voice be heard. If you voted, thank you!

I had been watching online history being made with Joe McKeel's Hallowcon streamcast this weekend. The entire convention has been streamcast, continuously, since October 30th, and will wind up with closing cerimonies sometime later Sunday evening, November 1st. It's been a blast to be part of, as well as to watch what may become a cutting-edge development in future conventions. As of now, online attendence of conventions will enter the mainstream--for con guests as well as attendees. That future has become now. Virtual guests as well as live guests will be able to interact with live and virtual attendees in real time. All it takes is computers, a good internet connection, and the willpower to undertake the challenge. Plus, every moment of this year's Hallowcon is being archived on multiple platforms. The upshot of that is if you missed a panel, you'll be able to go to You Tube, or Twitch, or Facebook and watch it at your convenience! For as long as those archives keep generating interest. Practically forever, in other words. Neat, isn't it?

Naturally, there have been a few glitches in the matrix. No doubt there will be a few more before this becomes so normal that it becomes boringly normal. But normal it will become. Remember the future, friends! Think of it, conventions with live guests sitting side by side with computer monitors showing online guests. Never missing a panel you wanted to go to but was scheduled at the same time as a different panel that were also interested in. All those spontanious moments were you wished someone had been recording something for posterity--and now we are making that happen! I am proud to have been a small part of bringing that into being.

Speaking of changes, Aphelion is currently undergoing a few as well. Due to the problems with the Forms, we're going to shift things around a bit, maybe knock out  couple of walls, splash some paint around, pick out some new wallpaper--that sort of thing. If all goes well, you'll only notice the surface bits. We're looking forward to having more room to grow into, ourselves. Should be fun.

At the moment, as I type this, my internet is down because of storm damage from the recent hurricane. We personally came through it well, but power lines and phone lines are down throughout the area. Hopefully the new issue flip won't be delayed for too long. If you are reading this, then everything worked out. If you're not reading it on November 1st, then I apologize.

2020 hasn't been the best year, for anyone. I still have hope that the future will unfold in a positive way, however. We have lost so many people, both public figures and within our own families. For some of us, each day brings new challenges. Yet, each day also brings new hopes as well. With the fading of the light, my Seasonal Depression has resurfaced, the days are shorter while the hours seem longer, and actual minutes sometimes drag on into what feels like eternity. At times, I feel like the proverbial Little Dutch Boy with his finger plugging the leak in the dam, seeing more leaks happen, all just out of reach. Fix one thing, and three others spring up. I keep slapping patches on minor problems, but my roll of duct tape is running low. Yet through it all, hope springs eternal. Good things have happened this year. Each one seems more precious because of all the misfortune around us. Celebrate whatever good fortune you may find, hold it tight, savor the joys that come your way. Together, we will survive the looming darkness. Spring will return after Winter runs its course. The cold dark will end. The warm light will return.

And right about now people are looking at their computer, puzzled, wondering if Dan is all right. Relax, I may not be 100% right now, but I will be later on. I haven't got time to be all gloom and despair. Too much to do! About time I quit talking and let you get to reading, LOL!

Dan 

 



ON THE COVER

Title: Title: Serpens Nebula HBC 672, or [EC 92] 82

Courtesy: NASA, ESA, and STScI