Hello and welcome to the February 2021 issue of Aphelion!
In this issue, we have our
regular issue's worth of outstanding original stories--which is the
first of our 24th year of continuous publication!
24 years? Wow! We've really come a long way since
1997, haven't we? Seems both so long ago that we started Aphelion, and
just a few months ago--all at the same time. Hope you've enjoyed the
ride as much as I have. Hopefully, you will agree that we've only
gotten better as time passes.
I got the news last week that, barring unforeseen
circumstances, LibertyCon in Chattanooga will be a live convention this
year! All memberships from the 2020 con, which was not held due to the
virus outbreak have been rolled over to apply to 2021. Due to State,
Local, Hotel, and convention insurance rules, masking and social
distancing will be the order of the day. Despite that difficulty, it
looks as if everyone attending will be having a great time. It is my
understanding that discussion panels will feature fewer guests at a
time, and seating will be arranged further apart for audience members.
There won't be a "meet & greet" , nor a banquet dinner, this year.
No doubt, there will be changes to the Con Suite, Green Room, nd Room
Party rules as well. The Con Staff have no control over the laws that
will make this necessary, so please don't give them a hard time about
it. Other changes include the raising of the
convention's membership cap from 750 to 1000--but that was enacted
before the virus appeared. I'm looking forward to it, and I hope that
everyone who does make it has a great time.
Lots of people have been getting used to working
from home, remote schooling, online meet-ups on streaming services, and
other new ideas over the past year. I even "attended" a few virtual
conventions. Hallowcon as one that broke new ground. It used Streamyard
to host virtual panels, show movies, host musical events, and even had
an online Dealer's Room. I believe that's something that may survive
after the virus passes--conventions having greater online coverage of
live panels and events, I mean. It seems like a natural outgrowth of
this past year's workarounds for not being able to host live events. It
would also solve a frequent complaint of con-goers: there is so much
going on that no one can see the entire convention, all the panels, all
the events. While watching a convention on You Tube will never replace
the fun of a live con, it would allow many of us to see what we missed while we were in the audience of the panels we most wanted to see.
As for me, I'm working on finishing up a prequel
Tom Darby book for Three Ravens Publishing. The manuscript is already
at 29k+ words. It seems to be in the home stretch--unless the
characters throw me yet another plot twist. The format is a series of
short stories with Tom narrating his adventures from the Korean War,
Cold War, and eventually putting him on that darkened back road on his
motorcycle--where the story "Abducted" begins. Once I send that
manuscript off to Three Ravens, I promise I will dive back into the Cat
& Crow fantasy story. If I keep putting the work in, and don't get
distracted, maybe I can get both books out to the readers this year.
In other personal news, I've just had a flash
fiction piece appear in a quarterly Corner Scribblers issue. It's on
Amazon now in e-book and print. Turns out that the essay on writing
that I was also asked to submit was chosen for the introduction to the
book. I had no idea! "Take Me To Your Reader" has already been added to
my Amazon Author Page, and I will be updating my promo page here on
Aphelion in the next few days. Go check out the book, and if you like
what you've read, then take a gander at the previous four issues of the
About time I quit talking and
let you get to reading!
Title: AM 2026-424
Courtesy:NASA, ESA, and J. Dalcanton, B.F. Williams, and M. Durbin (University of Washington)