Aphelion Issue 220, Volume 21
August 2017
 
Editorial    
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August Short Stories

The Orphan Hunter
by Lou Antonelli
Bob Tully picks up a helpful hand when scavenging for abandoned vending machines.

Remission
by Charlie Fish
What are you willing to sacrifice for your job?

“Under the Blossom that Hangs on the Bough”
By Stephen M. Davis
Barron sees his panther.

Wintering Ground
By Damien Krsteski
Saol learns to survive in a harsh world.

Dark Sister
By Susan Anwin
An outsider takes on the role of an outcast.

Tough Town
By Jon Stubbington
It’s a tough town, and Arton Yuar knows what it takes to survive.

Escape from Shadow Town
By Vincent Lakes
How do you prove your worth when you’ve been branded a traitor?

Sacrificial Lambs, Positronic Programs, or The Joys of Parenthood
By Gregory Cioffi
Phillis and Isaac worry about their only child. Nice homage to a classic tale.

Military Precedent?
By Thomas Wm. Hamilton
Fwedd makes an exciting discovery that could change warfare.

At Mayfaner House
By Eoin O'Neill
Will George Mayfaner III make the same mistake his grandfather did?

Transitions
By Andrew Massey
Does the Prime Directive apply to changing the past?

Monstrous Potential
By Annie Percik
Theobold the medieval monk becomes a superhero.

Revs
By Chris Bailey
Linda is disturbed by her daughter’s new friends.

Best Short Stories from Our First Twenty Years: 2009-2010

Best of 2009:

The Glass Cage
By James Lecky
Ulphia's beauty was legendary. No man could resist it. To preserve it, she would pay any price...

Faux Pair
By Patrick Welch
Apprentice thief Brendell was elated to be given an important assignment the moment he arrived in Perlenz. There was, of course, a catch -- no one who had attempted the job in the past had returned.

One With the Stars
By Steele Tyler Filipek
Cowrie's people wandered the stars at will in their "planetoids", sentient machines that could cross interstellar distances in an instant. But for her, the prospect of her grandfather's imminent demise outweighed all the wonders her world could offer.

Best of 2010:

In a Time Past
By J. E. Deegan
Cleo and her beloved dog, Joe -- or at least their spirits -- visited their graves every year, remembering the lives they had led and the events that had ended their brief lives. But this year would be different...

Is There Something in the Attic?
By Belinda Rees
The storm brought a blackout, and something else: something that moved around in the attic, frightening the woman and her two small children. She had to see what it was, and deal with it -- that was part of the job of being a mother.

Basilisks and Brian (and a Very Bad First Day)
By Stuart Sharp
Brian Northington had stumbled into a world he had never suspected right in the heart of modern London, a world where magical – and sometimes dangerous -- creatures really existed. As new jobs went, dealing with them on behalf of P. Edgeborough and Co. was -- interesting.

Best Mare Inebrium Tales from Our First Twenty Years

Sociology Experiment
By Wishbone
"I was only trying to get an idea for my thesis on Non-terran sociology...' A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing."

Where Angels Fear to Tread
By Bill Wolfe
When a gathering of Gods found that they needed advice, they knew to ask a bartender. They usurped the bodies of a handy group of Abvarnan farmers and marched them purposefully into the Mare Inebrium on the busiest holiday of the Bethdish year. Fortunately for the Devine, Larrye was the one who took Their order...

Sheffield’s Eleventh
By Jeff Williams
"Mr. Grym... gives you this challenge. Virtually all of City of Lights is...'open'...shall we say. To the enterprising entrepreneur, there is an entree into virtually every business, every bank, every shop, if the cards are played right and if the man or woman is quick, smart, and intelligent. Every building is transparent to your skills and talents under the right circumstances. Every building, that is, except one... The Tower, my friends- The one building that has never been burglarized beyond petty drunks stealing petty bags of petty peanuts. Nothing more than the occasional ashtray or shot glass. Nothing of any consequence besides bathroom towels. No one in this room, indeed, no one in the history of Bethdish has ever broken into the Mare Inebrium Tower and stolen anything of value."

Liar’s Bar
by Iain Muir
"From the dizzying height of her full 5’2", the waitress looked down at the heap of lace and embroidery on the floor, an earth mother figure in a peasant blouse and gypsy skirts. Hooped gold earrings peered out from under her dark curled hair. She was carrying four two-litre beer steins easily in each hand. She nudged his head with one slippered foot."