Aphelion Issue 278, Volume 26
November 2022
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Aphelion Editorial 023

April 1999

Where the Senior Editor gets to ramble on about... What?

by Dan L. Hollifield

Its funny what we can get accustomed to - humans adapt so well - something grows so familiar that it becomes normal... even if its something that you had been complaining about. Something that was at first frightening becomes familiar - even comforting - and then becomes so normal that it fades into the background. You even miss it when its gone.

For the last few months, my offline life has been a real roller-coaster. As the ride shows no signs of stopping, I may as well get used to it. One good thing has been that I've been able to ramble through my memories as I sorted the flotsam and jetsam of forty years of being a sci-fi fan. I was amazed at some of the crap that I've saved. Even to list it would double the size of the magazine, so don't expect me to start. Lots of it finally got tossed, but the memories that each item provoked will remain. And the new viewpoint that those memories also provoked will remain with me.

Would you believe that at one time I was afraid of the internet? Ask Rob, he was the one who finally got me online. I had been taking a computer class at a local school as well as doing some data entry sort of stuff at work - and both networks just happened to be full of viruses at the time. I brought a half dozen different computer viruses home to my computer on each floppy I was using. When they had been purged from my computer I found myself afraid of getting more viruses from the internet. Once I did bite the bullet however, I got used to the net, then later I practically lived online. Now I just kind of commute back and forth. The very thing that I once feared has become familiar, useful, and I can't imagine doing without it. Its become equal to the telephone, TV, running water, electricity, indoor toilets... (Parenthetically; I've lived without some or all of those things at one time or another, but then I've led a busy life. Perhaps that'd be the subject of some future editorial?) How long do you think it will be before a permanent internet connection simply comes with the house? Soon it'll be just another utility, like the phone or electric bill. In less than a decade, the internet has grown tremendously - What'll it be like in twenty years? What will we be like in twenty years?

Yeah, yeah, yeah- "deep questions from such a shallow mind" - I can hear you thinking. And you're right, who designated me to philosophise? But you see, I'm a writer - I dream up sci-fi stories. That requires me to ask those "what would this be like?" questions. So I do, and the results are sometimes put online for all to see. This was a hobby, but has now become an addiction. I can't quit writing. Neither, I expect, can you. But questions are part of the craft. Their answers make a better story.

I'm glad to see some more commentary in the Lettercol about the stories. The Lettercol can be a powerful tool for Aphelion's readers. I do wish more of you would read the serials and comment on them.

I'd like to take this time to say farewell to Martin, and remind him that we are only an e-mail away - so he shouldn't become a total stranger. Also, let's welcome Jeff Williams to the Serials Editor job... He should be pretty good at it, if I'm any judge. Jeff has been wanting to get us on a more regular footing as the Production Editor, so now is his chance to add to his talents. Hopefully, the 1st barrier shall soon be broken.

Well, I should shut up about now and let you get to reading this month's selections. Enjoy!



1999 Dan L. Hollifield

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