Aphelion Issue 278, Volume 26
November 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
Contact Us
Flash Writing Challenge
Dan's Promo Page

P&E Top Ten P&E Top Ten
March ended with a huge boost for me--for some of Aphelion's writers as well. Steam-Powered Dream Engines has been published by Rogue Planet Press/Horrified Press on March 28th. Edited by Sergio Palumbo and Gavin Chappell, featuring short stories by myself, Robin Lipinski, Michele Dutcher, John David Rose, Sergio Palumbo and the late Ernesto Canepa, and many other writers, with cover art by John David Rose, and interior illustrations by comics designers Davide "Atog" Marescotti and his wife Sara Della Casa. It is, as the title suggests, an anthology of steampunk stories--adventures in the grand style, as it were.

Steam-Powered Dream Engines, cover art by John David Rose
ISBN: 9780244375102
Copyright: Rogue Planet Press (Standard Copyright License)
Edition" 1st
Publisher: Rogue Planet Press
Published: March 27, 2018
Language: English
Pages: 210
Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Illustrations: Ink Black & White
Weight: 0.82 lbs.
Dimensions (inches): 5.83 wide x 8.26 tall
Product ID: 23578323
Price: $12.99

This has been a really exciting time all the while this book has been in production. I'm very happy for everyone involved that it has finally reached its release date. Now, from what I can tell, there isn't an e-book version yet, but that is probably in the works as well, I would venture to guess. When the publisher and editors have that ready to go, I'm sure they will be eager to unleash it on the world as well. For now, I'm looking forward to having a copy on my bookshelves so that I can read everyone's stories.

Now that Spring has sprung in the Northern hemisphere, the convention season is well and truly upon us. Up next on my personal schedule is LibertyCon in Chattanooga Tennessee during the June/July crossover weekend. I would invite everyone reading this to attend, but the con is sold out--they have reached their membership limit and located a new hotel for this year. I hate to say goodbye to the venerable Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, but their management have decided to scale down their number of hotel rooms in order to become an apartment complex. And such is life--it was a wonderful hotel and I loved staying there, but they no longer have enough rooms as a hotel for LibertyCon to remain being based there.  This year's new hotel will most likely not be the one used in 2019, but as I understand it, there are brand new convention-centric hotels in Chattanooga which are almost nearing their final phases of construction. The Con Committee will no doubt make the best choice they can from among the new venues best suited for Liberty's fantastic mix of literary con and family reunion, but for tax reasons plus the desire to keep the intimate vibe going, the con memberships will continue to be capped at 700-750 attendees. But the thing about conventions in Chattanooga is that most of the nearby LibertyCon regulars attend them all. It's a big family of dedicated fans and Pros, and they love nothing better than an excuse to take over a hotel and have fun for a long weekend! Now, if you really want to have a chance to catch up with me at Liberty one day, I recommend you bookmark their webpage and leap at the registration link once it opens for a future year. LibertyCon.Org is the link, and it is pretty easy to navigate. After all they have been at this for three decades now, and have gotten pretty good at it!

And as I reported last month, I have recently been asked to become the Literary Track Director for Atlanta's own alternate histoy convention, AnachroCon. AnachroCon started off as a steampunk convention, but has evolved into embracing all sorts of alternate history genres. My duties will involve putting together discussion panels with various writers and so forth as panelists, setting the schedule of those panels, making sure that the con's tech staff know about any special needs a panel may have, keeping track of how well attended the panels are, and general problem solving for the Literary Guests. I will not have any special powers to decide who gets what perks, however. That's up to the senior con staff. AnachroCon's website is up and running with various apps where one can apply for guest status here: AnachroCon. If you visit the site, you'll see that there are apps to apply as a panelist as well as a guest. Lyn and I have attended the first seven years of the con. February 15th-17th of 2019 will be the 10th anniversary. It has always been a lot of fun to attend. There are panels on every subject in the genre, a Tea Party, demonstrations of many wide-ranging subjects, fantastic costumes, pro writers, Makers, and all manner of amazing hapenings. Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson have attended in the past, as well as alternate universe cosplayers of all sorts. The con staff are looking for a hotel at the moment, so that information isn't available yet. But if you are an alternate history writer or fan, look up their website and check into applying for Guest status, or get a regular membership as an attending pro or as a fan of the genre. And please be sure to let me know if you're a pro or an up and coming writer in the genre and you plan to attend, because I am still filling places for speakers on discussion panels. I'd love to see you there!

In other news, I'd like to thank everyone on our Forums for leaping into the breach and keeping the monthly Flash Fiction competitions going while I have been out of the loop. Each of the writers are doing exceptional work in one of the more difficult formats to write within. And Forums member Jim Statton has come up with some excellent challenges for the writers. I am grateful beyond words for him to have taken this upon himself while I have been distracted by personal matters, offline. Thank you, Jim. You're doing better than I did, even when I had the time to spare to devote to it. I would ask as a personal favor that you continue. Writing flash stories teaches a lot about how to edit a story down to its most important elements in order to stay within the word limit of the format. I urge all our writers to give the flash contests a try. And all our readers to join the Forums and cast a vote for the stories you enjoyed reading the most.

All right, it's about time I shut up and let y'all get to reading the second issue of Aphelion of 2018! Enjoy!



This is a little something I made early last year. It's a little advert for Aphelion. I wrote the music and added a slide show of past cover art. It's short, and showcases a lot of the changes we've made over the past two decades. Feel free to share it around.

Feel free to share this on Facebook, G+, blog posts, and other webpages. But only with the permission of the page or group owners! Be polite and considerate, always. You'll have to look up the embed code for the ad on You Tube, sorry about that, but the code won't display correctly here. But the Share Code for Facebook and G+ is:


Mare Inebrium Collection

If you do the Facebook thing, feel free to join us on the Aphelion page there. The link is Aphelion Webzine. As an aside, the Editorial Mafia and I have found Facebook to be very useful. Given our different locations and schedules, it's come in handy as a way to discuss production details of new issues. Sometimes there are several of us using Facebook at the same time, so it's almost like the old chat room days back in the 1990s.

My first collection of Mare Inebrium spaceport bar short stories was published in February of 2015 by Dark Oak Press. It is available in both Kindle an Nook e-book formats, paperback, and hardback. The above mentioned steampunk anthology is another project I have been proud to be a part of, too. I also have three albums of instrumental music out through the Create Space self-publishing website. If you like, you can click on the photo or the link below to find all the info you would need to purchase my book in your preferred format, or an e-book of Flash of Aphelion, buy a CD of my music, or listen to tracks off of the albums on my Bandcamp website. Enjoy!

Dan's Promo Page

I'm also happy to announce that unless the world ends soon, I should be able to retire from the factory in 4 and a fraction more years. I ran the numbers through a spreadsheet that I wrote up to calculate exactly when I could afford to walk out of that factory for the final time. Barring unforeseen disasters--or last-minute adjustments, my final day of gainful employment should be February 7th of 2023. After that, I'll be a pensioner, on a fixed income, and my hated alarm clock will only ever be needed for special occasions forever afterwards. I'm literally counting down the days. 1267 workdays left as of Friday March 30th of 2018! Yes, I actually have a calculator written to do the countdown for me, LOL! It's true that the first year of my retirement will require some careful budgeting, but during the second year all of my retirement funding will kick in and things will become much easier.



Title: Messier 78: a reflection nebula in Orion

Photo Credit: ESO/Igor Chekalin