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

Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Issue 100, Volume 10 -- February 2006

Issue 101, Volume 10 will be online 1st week of March, 2006.

"And if you believe that- you'll buy this watch..."
Saint Robere Guilams


Since January 27th, 1997 when Aphelion first went online.

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The Usual Rant from Aphelion's Senior Editor:

Greetings, Friends! Join us in a little celebration as this issue marks both Aphelion's 100th, but also the 9th birthday for the zine. Hip-Hip-Hooray! Happy Birthday Aphelion! And happy Issue 100! Milestones, both. I never dreamed we'd come this far.

There have been so many milestones passed along the way. Oh, here is another one; issue 100 will probably be still running when the hit counter clicks over to 250,000. Not too shabby for a free e-zine. Several thousand regular readers, in over 65 countries around the globe... That's impressive too. 25 or thirty of our featured writers have later gone on to sell their work. Nearly a dozen established pro writers have sent us stories or sample chapters of upcoming books. Aphelion has gotten tons of online awards for oodles of stuff, even got into the top visited sites list for Starting Point for a few weeks. Aphelion has gotten several reviews, been the subject of a Canadian newspaper article, been study material for elementary school children in Australia and Junior College students in the Northeastern US. In short, Aphelion has been around long enough to have been a lot of things to a lot of people. A quarter of a million readers? Woah! I don't care if it did take nine years, that's impressive.

Now all this hasn't gone to anyone's head. My Aphelion t-shirt may have prompted limited recognition at the SF con I went to a couple of summers back, but I was surprised at that. Pleased, but surprised. And I hear nice things from people online all the time. I'm just happy that the Editorial Mafia and I have been able to make some kind of difference in the world. We just do what we do for the love of doing it. And for the reward of being able to contribute to someone's success, even if only in a small way. You writers succeed or fail on your own efforts. Folks at Aphelion, readers and staff, just give you advice. It is always up to the writer to adapt that advice into something they can use in their stories.

OK, so what does the future hold? Another 100 issues of Aphelion? I certainly hope so! I'm not going anywhere, and none of the crew seems burnt out. We're going to keep sailing ever onward, out from the bar where we began... Oops. Sorry Professor Tolkien, that just slipped out. Ahem. Uh, we're going to keep doing this zine until there's no readers left, and then some I suppose. There are new Mare Inebrium stories in this issue, and a surprise from Bob Moriyama in the form of a new Al Majius story, some more Best Of stories, new poetry, new short stories, a new novella... We're jam-packed with goodies for you in this issue. It's time I shut up and let you get at it. There's very few people who come here just to read my editorials, you know.

Well? What are you waiting for? Grab a party hat and some cake & ice cream, kick back, and start reading!

Back to work...


I now return you to your regularly scheduled reading...

Tell us what you think in Aphelion's Lettercol!

I'd like to thank those of you who have sent e-mails or signed into the Lettercol for your feedback. Keep those messages coming, folks! Without those messages we will never know what we need to improve upon. Hope you like the improvements so far!

Aphelion Staff:

Dan Hollifield
Senior Editor, Publisher
Iain Muir
Poetry/Filk Editor
Robert Wynne
Robert Moriyama
Short Story Editor
McCamy Taylor
Assistant Short Story Editor
Jeffrey Williams
Production Editor/Serials Editor
Ralph Benedetto, Jr.
Assistant Serials Editor
Roger Bennett
Senior Editor Emeritus
Cary Semar
Short Story Editor Emeritus

Serialized Stories & Novellettes

  • To Learn A Sword
    By Orestes Ramos
    What would you do if the mean-spirited son of your town's ruler got away with everything? Would you be fearful for your life and stand by and do nothing? To do that would be to allow it to go on*
    This is one chronicler's recounting of the early events in the life of Lazarus, who would grow up one day to be one of Tierrah's greatest champions.

Short Stories

  • Nature's Way
    by Don Traverso
    Tim Trent loves his wife Dora (the former Dora Redfield), in spite of her bizarre family traditions. He also loves the thriving Redfield farms, and is determined to make them even more prosperous once they pass into his and Dora's hands. If only he could get rid of the damn cicadas, things would be perfect.

  • Red Arrow
    by Rob Starr
    To Nelson, the drifter was a romantic figure, the last of his tribe (even if he wasn't a Chief, as he claimed), and what he saw in the grove of trees just proved how badly his people had been treated. The police, on the other hand, saw things differently.

  • Song of Steam Lungs, Part 2
    by D. D. H. Lee
    Franz thought the sniper Wesley was a fine fellow -- strange, to be sure, with his talk of listening to metal, but always interesting. But Wesley had secrets deeper and darker than Franz could have imagined.

  • Handy Dandy Gets His Candy
    by Frederick Rustam
    The only suspect in the murder of Sensorman Sonny Hales was incapable of harming anyone. At least that was the theory ...

  • Albino Alligator
    by George T. Philibin
    Power politics can be a bloody business, alligator power politics in the Everglades even more so. But a great leader understands the value of friendship, and Tudlow was a great leader.

  • A Matter of Honor
    by Robert Moriyama
    The Countess Lamia, direct heir of Vlad Tepes, has been challenged by an opponent she fears might actually defeat her. But if Al Majius will fight as her Champion, her reign may continue. Given the stakes (no pun intended), Al agrees to take on the job. If only the ceremonial garb would stop creeping up ...

  • A Fish Out of Water
    By Linda Kelly
    Some bars don't know how to deal with a patron who is obviously drugged out of their mind, but at the Mare Inebrium, intoxication is just a state of mind...
  • Deus Ex Machina
    By Wishbone
    You'd would think that having proved that some planet's major deity was actually an alien Sociology Professor would be enough for one student's lifetime. But now Robert Landis had to survive the wrath of the disillusioned natives he'd "inconvenienced" with his secular revelation.

Poetry and Filk Music

  • Crash
    By Gary William Crawford

  • Moss
    By Cynthia Betsinger

The Mare Inebrium

The Mare Inebrium
Shared Universe Project...

I open up my own Spaceport Bar to other writers!
This link takes you to the full introduction to the project.
The Mare Inebrium Starter Kit.
--Updated 2/7/2004--

This is a link to all the background information for the Mare Inebrium stories so far.
This is a must read for all Mare Inebrium writers and fans!

Tales of the Mare Inebrium
All the Mare Inebrium Stories to date.

The banner above links to
all the Mare Inebrium Stories on one page!

A Timeline of Bethdish: Updated 6-28-05

All the Nightwatch Stories to date.

The Nightwatch Archives

The Nightwatch Series Bible


  • The Pollwatchers!
    by Cary Semar
    Aphelion's Cary Semar turns his eye towards the 2004 political scene.

  • Dan Hollifield Reviews:
    The Tower of Morkai

    Book 3 of the Thran Chronicles
    A review of the 3rd Thran novel by H. David Blalock.

  • Double Wide
    by Jim Parnell
    The collected wisdom of Bubba
    WARNING: Contains Language.

    Aphelion proudly presents the installments of Double Wide all on one page of links. We wanted to make sure that the wit and wisdom of Bubba wasn't lost for new readers, so we made a mini-archive list of just the Double Wide features.
  • Aphelion Banners
    And banner artwork for links.

    If you want to link to Aphelion and want more than a text link, then this page is for you. Some of these banners are finished, but most of them lack only my adding text to make them complete. Unfinished banners can be completed and e-mailed to you within 8 days. The banner HTML code-- and image --can be e-mailed on request, or can be more simply copied from the "View / Page Source" option in your web browser. Finished images can be copied from the banner artwork page itself. An exchange of links or banner links is always welcome.
    Link Swap E-mail should be sent to: Dan Hollifield

  • A Challenge to Writers...
    Not a contest, but a series of ideas to spark off a story. Challenge 1 is the paintings of Daniel Hannaquand, Challenge 2 is a collection of narrative hooks composed by Dan Hollifield.
  • Aphelion Links Page
    Click here to see the Links Page. Our fellow E-zines, Astronomy, research material, entertainment, and much, much more!

  • Aphelion IRC Chat
    Information about an underused feature for Aphelion. IRC Chat is a fun way to talk to our readers, writers, staff members, and other netizens. This link takes you to a basic intro and provides further links to the IRC software that you can download for free. Look for new updates as we refine this feature.
  • Aphelion JAVA Chat
    --Repaired 3\25\2003--
    For a quick look at the JAVA chat client, this link launches a new browser window that takes you to a Log-in form for a JAVA-based chat in your browser window. No special programs are needed. This will be a very simple, but passable IRC client, very no-frills. This will also tell you if there's anyone else in the chatroom, by the way.

Read more great stories from the

Aphelion Archives

Aphelion Archives


  • Image Copyright (c) 1997 by Laura Butler

    Back Issues
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    Aphelion Submissions Guidelines Page

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    My storys and comments.

    A page of my own story links, with comments.
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