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 102, Volume 10 -- June 2006

Issue 103, Volume 10 will be online 1st week of July, 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:

Well, I never planned for there to be so much time between issues this year. I'm sorry, but life just goes faster and faster and I'm doing my best just to keep hanging on. All the pre-wedding stuff will soon draw to a close, though. Then Lindsey and I can finally get married and perhaps things will finally get back to something resembling normal. We're not planning any big trip or long involved honeymoon, so maybe Aphelion will finally be able to move back up in my priorities list. Thank you all for being sp patient during this time.

On the other hand, I have gotten a huge amount of yardwork done around here. And gotten to play with rebar and concrete as well as my eternal quest to slay the demon kudzu. Some of the outdoor playtime has been in aid of the upcoming ApheliCon 2 in August, after all. I hope people are still planning on coming. The weekend of August 5th: Food, drinks, music, good conversations, family, etc. Sorry, but the plans to have an RV in the yard for sleep-overs fell through, 'cause I simply can't afford it after all. I wanted to do that, but there's no way.

E-mail me for details, directions, and maps. Those that want to do the Motel bit can be assured that Athens has some good, affordable ones that are less than ten miles away from Casa Vila. Those who want to claim floorspace here are welcome to do so. The guest bed is, I think, reserved for family, but couches, recliners, and floorspace can still be had.

I haven't put you off yet? Good.

Now, back to Aphelion. We've got a good line-up of short stories for this issue. We also have new poetry, and as a special treat we have the conclusion of Jeff's latest Nightwatch story. The third season of Nightwatch is off to a stunning beginning. I'm all agog and awaiting the rest of the season's stories.

Well, enough blather from me. You want to READ! On your marks, get set, GO!


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

  • Nightwatch: CSM-115 --Part Two--
    By Jeff Williams
    "While the crew packed up data and shut down systems, reporters wondered whether NASA planned any more visits to Skylab. Neil Hutchinson played down the possibility, pointing out that there would be no atmosphere, no power, and no food. Besides, the workshop systems could be expected to deteriorate beyond reliability. The abandoned Skylab would be a drifting hulk, presenting too much risk to make a revisit attractive. He conceded that it would be possible to dock with the workshop, but saw no profit in reactivating and reusing it. "

    (Benson and Compton, SP-4208, 6 August 2004)

    A new shared universe series: Nightwatch, under the direction of Jeff Williams.

Short Stories

  • The Grey Void
    by Gareth D Jones
    The Orpheus had reported evidence of some form of intelligent life inside the event horizon of a black hole. Now the Overture, equipped with the new Simulogue Instantaneous Communication System, was being dispatched to speed up the process of gathering and delivering data to meet the insatiable appetites of the scientific community back on Earth .. but would the new ship and its crew be up to the challenge?

  • The Saints That Burnt Crosses
    by Matt Thomas
    He's new at his job, so new that Lucy has to lend a hand -- something she loathes. Taking the souls and lives of sinners is a lousy, messy business, and even the veterans hate doing any more than their share ...

  • Ants
    by Steve Zocchi
    For thousands of years, the human race has been wiping other species off the face of the planet. Maybe the new species of ants -- huge, voracious, and prone to defend their own with terrifying efficiency -- are Ma Nature's way of expressing Her annoyance. But while Humanity fights back, with fire and poison and ant-proof materials -- one man is willing to live with the ants as neighbors. At least they are quiet.

  • Box on the Seashore
    by Joe Vadalma
    Claude's Spring Break was a disappointment. He'd had his fill of sun, sea, and sand, but sex? No such luck. Then he found a box full of charms and potions, and everything changed ...

  • Kuiper 6
    by Eric Boermeester
    Kuiper 6, a mining station on a tiny moon orbiting Neptune, seemed like the perfect place for a fugitive to hide. But the Organized Nations of Earth marshal was willing to go a long way to catch a lawman gone bad.

  • Cruelty to Animals
    by George J. Condon
    Walter Orwell was surprised when the Animal Liberation Legion broke into his lab, waving a pistol and demanding that all the lab's animals be set free. But not as surprised as the intruders were when they met Eric and Spike, Walter's .. subjects.

  • The Eyes of the Storm
    by Neil Carstairs
    The landing had gone well enough, but the storm had taken them by surprise, devouring most of the crew like a living -- and hungry -- thing. Now the few left alive huddle in a survival igloo, separated from the storm by nothing more than a few layers of tough fabric and insulation -- and separated from their ship by the storm.

  • The Wendels
    by R. S. Ramdial
    The Doughertys thought that their neighbors, the Wendels, were -- strange. They could never have guessed how strange the Wendels really were.

  • At the Tone
    By J. Alan Brown
    The voice on the phone captivated him, marking the passage of time more elegantly than any clock. And it was all he had left of her.

  • Poetry and Filk Music

  • The Storm
    By Mary E Cody

  • 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

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    My storys and comments.

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