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 103, Volume 10 -- July 2006

Issue 104, Volume 10 will be online 1st week of August, 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:

Oh, it's great to be married! At last Lyn and I have triumphed over all adversities. We've outlasted all the hold-ups and hurdles. We've beaten the odds and battered back the barbarians that tried to come between us and wedded bliss. We trekked down to the county courthouse on Friday, July 14th, waited an extra hour for the judge (who was late even after he'd called us and confirmed the time we were all going to be there ready and waiting), had a short and sweet civil ceremony, and then fled the state for a family get together to celebrate my grandmother's 99th birthday.

My Dad was only too proud to give the bride away. Lyn's Dad isn't well enough to have made the trip over from England, so my Dad stood in for him. One of my best friends from work showed up to be a witness, and almost got roped into being my best man, but managed to beg off. Mom could barely keep from crying tears of joy. My 4 year old neice was extraordinarily well behaved, and so precious. The whole family was so happy for us.

Then we began the trip up to Tennessee to visit my Mom's family. Granny Griffith's 99th birthday party turned out to be far smaller than I'd thought. But nothing went wrong, Granny was having a really good day, and she & my aunts & uncles all fell in love with Lindsey as soon as they met her. Lyn even got asked to help with the family feast. That let me know right then and there that she'd been accepted into the family with full honors. The dinner was fabulous. Home cooking by ladies who've been practicing longer than I've been alive. Almost everything was fresh out of someone's garden, or bought at a farmer's market. We demolished piles of corn-on-the-cob, potato salad, green beans, cornbread, creamed corn, boiled potatos, cole slaw, roast beef, biscuits, sliced tomatos & onions, and much more. Then we had birthday cake and ice cream for dessert.

The hotel that Mom booked for us to stay in is owned by an old school friend of Dad's. The staff treated us like family. Complete bliss. Although we never got a chance to get into the pool, we did wanter around and look at the antique cars, the sculptures, the many, many local photos that graced the walls, and even the llamas that the hotel uses instead of lawn mowers. No mere machine could handle the steep Tennessee hillsides where the hotel is located. Halfway up one of the smaller slopes of the Smokey Mtns. and overlooking a beautiful lake framed by more mountains in the near distance. The view alone was worth the trip. Being with my beautiful bride was just the icing on the cake. And what delicious icing it was! Oh, it was like falling in love all over again.

On the trip back we stopped at lots of stores, as well as one of the better farmer's markets in North Carolina. The Smokey Mountains were at their most beautiful summertime peak. The fogs, quick rainstorms, and brilliant sunlight limned the mountains like some sort of masterwork oil painting. The sun cutting through the clouds - lighting up the trees and rivers like fine jewelry. There is home, and then there's home! This was a wonderful trip.

When we got back to Casa Vila, there were little tiny tomatos on Lyn's first tomato plants, and the first tiny limes that my lime tree has produced in over 3 years... All right, I've gushed long enough. We've got lots of new stories for you to enjoy. Kick back, grab yourself a cool drink and your mouse, and get to clicking! I'm going to go kiss my wife again... Oh, that sounds so lovely. My wife. Heaven can't possibly hold more bliss than is in my heart right now.


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:Death Valley
    By Kate Thornton
    Death Valley is eerily beautiful. The creepy landscape is the stuff of off-world fantasies, and more than one desert rat has claimed First Contact out on the weird expanse. Situated between several strategically-important military and scientific research sites, it is that strange place everyone knows about -- but no one really knows.
    A lost chronicle of Nightwatch

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

Short Stories

  • The Importance of Being Khan
    by Gregory Adams
    Warren Pohmer was accustomed to the usual nuisances of suburban life -- salesmen, neighborhood pets using his yard as a litter box, kids selling candy to raise money for whatever -- but the so-called psychic insisting that Warren carried the soul of Genghis Khan was a new one. And calling the police turned out to be exactly the wrong thing to do ...

  • Acts of Reprisal
    by John M. Cowan
    When Mahoney had retired from the military, he figured that doing corporate security work would be an easy gig. But now he had to avenge a double murder -- one victim Cintaran, the other human -- or have the trading mission he was working for stuck in the middle of a war.

  • Speak, Vaccine, Speak!
    by Tim C. Taylor
    The generation ships had been built based on blueprints found in alien probes, or so everyone had been told. But hydroponics specialist Erik Gunnarson suspected that the truth about the colonization mission from Earth was something else entirely. If only somebody would listen!

  • The Shaper's Folly
    by Ee Pin Pang
    The Shaper was the ultimate judge of the Accepted. If he thought an Initiate worthy, he would use his powers to transform the man or woman into something far greater. But after decades at his task, the Shaper had grown weary -- and careless.

  • Rosepetal and the Hunter
    by Joe Vadalma
    The fairy Rosepetal had come of age and it was time for her to find a mate. Choosing a human -- choosing to become human -- was something nobody would have expected.

  • Tiburcio's Treasure
    by G. Lloyd Helm
    The story Rio Rita spun about her great grandfather and why his ghost haunted the rocks at Agua Dulce was too juicy for Big Dave and her best customer to ignore. At least the tequila made it seem that way, enough so that the trio just had to go and call Tiburcio out to reclaim what he'd lost so many years ago.

  • Half Light House
    by J. W. Bennett
    Years before, Falcon had been Lucas's lover. He'd stolen Lucas's heart -- and something more. Somehow, Falcon had taken Lucas's dreams, his ability to feel. Now a note from Falcon had brought Lucas back to the scene of -- what? The crime? His first love, and his first -- and last -- heartbreak? Whatever it had been, Lucas had to go back to Half Light House.

    WARNING: Adult Themes, Language, and Content
  • Clean Blood
    by Rob Bass
    Internship at Cook County Hospital was exhausting. Getting roped into building the website for the Blood Bank made it worse. But it brought Desdemona to him, and knowing her made the rest of it seem worthwhile. She was ... special ...

  • A Matter of Money
    By Robert Moriyama
    With all quiet on the 'Morningstar' front, it was back to business for Majius Magical Services. The gremlins sabotaging the "More Real Than Real" dolls should have been easy to deal with -- but things were more complicated than they seemed.

  • 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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    Aphelion Submissions Guidelines Page

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    My storys and comments.

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