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 105, Volume 10 -- October 2006

Issue 106, Volume 10 will be online 1st week of November, 2006.

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

Our Lettercol is once again available. The URL has changed, please update your bookmarks. Thank you for your patience. -- Rob


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

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The Usual Rant from Aphelion's Senior Editor:

I should probably start planning ApheliCon 3 already. We're going to have to have it at a different time of year from now on. August in Georgia is just too miserably hot and humid for anyone to really have a good time. I'm thinking that holding it in May would be a better idea, with September running a close second. What do you think? E-mail me with your opinions and suggestions, please.

As for a rant this month, well... I really don't have anything to rant about. I'm back at work after having used up all my vacation time for this year. The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are changing colors and begging to fall from the trees here. I really ought to make a start on all the yard work that I've had to delay to keep from getting heat stroke in the summertime. I've come up with ideas for several new stories. I've also thought of several new things to try in stories that are already in progress. There are tons of things on my to-do lists, but I haven't the energy to really apply myself to anything. The Tom Darby novel is stagnating at the moment. A new Mare Inebrium story is likewise on hold. I have the sheet music I need to write for one of my songs. I still haven't bought any guitar strings and started practicing again. I haven't done any paintings this year. My motorcycle, dune buggy, and the Tri-Magnum are all still sitting in the yard rusting away. My truck needs a new transmission. The lawn mower and weed eater are both needing repairs. I still haven't moved either of the rock walls on my yard's property lines to where I want them. I need to empty the pool, deflate it, and put it in the shed for the winter.

I don't feel depressed, just sort of "blah."

I'm happy. Indeed, happier than I've ever been in my life. Being married is still great fun, Lyn is wonderful, and her kids love me. Her oldest daughter calls me "Daddy" in a way that brings me warm and fuzzy feelings every time I hear it on the phone or see it in an Instant Message. Work at the factory is no worse than it's ever been. Matter of fact, it's much easier than it used to be, there's a chance that next year I may get to step into a Quality Control/Data Entry position that would get me out of the worst parts of my present job, plus give me a higher rate of pay. The mortgage on the house is more than half paid off, I've been able to pay off two bank loans and two credit cards this year, and I can foresee having all the rest of my credit card debt paid off in two more years. The price of gasoline is a dollar per gallon less than it was earlier in the year, groceries aren't any more of a strain on the budget than they were before Lyn and I married, and the two of us together can save lots more money than I ever could while I was on my own. Everything is looking good financially, emotionally, physically, and romantically.

So what is my problem? I haven't a clue, unless it's just something seasonal because of the changing light levels as Autumn begins to take hold and Winter approaches. Maybe I should buy some brighter light bulbs. Maybe I just need to make another pot of coffee. Maybe it's just the fact that I'll be turning 49 in about three weeks. Maybe I just need to relax and quit stressing over all the stuff I haven't gotten done that I wanted to do this year. Life is, after all, extremely good and has been for the last year and a half. I've just been lazy and slothful for the last couple of months. This too shall pass.


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

  • Brothers In Arms
    By Byron Wheatley
    A low risk, high money job in the outer worlds. What self-respecting mercenary company could resist? But when the mission goes south, two enemy soldiers must work together to survive what has turned from a campaign in Heaven to a descent into Hell. With terrible odds arrayed against them they make a desperate attempt to escape to the safety of the stars.

  • Nightwatch: Seven Years
    By Ralph Benedetto, Jr.
    How can you tell whom to trust? What do you do when even your own face in the mirror can betray you? For Simon Litchfield, these questions are no longer academic...

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

Short Stories

  • BANG!
    by Mike Driver
    Jeff figured that working in the cemetery was better than some minimum-wage McJob. After he met Kenneth, his hulking, malodorous, simple-minded 'boss', he wasn't so sure. And then things got much, much worse.

  • Basements
    by Mike Garza
    George and Irene tried to make the best of it, even though their father was a drunk who treated the 'ladies' he brought home better than he treated his own children. He never hit them, but when he sent them to the basement, they had to deal with spiders (Irene's least favorite thing) and ... other things.

  • City of Teeth
    by Joseph Jude
    Daphne was pretty much convinced that becoming a private investigator had been a huge mistake. And the case she was working on now, hunting for a wayward husband in some town so small she couldn't even find it really bit the big one.

  • Dead Man Detail
    by Vera Searles
    Qualifying for the Academy would improve her life immeasurably. But it was hard to pass a test when you couldn't be sure what was real -- or even who you were.

  • Family Ties
    by E. S. Strout
    Something strange had happened near the galactic core, distorting a condensing disc of gas and dust on an interstellar scale. And something was affecting the Earth's gravitational field. Coincidence? Maybe...

  • Frailty
    by Andy Echevarria
    Bobby was taking one last road trip with his fiance and their best friend Barry, to Georgia because Florida had been too damn hot the last time around. Running out of gas was a minor disaster. But accepting the old woman's Southern hospitality was a blunder Bobby would never forget.

  • Into the Light
    by Brad Baker
    PRicky couldn't understand why his mother was so set on contacting his late father. Dead was dead, and wasting money on seances wouldn't change that. But Dora had her reasons ... and the medium had something Ricky would never have expected.

  • Middle of Nowhere
    by Feza Akcasu
    Sandra Pillsbury was the most beautiful woman in the world, and the most elusive. No photographer had ever snapped a candid picture of her; no gossip rag knew where she lived or what she did away from the public eye. Lenny Marcus was going to change all that -- at least, that's what he thought.

  • Alien Signal
    By Joe Vadalma
    The human race had been listening for proof of intelligent extraterrestrial life for about as long as they'd had radio. When the signal came, it was only natural that they'd send the first FTL ship to investigate -- even if it was decades later. The crew of the Alien Explorer was surprised by what they found on Nihal 5, but there were bigger surprises to come.

  • Poetry and Filk Music

    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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    Read the updated (March 2005) Submissions Guidelines
    Aphelion Submissions Guidelines Page

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    My storys and comments.

    A page of my own story links, with comments.
    Along with some MIDI files, MP3s of music,
    links to some of my artwork,
    links to photos of my home, etc.

    Dan L. Hollifield

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    Aphelion Webzine is © 1997-2005 by Dan L. Hollifield