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November 2022
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Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Issue 124, Volume 12 -- August 2008


been a busy month for me. I've been on vacation from the factory for most of the time, but Lyn and I took two trips to Tennessee and have done some other fun stuff as well. We went to LibertyCon 21 the weekend of the 11th through the 13th, celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary on the 14th, went to a family reunion the weekend of the 18th and 19th, stopped at Tallulah Gorge on our way home on the 20th, done some yard work and set up our little swimming pool, and finally caught up on our e-mail.

I've written a convention report about LibertyCon for our Features Section, but as a teaser, I'll just say that it was grand fun and there are links to photos. One thing that didn't make the Con Report, I was asked for autographs! Not just once, but twice. Wheeeeee! Lyn and I are already registered for next year's LibertyCon.

The family reunion was a blast. Not only did we get to see almost everyone who lives in that area, but some cousins of mine that I haven't been able to see for many years found the time to attend. It was great catching up with everyone again. Lyn and I found time for a romantic dinner at one of the best local restaurants on the night before the reunion, too. Plans are already afoot for the reunion next year. One can only hope that even more relations can be able to attend next time. Seeing the family is always fun, and meeting the spouses and children of my relations is a wonderful treat as well. Sadly, cousin Steve wasn't able to attend. I had wanted to talk with him about what he was doing at NASA, but it was not to be, this time. Oh well, perhaps next year.

As I said above, on our drive back from Tennessee, Lyn and I went through Tallulah Falls. On a whim, I stopped at the old HWY 441 Overlook that my family and I knew from our original route to Knoxville and back to Athens. Wonder of wonders! The Scenic Overlook was back in business! All the old shops and such that had suffered when HWY 441 was rebuilt to by-pass the Overlook have been reopened. So not only did Lyn get her first view of Georgia's "Little Grand Canyon", but we got a chance to see what the tourist area was like when I was a child. I recommend a visit to Tallulah Falls and the Gorge to everyone. Get there early in the morning if you actually want to climb down into the gorge, but to visit the scenic overlook, the gift shops, the museum, etc. one can show up any time during business hours. I'm not sure, and I need to check into this, but it looked to me as if there were even cabin rentals offered for weekday or weekend getaway vacations. Just Google "Tallulah Gorge" for loads of websites with information.

Finally, after more than two weeks of vacation, it was time for me to return to work at the factory. And work there was in plenty! Actually, I'm glad to have gotten through the return and out the other side into my normal days off again. Things are slowly going back to normal here at Casa Vila. I've had time to relax and reflect, and even to think up a few new scenes for the story that I've been working on for the last couple of months. I've picked up a few more reference books for research on the historical aspects of the story, so that's going well. But the new scenes that came to my mind give me the most joy about the work. Draft 0 is proceeding well, even though the revisions and edits will be a real pain in the neck once the initial draft is completed. But for now, I'm happy with what's going into the word processor.

All right, that's just about enough blather from me for one editorial. There are loads of good things to read in this month's Aphelion. It's high time I shut up and let you get to reading! Enjoy!


Serials & Long Fiction

Half A Dream
By Elena Clark
Four years later, royal bodyguard Giacomo is having flashbacks to the supernatural events which he witnessed the first time his charge, Prince Lucas was kidnapped. Now, the Prince is danger again. Is Giacomo up to the challenge? Sequel to "The Shadowy Man".

No. 6
By T. Richard Williams
We are not alone. A companion piece to .Mystic Canyons.. A civilization a thousand years away by space travel may hold the key to the mystery of a space beacon and fish on Titan. However, it is a one way journey.

Short Stories

By David Brookes
When the government had a mess too big and nasty for anybody else to clean up, they called in Mel Dulton.

The Season Without Sun
By James Lecky
In a world of endless winter, the Amjak people had to fight to survive. Their enemies: the cold, the scarcity of game -- and the brutally warlike Dajzyn.

Cold Spot
By Jeani Rector
Troop wasn't really running away -- he just wanted to remind people that he was still alive (unlike his little sister), and his 10th birthday was only days away. But the woods were a lot scarier than he had expected...

From The Very Face of the Earth...
By J. B. Hogan
Dora Pearcy found the voices that she picked up on her curlers sometimes comforting, sometimes terrifying, but always worth listening to. Her neighbor Mr. Chase, on the other hand, was always repulsive. Of course, she had ways of dealing with problem men.

When the Gods Fall
By John Hickman
The fifth mission to the planet of insect-like sentients was supposed to monitor the effects of earlier efforts to advance the bug-like natives' civilization. But they discovered that the 'gods' planted by the previous expedition had not had the desired effect...

Memories of Dinners Past
By Chris Sharp
Madame Melanie was a medium with a difference. She was Mexican, for one thing; for another, she specialized in bringing back the past.

Omni-Corp Home Network
By Joseph T. Christopher
The Omni-Corp system handled communications and monitored and controlled everything around Zeke Stone's home and office. Some things, however, it could not handle.

The Genesis Solution
By Lee Gimenez
Anna Williams is wary of men after a bad breakup, but Simon seems like such a nice guy -- just the kind you want to have around when things are going well, and even more so when the world seems to be going to hell. She thinks he's different -- and she's more right than she could ever imagine.

Human Resources
By Nora B. Peevy
Brenda thought her new job came with the usual problems -- annoying superiors, too much work for too little pay -- but better-than-average benefits. It seemed very kind to employees with medical problems, for one thing.

The Sweet Loop Incident
By Kim Rush
On Throaten, Matts made the innocent mistake of eating what he thought was a stray bit of his favorite cereal. The results were noisy and noisome -- and made him very popular with the Throatorian men.

Results of Forum Flash Challenge for July 2008

Congratulations to Bill Wolfe, winner of the July 2008 Forum Flash Challenge (again? He'll need a bigger imaginary trophy case soon. But my story tied for first (aside from certain 'voting irregularities'...). Check out "Science on a Budget" and six more spoon-size morsels of shredded fiction -- after you read and comment on our other fine features, of course)... And visit the Forum Fun and Games area later this month for the NEXT challenge to your imagination and writing skills.

Poetry and Filk Music

The Bride Of Frankenherbert
by Stuart Sharp

by James Matthew Byers

Lonely Fairy Rath
by Richard H Fay

New Years Eve Resolutions 2151
by G. O. Clark

Snoopin Round
by Richard Tornello

The Wizard and The Fly
by G. B. Dent

Through Love
by Michaela Sefler

Universal Toads
by J. Davidson Hero

When The Vacuum Takes My Hand
by Holly Day


Thoughts on Writing #1: You're Going To Suck
By Seanan McGuire
In the first of an ongoing series, Seanan McGuire takes apart the engine of writing to find out how it works, and offers her insights into how to put it back together again.

Conventional Wisdom: LibertyCon 21
By Dan Hollifield
Dan reports on his weekend in Chatanooga, TN.

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