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 133, Volume 13 -- June 2009


Hello and welcome to another edition of Aphelion Webzine...

Another month has come and gone as the Earth spins merrily upon its axis and plows further along its orbit around the Sun. Entropy has increased both in the physical world and in the Human Condition, as is its normal course of being. Things change, and then change even more, whilst at the same time they stay pretty much the same. The US economy seems to have started recovering, slightly. Astronomers have observed a paltry few tiny sunspots on the surface of our parent star. The phrase "Global Warming" is beginning to be supplanted by the slightly more accurate term "Climate Change" as some places on the planet get warmer and others get cooler. Politicians still prove that they couldn't be trusted with so much as a burnt-out match. Big Business still proves that businessmen desire "Tons-O'-Cash" TM while everyone else is left to make out as best as they can in these uncertain times... In short, life goes on, same as it ever was - Same as it ever was...

If things really started changing in extreme amounts, I'd start to worry that the universe was being affected by some outside force!

In July, on the 10th through the 12th, Lyn and I will be attending the 22nd LibertyCon in Chattanooga. Our reservations are made, our memberships are paid in full, and we're busy trying to figure out what parts of the convention programming we most wish to see, and what we can safely miss without missing too much of the good stuff. Shall we attend some of the room parties on Friday night? Shall we take costumes to enter the Costume Contest? Also in July, we'll be driving to Knoxville, Tennessee- and points North of there -for another Hollifield/Griffith Family Reunion. Anyone going to be near Caryville, TN. on the weekend of July 18th? We will.

As for now, Daughter Michelle and her fiancé Marc have left Casa Vila for Virginia in search of a house to buy before their baby is born next November. Lyn and I have undertaken several much-needed renovations to the house so as to be ready for ApheliCon 4 in August. I regret to announce that a new AC unit has been dropped to the bottom of our list of household upgrades. The old AC unit will have to make do for another year, unless I win the Lottery. But the good news is that the bathroom floor will be redone in time to keep any guests from falling through into the dirt underneath the house. Redoing the bathroom floor and then screening in the front porch have been moved to the top of our list of necessities. Hopefully, both projects will be finished in time for the yearly Aphelion Party.

I've updated the page of directions from Atlanta to our house for those folks who plan on attending Aphelion's 2009 party on August 22nd. The link is Directions from Atlanta

Aphelion readers and writers, Steampunk folks, neighbors, JTR Forums & Casebook Forums members, and old friends from college & the SCA are all invited. Usually, only a dozen or so people show up. A good time will be had by all- Food, drink, music on the stereo, perhaps even some Filk if Rob & Larissa feel like singing. If steampunk folks feel like holding a photoshoot, there are woods behind the house as well as plenty of space in the yard.

Because some folks who plan to attend suffer from allergies, smokers will be requested to go outdoors when they wish to indulge.

So far, the menu is:

BBQ & hash from Bill's Bar-B-Que
Hamburgers & Hotdogs on the grill
Veggies, chips, and dips as munchies
Sodas, tea, coffee, booze, etc. as drinks
Anything you wish to bring to add to the menu will be welcomed, but not required.

August 22nd, from 10 AM until you feel like leaving-

Casa Vila
751 Moons Grove Church Road
Colbert, GA 30628

Please e-mail vila (at) america (dot) net to let me know that you plan to attend, so that I can stock up on enough food and drinks. Also, please let me know about any allergies or dietary restrictions you have so that I can plan accordingly. Bringing additional food & drinks will be welcome, but not required.

As for this issue of Aphelion, we've got loads of great stories and poems, plenty of Features, and a new Flash Fiction Contest to delight you. Time for me to shut up and allow you to get to reading! Enjoy!


Serials & Long Fiction

Helldiver (Part 2)
By Dan Edelman
The conclusion to Dan Edelman's epic adventure as Kai Ferracane and friends fight against impossible odds to deliver the mystical Lornlands relic to the Claymage in Zahariad.

Pop Fly
By N. J. Kailhofer
A tale of miners versus pirates in outer space. (The author tells us that "An earlier draft of this story won an Honorable Mention in the L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest, 2004. Adding up all the different versions, MS word says this story has been revised 76 times since the first draft in '94 (when it was a 3rd person story). Enough is enough."

Short Stories

By Invitation Only
By Noel Carroll
Cassie and her husband wanted to see something special on their vacation in the Greek islands. They got their wish at a quaint, very out of the way restaurant...

Seems Fair To Me
By Andy Echevarria
For fun, Mike Lowell stole things, mostly cheap junk -- it was the thrill that mattered, not the value. He thought he could get away with it forever -- but he was wrong.

By Ben Cooper
The SuperCollider had not destroyed the universe. It had only opened a crack that let things come through, leaving Paul and his younger brother Dylan to find a way to survive while England fell apart around them.

By E. S. Strout
All Jeff wanted was a nice, easy-to-care-for, fast-growing shade tree. The trouble was, the one he got from the nursery had a few special properties that were not in the sales pitch.

The Laughter Room
By Dave Weaver
When it's a crime to offend anybody, comedy is really hard.

Some Molecular Self-Assembly Required
By Richard Tornello
The man had died of a heart attack -- after being mauled by a bear and terrorized by a wolf and a horde of squirrels and raccoons! Detective Ed Talbot had to figure out who -- or what -- was responsible.

September 12th
By Lee Gimenez
What if the World Trade Center and Pentagon had only been the beginning?

The Gold and Green Ball
By Chris Sharp
"Dr. Love"'s latest subject was a woman who insisted that the ghost of her almost-husband still gave her all the love and attention she needed. The studio audience and the woman's sister weren't so sure.

By Kristen Lee Knapp
Owen Blist had studied insects and used what he learned to create the M-1 -- a man-rated flying machine of incredible speed and maneuverability. The military took his invention and turned it into a killing machine -- something Owen could not allow.

By Stuart Plotkin
Clark, Jelan, and Clark's loyal (but invisible, being dead) dog Mrs. Peel were enjoying a day of for-fun gold prospecting, when a bloody scrap of cloth with a call for help sent them upstream...

***May 2009 Forum Challenge***

Congratulations to Rob Wynne, winner of the "Almost Forever" Forum Flash Challenge. Check out Rob's entry "The Fundamental Things Apply" and six more tales of love won -- and lost -- after you have read and commented on our other stories, novellas, poetry, and features, of course. (All entries will also be available (shortly, if not immediately) via the Flash Index in the Fun and Games section of the Forum, provided by Nate Kailhofer, Flash Editor and Challenge Master.)

Poetry and Filk Music

Clattering Hooves
by Richard H. Fay

Fibre Optic Eating Backhoe
by Richard Tornello

Response Haiku
by Richard Tornello

by Jon Stocks

It Is
by J. B. Hogan

Orion's Belt
by Ben Cooper

by William Landis

The Ship of Theseus Paradox
by J. Davidson Hero

For My Sister
by Mary Ellen Estes George


Thoughts on Writing #10: Validate Yourself As Well As Your Parking
By Seanan McGuire
In 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.

By McCamy Taylor
McCamy Taylor examines Urushibara Yuki's rich fantasy tales in this month's manga review.

From the Balcony: Star Trek
Review by Mark Edgemon
Mark Edgemon spent some time with J.J. Abram's blockbuster relanch of a venerable franchicse, and checks in with this review.

Star Trek: You Can't Get Here From There
By Terence Chua
Terence Chua tries to make the new Star Trek film fit into the context of the old one.

Off The Shelf
By Larissa March
Larissa March reviews recent novels by Max Brooks and Emma Bull.

Myth Conceptions: A Thousand Nights and One Night
By Jaimie L. Elliot
Jamie Elliot relfects on the stories of Shahrazad and the mysteries of the old Middle East.

Aphelion Webzine is © 1997-2010 by Dan L. Hollifield