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 135, Volume 13 -- August 2009


Hello, and welcome to another thrilling issue of Aphelion!

I'm going to make this fast, because I'm involved with several different household projects that I need to make progress upon before the rain comes back. As some of you already know, I've been doing a little remodeling here at the house. New bathroom floor, screening in the front porch, furniture refinishing, yardwork, that sort of thing. My schedule got thrown way off by a couple of weeks that it rained almost every day I had off from work. Now I'm playing catch-up and trying to get as much done as possible before the party. Aphelion's annual Summer Party takes place on the 22nd of this month- Less than two weeks away! Lyn and I are looking forward to seeing everyone who can make it over here for a visit. I've got a page of contact information, a map, and photographs of landmarks near the house to make it easier for people to find us. I've even taken a look at Google Maps street view photos of our neighborhood. Google Maps has us located at 894 Moons Grove Church Road, Colbert, Georgia. But that is close to our actual address, so I can forgive the difference between our US Mail address and our GPS location. ApheliCon 4 map, contact info, and landmarks is where you'll find all of that. If you plan to attend the party, please send me an e-mail or telephone us to let us know. I do need to get a count of how many people plan to be here so that I can stock up on food and drinks. This year the Atlanta-area steampunk groups have been invited as well, so hopefully we'll have more than a dozen people here.

I'd like to congratulate several people in the matter of last month's Flash Fiction Challenge over in our Forums section. Nate Kailhofer has been doing a wonderful job running the flash challenges on the Forums each month. For July, Liminal Day by David Alan Jones was the contest winner. As a special prize, Mark Edgemon adapted David's story into an audio play that is hosted over on Mark's The Creator and the Catalyst Studios website. Here is a link to the audio play ofLiminal Day. I can do no better than to quote Nate's post on our Forums when he announced the project was ready for listeners:

"Here it is. A prize earned, and now delivered, thanks to some hard work from Mark Edgemon and his crew. Congratulations, David.

by David Allen Jones

The voices of the narrator, the father, the sage and the fire were performed by Mark Edgemon.

The voices of Kyras and her mother were performed by Marla Deaton.

This audio story was produced through the Creator and the Catalyst Studios."

Congratulations David, Mark, and Nate! Great work, on every aspect of this. And congratulations to all the folks who entered the challenge, each of you turned out some wonderful stories. It was very difficult for me to decide for which one I was going to vote, myself. From the comments, I think I was pretty much on a par with all the readers.

I'm going to "borrow" a little of Nate's thunder here to make a little announcement concerning Nate's other Aphelion duties. It seems that in the process of working up the series bible for the Aphelion Explorer stories, Nate has been working closely with pro artist Bill Warren, the fellow who came up with the idea for the series. Bill is doing more artwork for the series bible, providing more input on the design of the ships, and has decided that he wants to do portraits of each character! Now each writer will be able to see the faces of the characters for whom they are writing. Of course, this means even more work for Nate writing the series bible, editing the existing stories in order to blend in the new developments, and putting the Explorer web pages together for uploading. I want to thank everyone involved with the Explorer series. You are all doing a great job, and making something wonderful. I'm looking forward to seeing the new series "take off", in every sense of the words.

Well, that's probably enough out of me. It's time I let you go start reading this issue's collection of stories, feature articles, and poetry. There are some great things in this issue! You're going to love it, I'm sure. As always, please take advantage of our Forums to give our writers some comments, critiques, and feedback on the tales which strike your collective fancies.

Hope to see you at the party,


Serials & Long Fiction

Memory Garden
By Eric Penner Haury
If Einstein is correct, every moment that has ever existed still exists somewhere/sometime. What if every person that we have ever been also exists somewhere? And what if some of those people we have been were able to get together? What would they talk about?

By Mark F. Bailey
Long before humans dominated the earth, the Syld, an advanced reptilian race, controlled the planet. Thanks to time travel technology -- which both species have mastered -- they are now at war with each other. This is the story of a single skirmish in the ongoing battle.

The Lost Clones of Sakamoto Hero
By McCamy Taylor
Sadie Hope is a clone with a terminal disease. Exiled to an “isolation facility” to die, with gunmen on her trail, her life seems to be headed in the wrong direction -- until she encounters the Lost Clones of Sakomoto Hero. This story is a sequel, of sorts, to “A Study in Silicon”, about the artificial intelligence, Mycroft.

Short Stories

The Sword in Zoe's Hand
By Gary W. Feather
All that Zoe had left of Michael -- her lover and her sensei -- was a sword and the skill to use it. And with zombies everywhere, it was a very good thing to have.

By Brian Douglas Graham
He thought that the "pastor" was just another client who wanted kinky sex from one of the boys he handled. But Simon said that it wasn't the pastor he had to service -- it was The Mother. **** CONTAINS ADULT LANGUAGE AND SITUATIONS ****

Jimmy's Pills
By N. J. Kailhofer
Jimmy had just what Walter needed -- and what he wanted, too.

The Adventure
By Allen M. Jenkins
In the old movie theater, 'The Adventure', his love of the magic of the movies had been born. Somewhere along the path that led from there to his job as a movie critic, that love had died. But now he was home again...

The Lost and Lonely Dragon
By Richard Tornello
The Dragon had hidden for many years from the people of the strange land where the tai fung winds had taken him. He missed his home, where men honored his kind for their power and wisdom instead of treating them as monsters.

Dream Assassin
By Barry Sykes
Morgan's power to enter the dreams of others made her valuable to the government as a spy and a secret means to influence the actions of her country's enemies. But when they discovered that she could kill, she thought her gift had become a curse.

The Lore of the Birds
By Joshua Allen
Texoje knew that the White Men were strange, foolish in some ways, dangerous in others. The new strangers, who were not white at all, were something else again.

Crypt of Darkness
By Kirk Straughen
Naewis, slave and bodyguard to the sorceress Jabala, had reason to be reluctant to enter the tomb in search of Jabala's missing brother. After all, anything that could trap or kill a sorceror of Akoon would have little trouble dealing with a swordsman, no matter how strong.

Too Much on His Mind
By Arthur C. Carey
Dr. Clevenger's new patient had a fascinating problem. A recent injury had made Devlin's already-excellent memory too good. It had also raised the irrational fear that the torrent of remembered sensations might kill him.

My Brief Affair With Marilyn Monroe
By Mark Edgemon
Marilyn Monroe's unfortunate death has been called an accident. It has been called a suicide. But Jack Hartley has a unique and highly personal version of events to tell...

By Robert Moriyama
Tranquility Base was one of the top tourist attractions on the Moon, for the privileged few who were able to visit the base in Maskylene E crater. Of course, the privileged never believe that rules apply to them.

***July 2009 Forum Challenge***

Congratulations to David Alan Jones, winner of the "Witch's Barrier" Forum Flash Challenge. Check out David's entry "Liminal Day" and four more tales of magic and wonder -- after you have read and commented on our other stories, novellas, poetry, and features, of course. And stay tuned for a special audio version of "Liminal Day", staged in the Theater of the Mind (like an old-fashioned radio play) by Mark Edgemon of 'The Creator and the Catalyst' studio.

(All entries will also be available -- in text form only -- (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

Poetry and Filk Music

At the Gates of Heavenly Peace
by Richard Tornello

Motto of the Gnomish Postal Service
by Stuart Sharp

by J. Davidson Hero

Quiet Desperation
by Richard Tornello

by J.B. Hogan

Roiling Gyre
by Richard H. Fay

Space Thing
by Mike Berger


Thoughts on Writing #12: Good Critique, Bad Critique
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.

Off The Shelf: Rosemary and Rue
Review By Larissa March
Larissa March gets her hands on an advance copy of Seanan McGuire's debut novel, which will be published in September.

Leviathan: Let's Get Metaphysical
By McCamy Taylor
McCamy Taylor takes a closer look at the art of manga and anime.

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