Aphelion Issue 278, Volume 26
November 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Flash Writing Challenge
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Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Issue 162, Volume 16 -- May 2012


"Another Day, Another Ray Of Hope..." :)

At the time of this little missive, Lyn and I are getting ready to fly off to New Mexico to see Anthony graduate from college and then visit with Judith and her husband Sam. Another flight out from Atlanta, and into the wilds... Well, at least the layover in Denver will be somethinf new. Too bad we won't have time to see anything of Denver besides the inside of their airport. LOL!

Although I have been to New Mexico once before, I had things to do at the time that didn't allow me much of a chance to explore. I did get to walk around Soccorro while I was there. Wonderful little town. I enjoyed being there. It isn't a tourist trap, just a great little town that felt like home. This time We have less of a tight schedule and more of a chance to look around. We'll be taking the rental car all over the state visiting friends and family. I might even get the chance to stop in the world famous Roswell UFO Museum. But even if I don't, the trip will be well worth it.

Now you know me. You are aware that not a single incident on this trip is going to escape being used somewhere in a story. Even if it's just the sight of a tumbleweed rolling across a street. Or the smell of clean, cold air during a sunrise. Or even the amazing quiet of being out hundreds of miles from the nearest big city. We writers have a way of turning every experience in our lives into grist for our story-writing mill. We can't help it. Nor should we want to. Everything is fair play, even though it might get a little too personal to read it in a story. Everything we do, everywhere we go, everyone we meet runs the risk of winding up sparking off some gem of a story idea or plot point, oor even just a little set dressing.

So next time you go on vacation, no matter where you go, look around with your writer's eyes as well as your tourist eyes. Listen to the voices of the people around you. Notice their accents, their clothing styles, the surroundings as each of you interact. In order to make full use of your imagination while you are writing, you first have to be willing to people-watch as well as explore new places, and familiar ones too. There is something to be found everywhere. Not only do you have to look, but you need to notice.

Everything is research. "No matter where you go, there you are..." Might as well put it to work for yourself. Whatever "it" turns out to be.

And have fun! That's the part we usually miss when we're so hard at work all the time.

Now that's quite enough blather from me. It's time I let you get to the reading. There is a lot in this issue. Go start reading it, and have fun!


Serials and Long Fiction

Don't Go Out At Sunset
By Rod Hamon
While Earth’s scientists have been searching for intelligent life in the universe, the aliens have been looking for a world to replace their own dying planet—and they do not intend to share.

The Lizard of the Lake
By McCamy Taylor
Wizards, gods, and dragons notwithstanding, this is a science fiction story.

Short Stories

Blowback (Revisited)
By Richard Tornello
Detective Irwin Bradley was determined to solve the murder, no matter who wanted it left alone. It was just a matter of time...

Death Valley
By Ariana Rodrigues
Girl meets boy, after the end of the world. But could either of them survive when the infected were everywhere, and always hungry?

First Date
By Anil Balan
Bethany was bright and beautiful, but never dated. Alan wanted to know why (and why not him?).

The Sleep of Death
By McCamy Taylor
The immortal Stephan recounts the tale of what happened when he went to the aid of his daughter. A sequel to Order of the Sun (Aphelion, April 2010).

Snake of Eden
By Jo Kelli
Lufimar wanted Kavin to marry Lufimar's daughter Emfilen, whether Kavin wanted it or not. His reasons had nothing to do with love, and everything to do with magic.

Saint Paul of the Pharm
By Joe Ollinger
ASHR-4 had side effects -- it turned depressed people into religious fanatics. Of course, there were those who thought that was a good thing.

Ringside Seat
By E. S. Strout
The first gravity drive ship to Saturn's F-ring had fallen silent after its second report was cut short. The rescue mission found the cause -- but it might mean the end of humanity.

Protecting What's Left
By Philip Roberts
Bill was alone in the big house, and expecting to live out his remaining years quietly. Then the creatures came, and he had to fight to protect everything that still mattered to him.

Hulda and the Elf-Knight
By Otilia Tena
The Lady Hulda was forced to make a strange bargain to save her own life and the life of the little girl she had taken in. But what would it mean to marry the king of the wolves?

Escape to New Jersey
By Mike Wilson
Salem was not a good place to be flaunting strange weapons that could strike a man down with lightning from a small black box -- not unless you wanted to be hung or burned at the stake.

***April 2012 Forum Challenge***

Congratulations to Michele Dutcher, author of the favorite entry in the April 2012 Forum Flash Fiction Challenge. Check out "The Stars Might Lie" and four more tales of characters seeking redemption for past transgressions here, after sampling this month's editorial, poetry, short stories, and long fiction, of course...

Poetry and Filk Music

A Temporary Bargain
by Richard Tornello

There are Gaps Between the Stars
by TN Dockrey

Growth Is Pain
by Alex Dodo Niculae

On Reading the Dalai Lama speak about two ways to happiness
by Jean Jones

Target Earth
by Robin Lipinski

The Big Z
by Mike Berger

The Robots In Neumorrah
by John M. Marshall


Thoughts on Writing #37: Hype
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.

Hunter X Hunter
By McCamy Taylor
McCamy Taylor discusses her favourite manga, Yoshihiro Togashi’s Hunter X Hunter

Aphelion Webzine is © 1997-2013 by Dan L. Hollifield