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 23, Volume 3 -- April '99

Issue 24 will be online 1st week of May.

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Since January 27th 1997

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Where the Senior Editor gets to ramble on about... What?

Its funny what we can get accustomed to- humans adapt so well -something grows so familiar that it becomes normal... even if its something that you had been complaining about. Something that was at first frightening becomes familiar- even comforting -and then becomes so normal that it fades into the background. You even miss it when its gone.

For the last few months, my offline life has been a real roller-coaster. As the ride shows no signs of stopping, I may as well get used to it. One good thing has been that I've been able to ramble through my memories as I sorted the flotsam and jetsam of forty years of being a sci-fi fan. I was amazed at some of the crap that I've saved. Even to list it would double the size of the magazine, so don't expect me to start. Lots of it finally got tossed, but the memories that each item provoked will remain. And the new viewpoint that those memories also provoked will remain with me.

Would you believe that at one time I was afraid of the internet? Ask Rob, he was the one who finally got me online. I had been taking a computer class at a local school as well as doing some data entry sort of stuff at work- and both networks just happened to be full of viruses at the time. I brought a half dozen different computer viruses home to my computer on each floppy I was using. When they had been purged from my computer I found myself afraid of getting more viruses from the internet. Once I did bite the bullet however, I got used to the net, then later I practically lived online. Now I just kind of commute back and forth. The very thing that I once feared has become familiar, useful, and I can't imagine doing without it. Its become equal to the telephone, TV, running water, electricity, indoor toilets... (Parenthetically; I've lived without some or all of those things at one time or another, but then I've led a busy life. Perhaps that'd be the subject of some future editorial?) How long do you think it will be before a permanent internet connection simply comes with the house? Soon it'll be just another utility, like the phone or electric bill. In less than a decade, the internet has grown tremendously- What'll it be like in twenty years? What will we be like in twenty years?

Yeah, yeah, yeah- "deep questions from such a shallow mind" -I can hear you thinking. And you're right, who designated me to philosophise? But you see, I'm a writer- I dream up sci-fi stories. That requires me to ask those "what would this be like?" questions. So I do, and the results are sometimes put online for all to see. This was a hobby, but has now become an addiction. I can't quit writing. Neither, I expect, can you. But questions are part of the craft. Their answers make a better story.

I'm glad to see some more commentary in the Lettercol about the stories. The Lettercol can be a powerful tool for Aphelion's readers. I do wish more of you would read the serials and comment on them.

I'd like to take this time to say farewell to Martin, and remind him that we are only an e-mail away- so he shouldn't become a total stranger. Also, let's welcome Jeff Williams to the Serials Editor job... He should be pretty good at it, if I'm any judge. Jeff has been wanting to get us on a more regular footing as the Production Editor, so now is his chance to add to his talents. Hopefully, the 1st barrier shall soon be broken.

Well, I should shut up about now and let you get to reading this month's selections. Enjoy!


Tell us what you think in Aphelion's Lettercol!

I'd like to thank those of you who have sent e-mails or signed the Guestbook 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
Roger Bennett
Editor Emeritus
Robert Wynne
Cary Semar
Short Story Editor
Kim Holec
Poetry Editor
Jeffrey Williams
Production Editor/Serials Editor

Serialized Stories

  • Threat of Valleor -Part 7-
    By Dan L. Hollifield
    The adventure continues as the Reever and his friends visit Tulag, the kingdom of magic.
  • In Arms We Trust -Part 2 of 5-
    By Vasilis Adams A.

  • Maya -Part 5-
    By A.D. Jackson
    The mystery of Maya continues...

  • Read more great stories from the Aphelion Archives

    "Ray Guns and Space Ships and Fires...Oh My!"

    Not long ago, Cary Semar posted a request on the Lettercol for more "hard SF" types of stories, tales involving space ships and science and gun fights and. . . Well, what started as a joke among the staff ("Gee, why don't we just have an all Space Opera issue?") is turning into a reality, with your help of course.


    Yes, by popular demand, we are requesting submissions for an issue of short fiction dedicated entirely to tales of starships, to ditties about intergalactic war, to works about strange discoveries in space--in short, an all Space Opera issue.

    When the stories are published, we will pick what we feel to be the three best pieces submitted (ranked 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of course). Winners will receive a prized featured space in the special issue and will also receive a graphic for their webpage or desktop wallpaper. The graphic will be provided by esteemed publisher Dan Hollifield and by notorious webmaven Robert Wynne.

    Submissions for this special issue should be sent to shorts@aphelion-webzine.com and should be clearly labeled as entries for the Space Opera Contest. (DO NOT submit serials as they will not be affected by the contest.) Stories should be no less than 2500 words and no more than 10,000 words in length. All submissions for the contest must be received by May 20, 1999. Multiple entries will be accepted. Editorial review will be limited to technical issues only (format, length, spelling, punctuation, etc.).

    The theme issue itself will be published in July 1999.

    This contest is not open to the staff of Aphelion though their stories may appear in the issue if they choose to write one and if space is available.

    So charge up those disrupter banks, let loose the dogs of intergalatic war, look out for the Grey Lensmen, and may the best beings win!

    Short Stories

  • My Brother's Keeper
    By Andrew Massey
    The star dolphins are back and they are taking names!
  • Remembering Krempla
    By David Blalock
    Striking a bargain with a dragon can be tricky, but re-negotiating can be downright nerve-wracking (originally published in Dragon's Lair).

  • Marie Kelly
    By McCamy Taylor
    Watson makes a unsettling discovery at 221 Baker Street.

  • Mirror, Mirror
    By Michael Jarette-Kenny
    The clone detective must find and capture his parent.

  • Speaker's Child
    By Kelly Tolman
    Here is a tale of human empathy overcoming the spiritually damning. Sometimes we encounter those souls who are so wonderful that they are not allowed to live normal lives, and in this story one such person is allowed to at least begin a normal life through the efforts of a friend of incomparable courage.

  • First Kiss
    By Pravin Jeyaraj
    Kate is in love with Tim, who died.

  • The Snell Show
    By Darl Larsen
    It's the greatest show left on the earth.

  • Sins of the Fathers
    By Dan L. Hollifield
    Relationships can be so odd..

  • A Chapter in the Annals of Time Travel
    By Kathleen Lowney
    A story of time travel, bureaucracy and human nature.

  • The Drinking Contest
    By Rene' Steen
    Some drinks can be deadly to those unacustomed to them. A Mare Inebrium story.

  • Golem's Eyes
    By C.S. Lynch
    For the Wagon Folk, the Golem's Eyes were the eyes of death.

  • O'Rourke's Passenger
    By John Shanahan
    There are passengers, and there are passengers... Trouble comes in all shapes. A Mare Inebrium story.

  • Sexual Roulette
    By Rob Glowacki
    You always pay for your obsessions. Adult content.

  • Poetry and Filk Music

  • Clutter
    By Martin Jack

  • Mulder
    By Pravin Jeyaraj

  • The Unicorn Continued
    By David Blalock

  • Soul Searches of the Darklight
    By Daniel O. Wait

  • Features

    The Mare Inebrium shared universe project
    I open up my own Spaceport Bar to other writers!
    The Mare Inebrium Shared Universe Project
  • Aphelion's Daily Comics
    By Ian McDonald, Mark Stanley, and Steve Troop
    Did he say daily? Yep, Aphelion is proud to feature three of the funniest comic strips on the Internet, Ian McDonald's "Bruno the Bandit", Mark Stanley's "Freefall", and Steve Troop's "The Melonpool Chronicles". Bookmark this page, you don't want to miss a single installment!

  • Dan Hollifield reviews:
    This month- Roadmarks by Roger Zelazny

  • Excentrivial Musings
    The Aphelion Cartoon Page.

  • Mare Inebrium Wallpaper Page
    51 JPGs you can download and convert to Bitmaps for wallpaper. This is a slow-loading page, but well worth it.

  • The Awards Page
    All of the Awards that Aphelion has won.

  • If you would like to receive notices from Aphelion when this page is updated, please join our new, revised, automatic mailing list. To subscribe:
    Send a message to majordomo@america.net with the following in the body of the message:

    subscribe aphelion <email address>

    As always, this mailing list will only be used to notify you of new issues and will never be given out to anyone else... 'cause I hate spam as much as you do!

  • Click here to see the Links Page
  • A Challenge to Writers...
  • Short story submissions; Cary Semar
  • Serialized stories: Jeff Williams
  • Poetry: Kim Holec
  • Features: Robert Wynne
  • Mare Inebrium Stories: Dan Hollifield
  • Click here to see the Submissions Guidelines Page.
  • Aphelion Explanations and Thanks Where the name "Aphelion" came from and other info.
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    the best science fiction and fantasy fiction on the web!

    Back Issues:

    Instead of the back issues the banner below now takes you to the Archives-where all our past stories are available for you to read.

    I've decided to ditch the back issues in favor of the Archives. The Archives are easier to use and can be indexed by author or story title. Hopefully this will ease the task of finding a favorite story. We may start a page of our past cover art, if there is a call for it. Thanks for your readership for without you, nothing we do has any meaning.

    Aphelion Back Issues!
    You can e-mail the Senior Editor by clicking here.
    Sideways to the Mare Inebrium!

    Sideways to the Mare Inebrium, homepage of Aphelion's Editor: Dan L. Hollifield

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    Aphelion Webzine is 1997-98 by Dan L. Hollifield