Issue 23, Volume 3 -- April '99
Issue 24 will be online 1st week of May.
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Since January 27th 1997
Aphelion is proud to be associated with:
The Aphelion Daily Comics Page
Don't miss a single hillarious issue of Bruno the Bandit,
Freefall, or The Melonpool Chronicles!
Check back every day for laughs
from Aphelion's featured cartoonists!
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
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
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!
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!
Senior Editor, Publisher
Short Story Editor
Production Editor/Serials Editor
"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.
ANNOUNCING APHELION'S FIRST EVER THEME ISSUE!!!!!!!!!!!!
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
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
Submissions for this special issue should be sent to
email@example.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,
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
By Andrew Massey
The star dolphins are back and they are taking names!
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).
By McCamy Taylor
Watson makes a unsettling discovery at 221 Baker
By Michael Jarette-Kenny
The clone detective must find and capture his parent.
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.
By Pravin Jeyaraj
Kate is in love with Tim, who died.
By Darl Larsen
It's the greatest show left on the earth.
of the Fathers
By Dan L. Hollifield
Relationships can be so odd..
Chapter in the Annals of Time Travel
By Kathleen Lowney
A story of time travel, bureaucracy and human nature.
By Rene' Steen
Some drinks can be deadly to those unacustomed to
them. A Mare Inebrium story.
By C.S. Lynch
For the Wagon Folk, the Golem's Eyes were the eyes
By John Shanahan
There are passengers, and there are passengers...
Trouble comes in all shapes. A Mare Inebrium story.
By Rob Glowacki
You always pay for your obsessions. Adult content.
Poetry and Filk Music
Mare Inebrium shared universe project
I open up my own Spaceport Bar to other writers!
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
Dan Hollifield reviews:
This month- Roadmarks
by Roger Zelazny
The Aphelion Cartoon 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
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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
A Challenge to
Short story submissions; Cary Semar
Serialized stories: Jeff Williams
Mare Inebrium Stories: Dan Hollifield
Click here to
Submissions Guidelines Page.
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Instead of the back issues the banner below now takes you
to the Archives-where all our past stories are available for you to
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
can e-mail the Senior Editor by clicking here.
Sideways to the Mare Inebrium, homepage of Aphelion's Editor: Dan L.
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Aphelion Webzine is © 1997-98 by Dan L. Hollifield