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November 2022
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Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Issue 27, Volume 3 -- August 1999

Issue 28 will be online 1st week of September.

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Since January 27th 1997

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The Senior Editor's usual drivel about whatever...

What is wrong with me? Am I the only person on the planet whofeels no desire at all to go see the new "Star Wars" movie?

I saw the previews for "A New Hope" while I was still in high school, or shortly thereafter, and was hooked. I bought the paperback the first time I saw it. I bought every magazine I saw that had articles about it. I stood in line opening night to see it. I saw it a dozen times or more during its first run. And I waited breathlessly for the sequels - both of which I saw multiple times in theaters during their own first runs. I bought the soundrack albums, the comic books, the videos - even the special edition ones, the computer games... In short, I was the typical fan.

I've even had friends who had the soundtrack played at their wedding- and I didn't laugh.

So why don't I want to go see the new one? I've seen the ads, the movie looks good. I like the idea of more history from the "Star Wars" universe being added - something that I'd been waiting for and wanting since I first learned that "A New Hope" was to be part 4 of a series. I even wished that George Lucas would go ahead and release the rest of the serial chapters in book form so that I could read the whole story. I like detail, lots of detail - "Dune" is one of my favorite books of all time - and I enjoyed everything about all three of the first "Star Wars" movies.

So where did I get lost from the wonder? Did I change? Was it that theater tickets had tripled in price in the last 25 years? Was it the hype? Was it that I just (gasp!) grew up?


I've been a Sci-fi fan since an early age. The first book that I ever checked out of a school library was Jules Verne's "Journey to the Center of the Earth" back when I was in the 4th grade. My parents bought me "Tom Swift Jr." books, "Dig Allen, Space Explorer" books, H.G. Wells books, and more. I've seen every sci-fi TV series that I can think of, I own over 2500 sci-fi and fantasy paperbacks, I've bought masses of comic books. I haunted the library when I was in college - every day I'd read something new. I drove 90 miles to see the first "Alien" movie. I've never lost my love for sci-fi, for adventure, but still I have no desire to go see "Phantom Menace".

So what has changed? I don't know - maybe I'll never know - but something is different. I'm going to try and force myself to go to a theater this week and see "Phantom Menace", but the desire to do so isn't there. Which is strange, because I really can't wait to go see "Mystery Men" later this month when it comes out. I guess that tells me that its not the theater itself that I'm avoiding, but just this movie. I guess that its a silly thing to babble about, but it still worries me. I feel as if I've lost something over the years, something besides my youth. But I've also gained a lot over the years. Now I can write my own adventures. Is that it? Because I'm now a writer I'm avoiding someone else's work? Nah. I can't accept that. I won't accept that.

I will go see the movie. I won't just wait for it to come out on video. If you see me at the theater, be gentle. It'll be my first time in a long time.

Thanks for your time.


Tell us what you think in Aphelion's Lettercol!

I'd like to thank those of you who have sent e-mails or signed into the Lettercol 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

Maya -Part 8 of 8-
By A.D. Jackson
The mystery of Maya concludes...
Superhero Nation -Part 3 of 5-
By Mike Tanier
It's 2049, and any kid can call
himself a superhero if he's willing
to spend a little money and break a
few laws.
The Journeyman -Part 3 of 5-
By Allen Woods
Nothing in their lives could ever have prepared the citizens of Ithica,
GA for the Journeyman.
-Part 1 of 3-

By Dan L. Hollifield
A rare foray into pure fantasy,
just to prove that I can do it.
This story ran in 5 parts in the
second incarnation of Dragon's Lair webzine in 1997.

Read more great stories from the Aphelion Archives

Short Stories

From the Ashes
By Kristen Comer
The skies cleared at last, and a new world lay waiting to be born.
An Argument In Favor of A Social Conscience
By Gary Glass
When the Mare Inebrium is threatened by a Culture Clash, its up to the Social Conscience to save the innocent.

Jungle Rules
By Mark Stanley
Master-Admiral u’Saay had only one desire: To find a worthy opponent.

Knight of the Faith
By Tony Markey
A young knight faces his first test in battle, and discovers a virtue higher than courage.

The Game
By Monday Lee Coley
The game begins when you are born. There are no rules. Any number can play.

Mourning Glory
By McCamy Taylor
When the wheel of time revolves, the past and the future cannot be kept apart.

The Last Day Home
By Bob Downing
"So passes this green earth."

The Planting
By Harlon Stafford
After Soolah died, Mirak carried on alone. Then one day he found the gift she had left behind.

The Receptacle
By Peter Spaeth
A simple side trip for extra cash leads to a life draining encounter.

A Six Day Journey
By Kelly D. Tolman
In the eyes of a starving boy, the path to glory in war is less savory than a mouthful of crusty bread.

The Gadarene Redemption
By Rich Logsdon
"The ending--the shattering of light bulbs and glass by unseen forces--is based upon an experience a very good friend of mine, a pastor, shared with me years ago. The following night we went to a basketball game together and he was so badly shaken that he actually began a kind of gradual withdrawal from the really intense aspect of his ministry. I know; sounds crazy, and I still wonder if he was delusional or just reporting things as he saw them...."

Poetry and Filk Music

By David Blalock

Wandrin' Star
By Iain Muir

The Death of a Savior
By Michael Carl Musser

Ignoramus 7-1-2
By Martin Jack


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 ark Stanley, and Steve Troop
Did he say daily? Yep, Aphelion is proud to feature two of the funniest comic strips on the Internet, Mark Stanley's "Freefall" and Steve Troop's "The Melonpool Chronicles". Bookmark this page, you don't want to miss a single installment!

The Writing Process
from outline to submission
by Dan L. Hollifield
From an idea by Jeff Williams... Wherein I detail how I go about writing stories and the editing involved. And coincidentally, how to ready a manuscript for submission to an e-zine- because that's the direction most of my stories see publication.

Wayward Musings
by Kim Holec
Kim just got back from Dragon*Con, and boy are her arms tired. A detailed account of all there was to do and see at the largest multi-genre SF con in the southeast.
Double Wide
by Jim Parnell
On the Road -- Where it goes, nobody knows! WARNING: Contains language.

A Word In Your Ear
by Rob Wynne
Rob Wynne rememers DeForest Kelley, who passed away in July...

The Reading Room
by Rob Wynne
Rob Wynne takes a look at books of note in this semi-regular column. In this issue: The Ultimate Melonpool by Steve Troop (an Aphelion author!)

Excentrivial Musings
The Aphelion Cartoon Page.

Dan Hollifield reviews:
Coming soon- a new review. I promise.

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

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.


In case anyone is curious as to exactly what's been keeping me so busy, I've planed a few webpages that show the progress of my landscaping, interior decoration, and housework. Look for it in my personal pages at Casa Vila. Its the begining of a sort of photographic timeline of my yardwork and such. I don't know why anyone would want to see it, but Rob thought that someone might so I worked it up. Expect it to be updated as I get new film developed and scanned.


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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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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 1997-99 by Dan L. Hollifield