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 33, Volume 4 -- February 2000

Happy Birthday, Aphelion!

Issue 34 will be online 1st week of March.

You are visitor number


Since January 27th 1997

Shortcut Links
Editorial Novels Serials Shorts Poetry Features Mare Inebrium Lettercol

Top 100 Award Vote for this page as a World Charts Top 100 Site!
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The eZines Database Top 5 Pick!

Aphelion is up for "Best E-Zine" award in Eternity magazine's 1999 Zine Awards. Here's the URL for the voting page;

Eternity Zine Awards

And, Aphelion writers;
Jeff Williams, Dave Kuzminski, Mike Tanier, DK Smith, Kate Hill, D. A. Krikorian, Chad Cottle and many other writers familiar to Aphelion's readers over the years-
All have stories nominated for awards on the Preditors and Editors website. Check out both websites and vote for your favourites!
The Preditors & Editors TM Readers' Poll

Aphelion is proud to be associated with:

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The Aphelion Daily Comics Page

Don't miss a single hilarious issue of Bruno the Bandit, Freefall or The Melonpool Chronicles! Check back every day for laughs from Aphelion's featured cartoonists!
Freefall! The Melonpool Chronicles


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

Hello and welcome! We've been redecorating a little here at Aphelion, getting ready for our third birthday issue. You may notice some new wallpaper and the odd drop-cloth or two, but things are pretty much ready. Hopefully, the changes aren't too distracting- in keeping with our ongoing evolutionary process we're trying to be subtle. We hope you like the new look.

We have our second writing contest underway and several entries have been received. We'll keep you posted as more entries come in and the judging continues.

We've also updated the Writer's Challenge page to provoke ideas for some of you to create future stories. Now we've added a set of narrative hooks and story ideas alongside Daniel Hanaquand's paintings. If you use any of these pictures or narrative hooks to inspire a story that you are submitting, please indicate it as being a "Writer's Challenge" story so that we can indicate it as such in the index page.

And now, for something completely different;

I've noticed several insoluble puzzles about life in my tenure on this planet. Such as-

  1. What makes the Teflon stick to the pan?
  2. Why does the other line always move faster?
  3. In what way does my placing a seed in the ground cause a drought to occur?
  4. Why do I never run into anyone I know at a store unless I'm in dirty work clothes and haven't shaved in two days? - Does no one leave the house when I'm in a suit and tie?
  5. Why do power failures happen in the middle of the night when you absolutely have to be on time for work the next day and the battery back-up in your alarm clock has never worked?
  6. What is it about a freshly washed car that attracts flocks of birds and rainstorms?
  7. If the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, shouldn't you be spreading fertilizer on your side rather than wasting time trying to climb through the barbed wire?
  8. If we can build enough nuclear weapons to blast us all back to the stone age, why can't we come up with something that will kill these fire-ants once and for all?
  9. Why aren't Native Americans on the endangered species list?
  10. If we can afford a war on crime and a war on drugs, why can't we have wars on racism, ignorance, and poverty?
  11. Why does the word culture only seem to apply to snooty humans and bacteria?
  12. If there are so many people these days suffering from insomnia, why does late-nite TV suck?
  13. Why is the Adult Entertainment industry always at the forefront of cutting-edge technology?
  14. Why does the addition of a two-cent slice of cheese to a seventy-five cent sandwich always raise the price to a dollar twenty five?
  15. If aliens have been able to watch our TV shows for the last fifty years, why do people still expect them to want to visit here?
  16. Why is getting married so easy and getting divorced so hard? Shouldn't that be the other way around?
  17. Why do pro athletes get paid more than teachers?
  18. Why is Babe Ruth more famous than Nicola Tesla?
  19. When I buy a package of black socks, why is it that after I wash them there are always six black ones, four dark blue ones, a dark green, and a dark brown instead of six pairs of black socks?
  20. What makes people think that a salad is more organic than a steak?
  21. Wouldn't reincarnation complicate your income tax form?
  22. Why aren't there any movies made from Larry Niven's books?
  23. Why do telemarketers keep calling back?
  24. Since sex is so much fun, shouldn't we be less ashamed of it now that humanity has been at it for over two million years?
  25. Is it fair to call a vegetarian a cereal killer?
  26. If people will buy free-range chicken over the house-grown variety, why do they look down on hunting deer or turkey? Is some subtle nutritional value lost if someone doesn't kill and clean the animal for you?

I hope that you've found food for thought in the preceding list. I know that I'd like to have the answers to these burning questions, but each answer would probably just generate more questions.

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 and Novellas

  • First War --Part 1--
    By David Allen
    In the distant future, mankind has come in direct contact with a deadly enemy. Life on earth suddenly takes a turn for the worse...
  • Hawking's Dawn --Part 1--
    By Ben Stevenson
    The life of Alec Kyte has always been an interesting one. At the forefront of inter-corporation espionage involving the new super-powerful entropy-based weapons systems, he is used to living dangerously and taking risks. But with the latest job, he has taken on more than he expects and, as his colleagues around him begin to have 'accidents', a sinister conspiracy becomes apparent. With enemies closing in, there is only one place to flee - the darkest, most remote region of space known to man. A hidden sanctuary. A Dark Haven.

  • Read more great stories from the Aphelion Archives

    Buckle up, true believers! It's time for
    Aphelion's Second Ever Short Story Contest!

    Short Stories

  • The Thrak'n
    By G.L. Gerber
    It doesn't pay to deal lightly with the unknown.
  • The Tattoo
    By Jeff Colburn
    A grieving man sets out to avenge his brother's murder at any cost, even even if it means paying the price exacted by an ancient power.

  • The Immigrant
    By Dan L. Hollifield
    Newly arrived on our shores, some people have to have an aptitude for their jobs in order to survive.

  • Summoners Daughter
    By K. Bird Lincoln
    When Human colonists make a terrible pact with the alien inhabitants of a distant planet, it takes the compassion of a special girl to stand against evil men...

  • If Only
    By Iain Benson
    Have you ever wondered what would happen if only you had done this, instead of that? The outcome is not always as one would hope.

  • Interlude
    By Mark Stanley
    Imagine that Humanity realizes its full potential, that Nietzsche's superman emerges, that he conquers the universe, that he becomes a god. Then what?

  • Fountains of Paradise
    By Mikael Bernard
    For most of us, the search for the fountains of paradise never ends. A far worse fate would be to find them, then lose them again.

  • Farewell to the Huntsman
    By William B. Johnson
    The animals call a truce to observe the passing of their common foe.

  • Confessions of a Singularity
    By Stephen Goobie
    With tears the size of galaxies and sighs the span of Gigayears, a new lifeform awakens amidst the majesty of space.

  • Amor Fati
    By Chris Wood
    How far would you go for love? When Brandon and his wife Judy reach the edge of a cliff one Halloween night, only one of them will know.

  • A Face in the Crowd
    By Ralph Benedetto, Jr.
    When you work in the lab alone late at night, you can never be quite sure what's going to happen...

  • Read the updated Submissions Guidelines
    Aphelion Submissions Guidelines Page

    Poetry and Filk Music

  • Pale Horse
    By Rob Wynne

  • Pre-Millennial
    By Jim Parnell

  • Mary, Mary, Not So Contrary
    By Richard Stevenson

  • Castle of Epiphany
    By Joseph B. St. John

  • Features

    The Mare Inebrium shared universe project
    I open up my own Spaceport Bar to other writers! An introduction to the project.

    The Mare Inebrium Shared Universe Project

    The Mare Inebrium stories to date.
    A shortcut to the links to all the mare stories.

  • Aphelion's Daily Comics
    By Mark 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 instalment!

  • The Listening Room
    By Rob Wynne
    Rob Wynne takes a look at recordings of interest to science fiction and fantasy fans in this semi-regular column. In this issue: Passing Through by Bill Sutton

  • Wayward Musings
    by Kim Holec
    Kim warns readers about a new and present danger: the government wants a piece of your e-auction.
  • Double Wide
    by Jim Parnell
    2000 Years and All I Got Was This Stupid T-Shirt WARNING: Contains Language.

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

  • - 1\21\2000 - A Challenge to Writers...
    Not a contest, but a series of ideas to spark off a story.

  • P.S.

    In case anyone is curious as to exactly what's been keeping me so busy, I've planned a few webpages that show the progress of my landscaping, interior decoration, and housework. Look for it in my personal pages at Casa Vila. It’s the beginning of a sort of photographic timeline of my yard work 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. I have two new rolls of film shot for this page and expect to update it within the next few weeks.


    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

  • Excentrivial Musings: The Aphelion Cartoon Page.
  • Dan Hollifield reviews: Coming soon, a new review.
  • 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.
  • Books Music Enter keywords...

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    Help support us by supporting Amazon.Com -- When you buy books and music
    from Amazon.com through Aphelion, you help us continue to bring you
    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 favour 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 favourite 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

    Click HERE to vote for this page as a Starting Point Hot Site.

    Aphelion Webzine is 1997-2000 by Dan L. Hollifield