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Issue 34, Volume 4 -- March 2000

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Since January 27th 1997

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

Hello and welcome!

You're not going to like this one...

Things are falling apart...

That's what has been on my mind lately. Not only things that I own are breaking down- my computer, things around the house, the machinery at work -but it looks as if America isn't going to be free much longer. I can hear you thinking- that I've been reading the conspiracy webpages too much again, but no, that's not it. I just look at those to find out what's fashionable for paranoids to believe these days. Mere entertainment, you understand. But... What if? Writers deal in "what ifs" every time they write, so it’s hard to separate what one is thinking about one's work from what one sees in the news, in magazines, or online. Writers never stop thinking about alternate possibilities. How many of us have turned a dream or nightmare into a plot point for a story? I know I've done that several times and I doubt that I'm much different than anyone else.

"So," you ask. "What bug crawled up his shorts about the loss of freedom in America?"

OK. You want a laugh? Then I'll tell you. Gun control. There, I've said it- Now every one of you knows that I'm just some nutcase with a handgun and the insane urge to kill everyone who's ever looked at me. Go ahead, get it out of your system, laugh. But, you see, I'm not like that at all. I own at least a dozen handguns and half that many rifles- and all I ever want to shoot is little paper targets. That's all. I hope I never have to use any of those weapons on anything but little pieces of paper with little circles drawn upon them. I pray that I'll never be forced to defend myself against anyone, for any reason. I haven't hunted anything more dangerous than crows in a cornfield in over twenty years. I have no urge to go postal at work, no stuffed animals on my walls... I'm not even angry at the deer that jumped out in front of my truck a few weeks ago. So what's the big deal about gun control?

Freedom, that's what. If you think that governments establish anti-gun laws in order to regulate hunting, you're wrong. Laws to restrict or prevent the private ownership of guns are passed to protect governments from the governed, and for no other reason. They aren't passed to prevent children from taking guns to school and blowing away the bullies- that's the responsibility of the parents who raise the children. They aren't passed to prevent act of terrorism or crime because terrorists and criminals will always be able to obtain weapons, no matter what laws are passed. I'm sorry to have to inform you that anti-gun laws are passed to protect politicians from the people that they rule. And for no other reason! Politics and government were invented to extort payments from the governed. Look at history if you don't believe me, the evidence is there and plain to see once we take off the blinders that we've all been saddled with from birth. All governments began with some group of thugs who got tired of taking the chance that they would be killed by the people that they wished to enslave. Let's face it, if you rob enough people, chances are that one of them will be brave enough to fight back... and possibly kill you. This is not a pleasant thought to the man who would be king. So governments were born, from those who wish to enslave others so that they themselves don't have to work for a living. From bullies, muggers, thieves, murderers, rapists... These are the people who founded the institution of government. Nice bunch of folks who own you, hunh? Make no mistake, they do own you- Try not paying your income tax one year and see what prison you wind up inside. So what's that got to do with guns? Well its hard to control slaves that have the means to resist, to fight back. That's what made America free in the first place- A bunch of peasants who got tired of paying tribute to a government that was treating them as a captive market and a source of tribute. They had the means to fight back and were willing to do so, even if they were killed themselves. Freedom requires the means to defend oneself against any who wish to make one a slave. This kind of rankles those who wish to be slave-masters.

These are dangerous times. The lessons of history are being ignored once more and the rights of all Americans are closer than ever to being wiped away in a frenzy of gun control laws. The state of California will be allowed to vote this year upon the issue of mandatory registration of all weapons. Like Hitler, the American government wants to know where all the guns are and who has them so they can confiscate them when the need arises. As usual, California will be used to blaze the trail straight to slavery for every man, woman, and child in America. Australia is now a country of slaves- since the mandatory registration of firearms made it easy to confiscate them when some spurious "national emergency" (I.E. One lone nutcase with a rifle who killed a bunch of folks who had no means of defending themselves against him.) was pushed to the forefront by the media, and the government stepped in to "protect" the governed of that once free country. Now the government is free to proceed with anything they wish, free of the fear that someone could possibly defend themselves. The inhabitants of Australia are not even aware that they are now slaves to the whim of their own government, since the velvet gloves are still on and the government has not yet become oppressive. Not yet, anyway. There are other examples, but I leave it to you to see them. I'm not some guru, nor am I some doomsday prophet. I want you all to think for yourselves. Don't you dare let my words determine your opinions.

Shall we allow America to become a nation of slaves? I hope not. What can we do to prevent such a horror from coming to pass? Vote the rascals out of office! Anyone of age to vote, go register to vote, find out which candidates have supported anti-gun laws, and put them on un-employment! Get them out of office. You might never find someone you wish to vote for, but you'll find plenty to vote against! Exercise what few rights that you have left, before they are all gone. Folks in California will be the first in America to stand up for their rights, or fall prey to those who wish to make them slaves.

In short, guns are equal to freedom. "A man without a gun is a slave, a man with a gun can only be murdered, never enslaved." So register to vote, go buy a gun and learn how to use it safely, and be proud that you are free. Freedom is like a helium balloon, if you ever lose it, you'll likely never get it back.

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 2--
    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 2--
    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

  • Weeds
    By George M. Scott
    Weeds should be treated as weeds, but Bob ignored this simple truth.
  • Rivers of Olympus
    By Terry Bramlett
    With the failure of the Mars Polar Lander, the only way we can search for Martian water is in our collective imagination.

  • Abduction
    By Stephen Thompson
    There is God and there are gods.Who is to say which is real?

  • Mother of Beauty
    By McCamy Taylor
    The saga of Rusty, Knight of Death, continues.A "Sister Death" story.

  • Hollywood Mindsink
    By Megan Powell
    It seems the young ladies who go to Hollywood to become stars are losing more than their virginity.

  • Running With the Vundt
    By Ralph Benedetto, Jr.
    Sometimes a creature can seem so alien that you can't judge it. Then again, sometimes it's just stupid.

  • Lessons of Guilt
    By Matthew A. Reed
    A dark and disturbing journey into one man's quest to understand and overcome his madness.

  • Dreamspinner's Curse
    By Stephen Varner
    His art was forbidden, but for Dancer and Troubadour, Dreamspinner was the last hope.

  • Homecoming?
    By Jonjack
    "It’s not enough to succeed, you have to survive and get home again too."
    A Mare Inebrium story AND a Writer's Challenge II story!

  • Read the updated Submissions Guidelines
    Aphelion Submissions Guidelines Page

    Poetry and Filk Music

    Poetry editor Kim Holec's father had emergency heart surgery and as a result, she had to take time off to be with her family.We will have the poetry up and online shortly.In the meantime, please include Kim's father in your thoughts and prayers.You can send your support to her and her family by emailing her at poetry@aphelion-webzine.com.


    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!

  • Double Wide
    by Jim Parnell
    Dwarf Nebula Reprise -- or, No, We Wasn't Done Yet 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.


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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 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.
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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 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 favorited 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.

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    Aphelion Webzine is 1997-2000 by Dan L. Hollifield