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November 2022
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Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Issue 38, Volume 4 -- August 2000

Issue 39 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...

Hello and welcome!

I ought to use this time to rave about the X-Men movie -- 'cause I really liked it and I hope that it'll spawn half a dozen sequels -- but I figure that most of you have seen the movie by now and anything else I say about it will be just sad fan-boy gush. If a sequel happens, I just hope that it doesn't premier opposite a Star Wars or Trek movie. There's a lot of fan-crossover there and fans on a budget can only see so many movies a year.

Instead, I'm going to muse about how this editing gig is turning me into Peter Parker.

Now, I haven't got sticky fingers or toes, and I can't lift a bus and throw it at someone... although there have been times -- I'm talking about Stan Lee's greatest observation; "With power comes responsibility, with great power comes great responsibility." This is Spider-Man's greatest driving motive -- to use his power responsibly. How does that apply to me? Simple, some of you have used me as a spark-plug of ideas to craft stories around. Not only from the Writer's Challenge page, or my Mare Inebrium stories, but even here in my editorial I spark ideas in people.

That's a sort of power -- one I never dreamed I'd receive, by the way, when I was thrust into e-publishing -- the power to induce others to think. That sort of makes me the opposite of a TV advert, LOL! Now I have to be responsible and use this power for good. So don't look for me to endorse a particular political candidate, or even a brand of after-shave... Sometime this year, I'd planned to run an editorial about the superstition that whoever gets elected president this year stands a good chance of getting shot at by some lunatic. You remember, "presidents elected in years that end in zero wind up being stalked by assassins" is the way the superstition runs. I was going to point out that if the trend holds, then whoever runs for vice-president will be more important than the candidates for president. Now I can't do that. Some crazy might be prompted to fulfill my "prophecy" and take it upon himself to shoot some innocent ( I hate to use the word "innocent" to describe a politician, but in this case it really does apply ) politician whose only crime ( in this one instance ) was to be elected. However, if someone uses that illustration to write a story from, then that's OK. Stories are fine, hurting folks is out. Clear?

How could I use the power to generate ideas to do good? What sort of ideas could I cause? What impact could I have upon society?

Very little, I would suspect. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a guru, nor a prophet. In a vague way I suppose that one could consider me as some sort of un-trained English teacher. ( Very un-trained, as compared to Jeff, who is an English teacher, or Kim, an English major in college. ) I can honestly say that I don't have all the answers, nor even all the questions. Shall I be provocative or conservative? Which way does responsibility lay? Or should that be "lie"? See? Infallibility is one thing that I'm never going to have to live in fear of... of which I will never have to live in fear... whatever.

I'd call myself a philosopher, but hemlock tastes too much like gin.

I'd call myself a commentator, but I'm more of an opinionated jerk.

I guess I'm a idea man. I like that. Sounds good, evocative even. I give others the fuel to brainstorm. Wow, what a concept! Then the responsibility kicks in -- I can affect people, and people can affect reality -- the more people I affect, the more I affect reality. Awesome sort of concept, really -- I can change the world. By becoming an e-publisher, I touch people's lives. I can only pray that I affect them for the better.

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 & Novellettes

  • Thorne River
    By Luke Hodgson
    His eyes strained against the midmorning sunlight as it poured into the wood. The night seemed so long ago, but the way his body felt, it seemed as though it had just happened. He'd been hunched over in-between the foliage nearly all morning, covered in dark paint, camouflaged, and waiting. Waiting for the riders to eventually come and try to take them. He knew they would come sooner or later, but Thorne also knew that both he and his charge mustn't be taken.
  • Mind Over Matter
    By Joanna Berry
    The psionic agent Mauran Cooper has just closed her latest case by fatally wounding a serial killer. But destroying her fugitive only serves to lead her into intrigue, crippling guilt and danger.
  • Akeldama
    By Richard Behrens
    Sheldon the Art Student has a lot to learn about career choices. You simply don't move to the City of God when you want to paint visions of Hell. But then again, Sheldon was always a little different.

  • Whose Sword Is It, Anyway? --Part 2 of 5--
    By Ralph Benedetto, Jr.
    Having made some unwise decisions concerning their educational futures, Caitlin, Mal and Rivenbark find themselves loose in the wide world where they find magic, fighting and adventure. In other words, all of the things they're bad at.

  • Read more great stories from the Aphelion Archives

    Short Stories

  • The Moll's Initiation
    By Jeanne G'Fellers-Walker
    Somewhere among the stars lies the prison colony of Trimar, where the men are strong and the women are beautiful. Otherwise, they are dead.
  • Roots
    By Kate Thornton
    This story was first published in "Neverworlds" issue #2. It takes place when the first pilot of the Linda Rae was some guy named Sullivan.

  • The Collection
    By Noel Carroll
    The glacier gave up a frozen body which floated down the river and was found. On that body was a notebook, still barely readable. The notebook spoke of an "ancient treasure" guarded by a frozen corpse. In Alaska, "ancient treasure" could only mean one thing. Gold!

  • Chant of the Mandala
    By Anthony Giovia
    When people walk into an architectural artwork called The Mandala but don't walk out, you send for Manny Levels.

  • The Crowd
    By Daniel Beaupre'
    In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes. Consider yourself warned.

  • Digital
    By Ronald R. Delgado C.
    Have you ever wonder how it is to live in perfect Clarity?

  • Deadly Star
    By Ron Capshaw
    There are no evil sciences, only evil scientists. Scientist-Hero Johnathan Silverberg, a.k.a The Ghost, uses Superscience in the unending battle against Super-Evil.

  • McJock's Beanstalk
    By Craig Cornwell
    Once again, we join Snow Spackman as he walks down, or in this case up, the mean streets of myth and legend.

  • Nebula
    By Kai Blackbird
    What happens when a Human scoutship with a crew of two encounters a Behemoth class Charlay cruiser? Nothing good.

  • The Melody
    By Andrew D. Scott
    To hear the music of the spheres you must have the right plug-in. Click on the link to download it now.

  • Watch the Monkey
    By Ralph Benedetto, Jr.
    The goal of observation is understanding, The usual result, however, is data.

  • The Bouncer
    By Claude Hopper
    Every bar has a bouncer, usually really big guys that could easily be mistaken for heroic statuary, until they get the signal to kick your butt. The Mare's new bouncer was a little guy, but that's just a measure of how good he really is. Bruce is one bad mother- Well, you know what I mean.

  • Read the updated Submissions Guidelines
    Aphelion Submissions Guidelines Page

    Poetry and Filk Music

  • And She Ran
    By Jeanne G'Fellers-Walker

  • The Message Of The Eagle
    By Francis C. Parker, Jr.

  • Earthlight
    By David Blalock

  • Diamond Pete's Osaka Run
    By Jennifer M. Boudreaux
    WARNING: Contains Language

  • 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!
  • Double Wide
    by Jim Parnell
    Home of the Strange...
    WARNING: Contains Language.
  • The Awards Page
    All of the Awards that Aphelion has won.
  • - 8\8\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!

  • - 7\21\2000 - 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.

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

    Aphelion Webzine is 1997-2000 by Dan L. Hollifield