Aphelion Issue 278, Volume 26
November 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
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Flash Writing Challenge
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Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Issue 39, Volume 4 -- September 2000

Issue 40 will be online 1st week of October.

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Since January 27th 1997

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

Hello and welcome!

Where do we writers get all our ideas? Has someone pinned you down with that question yet? No? Well, it’s coming, wait and see. Have you got an answer? I don't. I've never understood why my mind works the way it does or from where the inspiration for the characters that I create comes.

Sometimes I draw details from my own life, but not often. Most often, things just pop into my head and demand to be written down. Sometimes it’s a turn of phrase, sometimes a visual image, and once in a great while its some frightening, blinding, ego-crushing blast of creativity being poured into your mind from some unknowable source- and all the time you're cursing about the funnel not being big enough or your hands not being fast enough to catch and record it all before you forget.

That hurts. (And yes, I know that I changed tenses in that last paragraph.)

But what can be retained can be woven into a story, if you work at it.

That's the thing, see? Writing is work, damned hard work, as hard as anything I do at the factory. The rewards for doing a good job feel great, but the punishments for doing a bad job feel awful. So, you try to do the best you can.

The only advice I can give you to help is to stock your mind with as many different things as you can manage. The more you have to think with, the better you can expect your ideas to be. After that, it’s just work, work, work. And never give up.

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 & Novelettes

  • The Account of Lord Salthor
    By Madbot
    "Disaster is the result when a young, untried commander leads his men against an ancient horror."
  • The Anartek --Part 1 of 2--
    By Michael Patrick Aiello
    "For generations the Anarteks had lived apart from the rest of humanity, isolated in a far corner of the solar system. Their credo was technological creation, and now they had come up with the greatest of them all: the instantaneous movement of matter through space.

    For Earth the news couldn't be worse. The uncontrolled introduction of new technologies into the economy had already caused untold misery. More upheavals would not be tolerated. But for private investigator Angelo McAuley, the issues were simple: survive. So, when a mysterious Earthman named Samuel Tanner asked him to investigate the disappearance of a drug addicted aristocrat, Angelo could hardly say ‘No’..."

  • Whose Sword Is It, Anyway? --Part 3 of 5--
    By Ralph Benedetto, Jr.
    Caitlin, Mal and Rivenbark, somehow surviving the rigors of part two, run into some odd and surprising things, not the least of which is some of Mal's more unusual relations. They may also finally begin to learn a thing or two. It took long enough, don't you think?

  • Read more great stories from the Aphelion Archives

    Or Take

    08\08\2000 - A Challenge to Writers...
    Not a contest, but a series of ideas to spark off a story.

    Short Stories

  • Travels With Cat
    By Joy Hewitt Mann
    Witches are moral beings, so how can an immoral, criminal type like "darling" make it in the world of magic? With the help of a familiar named Cat, of course. But then, Cat is not all she -- or is that "he"? -- seems to be.
  • AWarning From the Red Star
    By Frederick Rustam
    In a story inspired by a Dan Hollifield editorial, tabloid reporter Jake Weissmeyer investigates a mysterious construction project in the desert
  • A Union in Death
    By J. Alan Erwine
    Eric and Becky wanted two things: Tomorrow and each other.
  • Trudy
    By Daniel Beaupre'
    When a mysterious object falls out of the sky and lies in the road undulating like a bag of liquid, DON'T LEAN OVER IT AND POKE IT WITH A STICK!
  • Happy the Clown
    By The Hansen Family
    "We all looked to J.B. in order to follow his lead for a reaction. J.B. kept on talking. He kept on droning on as if it was normal to have a clown walk into the room. My eyes shifted back to the clown who sat down in an empty chair and put a brief case on the conference table."
  • Just the Man for the Job
    By Drazen Saskor
    In a well ordered society, there is a job for every man, and a man for every job.
  • Peaches
    By Justin L. Peniston
    A jealous cat is resurrected in her master's shoes.
  • Rham the Uncivil
    By Craig Cornwell
    One of history’s least known mythological heroes, Rham makes Conan look like Harry Potter.
  • Tinnitus Interruptus
    By Ralph Benedetto, Jr.
    At long last recovered from a painful soccer injury, Ralph returns to his keyboard, and the pages of Aphelion with a lively tale of three memorable fantasy characters.
  • Spru TV
    By Matthew A. Reed
    A boy, a computer, and a nasty alien race.
  • Rerun
    By Bill Wolfe
    “In the back of every mind, a monster lurks-chained in the mind's dark recesses, kept away from the light of day for all eternity... but chains can break. Corbeatee’s ability to control biological systems was absolute; he was merely very good with mechanical devices. But he was learning fast.
    A Writer's Challenge 2 & a Mare Inebrium story!

  • 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