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 43, Volume 4 -- January 2001

Issue 44, Volume 5 will be online 1st week of February.

"And if you believe that- you'll buy this watch..."
Saint Robere Guilams

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Since January 27th 1997

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

Hello and welcome!

Before I get to the editorial proper, I'd like to welcome McCamy Taylor to the Aphelion staff as an Assistant Editor. She has kindly consented to help out with the backlog of submissions. (Although, I don't know how this is going to look on her resume', LOL! "You were working for an online magazine? For free?) McCamy's long been a favorite of Aphelion readers and now she will be bringing her talents to editing for us. We've got a sizable backlog of submissions to wade through and Cary tells me that his hip-boots are beginning to chafe, just a little... Ahem... So I'm proud to announce McCamy coming onboard as Aphelion's newest editor. We change as we grow, and grow as we change. Once again,I have to remark on how Aphelion has evolved since the early days-- four whole years ago, LOL! Back then it was just me, a TANDY 386, and a lonely little URL. Now, there's an active staff of six! My, how things change.

And in the spirit of change-- Feburary's issue will mark another Aphelion Birthday, so look out. There are some tweaks in the works for the Birthday Issue. Just another step in Aphelion's continuing quest to provide a quality forum for writers.

And now-- back to the drivel- er, the editorial, that is...

The Web is one of the most marvelous tools that a writer can have. It can also be one of the worst time-wasters mankind has ever invented. That was driven home to me yesterday as I re-visited a website that I'd not looked at for months. Not only did I come up with an outline for a killer story, gotten a chance to witness the evolution of a website, and spent several hours reading page after page of oddities worthy of Charles Fort-- I also managed to while away most of a cold afternoon. I both wasted time and put it to good use in the same motion.

So, great- the Web is the biggest research library ever stocked... However, it can also be the single greatest procrastination excuse of modern times.

And let's face it- who needs another excuse to put things off? Certainly not me. I learned years ago that the best way to get a sink full of dishes washed quickly-- was to turn on my computer and open up the word processor. I'd suddenly feel the need to stack clean dishes in the cabinet just as soon as that blank page came onscreen. Now, you can imagine how that urge mutated after I bought a modem and got online! Now I could delete my spam-- er, check my e-mails, or read Newsgroups, or look at websites... Anything but get the work done.

Well, all that blather amounted to was that its easy to let yourself get distracted. Writers face that challenge, and to overcome it they learn to schedule writing time. Somehow. You learn that you have to make time to write or run the risk of realizing one day that you're not a writer any more. For some strange reason.

"You are young and life is long,
And there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find,
Ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run,
You missed the starting gun."
Pink Floyd -- "Time" -- Dark Side of the Moon

Those lyrics sum up what I'm getting at in this essay. To wit: A procrastinating writer isn't writing. Delay doesn't get the story told. As Fictioneers, we have to whip that particular demon down every day. We have to decide to write that story, work on that next draft, do the job we keep putting off. Its either that or that long, slow slide into suddenly not being a writer any more.

Now, I'm not saying that the Net is evil, or a waste of time for a writer. It is and should always be a great tool for writers. What I am saying is that the Net is also a great temptation to put off getting that "job" done. Just one more webpage, just one more Newsgroup article, "I'll just pop into one more Chatroom-- Say hello to some old friends..." I'm sure you've done it your self. I know I have.

So at last we come to that oft repeated saw: Schedule time to write, stick to the schedule. You may not feel like writing when it comes time to write. I often don't, myself. But I do write, anyway. I know that I have to, or fade away. Its something that I've had to learn-- And it didn't come easy.

The nice thing is that you should not only schedule time for work, but time for play as well. Oh, and don't let the one swallow the other. To keep yourself sane, you need time to play and work.

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
Kim Holec
Poetry Editor
Robert Wynne
Cary Semar
Short Story Editor
McCamy Taylor
Asssistant Editor
Jeffrey Williams
Production Editor/Serials Editor
Roger Bennett
Editor Emeritus

Serialized Stories & Novellettes

Jeff was unable to work on the Serials & Novels section for this month and has asked me to explain and to extend his appologies. He and his family have been busy buying a new house and moving in. I know that I went through the same thing two years ago when I bought a house. Aphelion readers are asked to please be patient and forgiving, writers who have posted submissions to Jeff are asked to please let the tar cool back down and put the feathers back into the pillows.
"that damnfool senior editor kinda guy"

Read more great stories from the
Aphelion Archives
Aphelion Back Issues

Or Take

- 8\8\2000 - A Challenge to Writers...
Not a contest, but a series of ideas to spark off a story.

Short Stories

  • How Justine Got Her Body Back
    By Minoti Baro
    If a Siberian shaman invites you for coffee at Starbuck's, say "No thanks."
  • Ambrosia
    By George K. Mowles
    Archonidias had triumphed by capturing the Mother of Earth in her temple. Now he had only to deliver the idol to King Minos to gain his reward.

  • Picture Perfect
    By Ralph Benedetto, Jr.
    The thief who stole Lord Whynter's paintings made a big mistake when she left one behind.

  • Les Pigeons de la Roche
    By Frank Mosca
    The thing about bad karma is this: sooner or later, it comes back to you.

  • Far Out
    By Matthew Hodgetts and Dwayne Bunney
    This story has a message for you, if only you will listen.

  • Something to Prove
    By Andrea Sharkey
    The philosophers like to ask "does god exist?" For Darrin, that is the wrong question.

  • The Stewmeister
    By Delo White
    Detective Armbruster must solve the mystery of the disappearance of Everett Kaboom, but can he overcome his secret weakness?

  • Its Only Defense
    By Cristina Alfonso-Ibanez
    Tracking down dragons and slaying them is a good way to win the hearts of fair maidens.

  • Sister at the Bar
    By Kate Thornton
    Some people truly get what they deserve... But sometimes the Instrument of Justice makes it-- personal.

  • Read the updated Submissions Guidelines
    Aphelion Submissions Guidelines Page

    Poetry and Filk Music

    Kim has been sick and regrets to say that she has no poetry ready for this issue. Please join me in wishing her a speedy recovery.

    The Mare Inebrium

    Links Updated -- 9-10-00 --
    Each of the three links below have changed. Please take note and adjust your Bookmarks if necessary. The first link below gives you the introduction to the Mare Inebrium, the banner link now gives you access to all of the Mare stories, and the third link now gives you acess to the Mare Inebrium Online Starter kit. The online Starter Kit will be updated as often as Mare writers make necessary.

    The Mare Inebrium shared universe project
    I open up my own Spaceport Bar to other writers!
    This link takes you to the full introduction to the project.

    Tales of the Mare Inebrium
    All the Mare Inebrium Stories to date.

    The banner above links to
    all the Mare Inebrium Stories on one page!

    The Mare Inebrium Starter Kit.
    --Updated 12/10/2000--

    This is a link to all the background information for the Mare Inebrium stories so far.
    This is a must read for all Mare Inebrium writers and fans!


  • 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 installment!

  • Double Wide
    by Jim Parnell
    Jason Phone Home -- You make your own yuck
    WARNING: Contains Language.

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

  • A Challenge to Writers...
    8\8\2000 -

    Not a contest, but a series of ideas to spark off a story.

  • Dan Hollifield reviews: "Burn" -- The new novel by Jonathan Lyons
    Sci-Fi Noir in all its glory!

  • Aphelion Banners
    And banner artwork for links.

    If you want to link to Aphelion and want more than a text link, then this page is for you. Some of these banners are finished, but most of them lack only my adding text to make them complete. The banner HTML code-- and image --can be e-mailed on request, or can be more simply copied from the "View/Page Source" option in your web browser. Images can be downloaded from the banart page itself.

  • P.S.

    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. I have two new rolls of film shot for this page and expect to update it within the nexw 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: "Burn" -- the new novel by Jonathan Lyons
  • 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