Don't miss a single hillarious issue of Bruno the Bandit,
Freefall or The Melonpool
Chronicles! Check back every day for laughs
from Aphelion's featured cartoonists!
The Senior Editor's usual drivel about whatever...
Hello and welcome! Happy Birthday, Aphelion!
If you're the type to check out the hit counter at the
top of this page occasionally, then you have seen underneath the
counter the words "Since January 27th 1997" which means that we are now
four years old. Not bad in this ephemeral world of URLs that we share
here inside the internet. There's been a lot of changes at this website
over the years, and there's sure to be more to come. On the 27th of
January, 2001, the hit counter re-set itself to zero. Spooky-- Some
birthday present, huh?. Cary and I fixed the counter just the other
night while we were in the new IRC Chat channel, #AphelionWebzine.
Speaking of birthday presents, this month, Ralph Benedetto, Jr. joins
our staff as Assistant Serials Editor. He and McCamy Taylor are our
newest Editorial Mafia members, and they've both already made a dent in
our submissions backlog. Please join me in welcoming both our new staff
members. Another change is our new background wallpaper. We may be
trying several more in the near future, so keep a sharp look out.
Now as to what's been on my mind lately, well...
Imagination stretching. Wrapping one's mind around a new concept,
stocking one's mental library with new things that could add to future
stories, and wondering where we'll be going from here. Writers need
that sort of thing to percolate new ideas for their works. A
well-stuffed imagination is a writer's best tool.
So, given that-- How do you get there? The usual way,
reading lots of different things, keeping up with the news, a bit of
research... Stock your mind. Stuff it as full as you can get it. Be
picky, though. Some things will have a direct bearing upon the style in
which you write, others will wind up being "just for fun". The human
mind is the ultimate computer, capable of assembling facts, knowledge,
imagination, presumptions, insight, and intuition into the modern-day
fairy tales that constitute modern SF, Fantasy, Horror... All the
things we know and love. To be creative is sometimes somewhat of a
curse; "How do you come up with... ?" is something all writers face,
eventually. Stock your mental library. Stretch your mind with new
ideas. Think! Fictioneering is hard work-- There's
lots of skull-sweat in each and every story you write. You have to
imagine each and every element; the scene, the plot, scene changes,
characterizations, backstory, fore-shadowing, character development,
specal effects... The list goes way on, folks. None of us works the
same way, but we do all have things in common. One of those is a love
of reading. Another is the-- hunger to write.
You owe it to yourself to write the best story that
you can. You owe it to your readers, too. The more that you know, the
better you can weave elements that the reader can recognize into your
work. Make the reader care. Make them want more from your characters
after the story is over. Develop your ideas, do your research, listen
to the radio, watch TV, go places, meet people, do things. Then mix
that all into your work. Story ideas can come from anywhere. Stock your
mind, so that "anywhere" becomes a much bigger territory to play with.
Sometimes left field has to be really big before
something comes out of it. You as a writer can never predict what is
going to set off the germ of a story idea. But one thing you can be
sure of-- the more you've got to work with, the better job you're going
to turn out. Stretch your imagination. Stock that mental library, but
remember that it is still important to take time to write
every once in a while. Watch out for that last step, it's
a big one.
Thanks for your time.
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!
Senior Editor, Publisher
Short Story Editor
Asssistant Short Story Editor
Production Editor/Serials Editor
Asssistant Serials Editor
It is with great sadness that Aphelion notes the
death of Gordon R.
Dickson, who passed away on January 31, 2001. He will be greatly
Godspeed, Gordy. You'll be greatly missed. Shai Dorsai!
Occasional Little Wars
By Tony Ragas Jake Morehouse was one hot pilot. That is
enemy suddenly became more than just an indistinct
personification of evil and he was forced down on a
remote colony world. Human conflicts pale in
comparison to carnivorous aliens.
Study in Alizarin Crimson --Part 1-- By Dan L. Hollifield When Sherlock Holmes is hired to investigate a
suspicious man who seems to be planning to burgle the British Museum,
the trail of clews leads straight to the mysterious owner of the Mare
Red Judgment By Mary Musselman If you think back over the course of your life
with its good and bad
experiences, which memories would you block out? Karine tried to turn
from the shadows in her mind, only to realize the shadows were taking
and becoming real.
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 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
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
by Jim Parnell "Interview with the Jasper"
WARNING: Contains Language.
Hollifield reviews: "Frankenstein: The Dawning and the Passing,
a Sequel"-- The new novel by Mario Marcel Salas A classic Gothic Horror style tale. Both a
loving study of, and a tribute to the Mary Shelly original and it's
by Rob Wynne Rob Wynne gives a listen to the 20th
Anniversary CD Release of Meg Davis's "Captain Jack and the
Challenge to Writers...
--8\8\2000-- Not a contest, but a series of ideas to spark
off a story. Challenge 1 is the paintings of Daniel Hannaquand,
Challenge 2 is a collection of narrative hooks composed by Dan
Aphelion Links Page
Click here to see the Links Page. Our fellow E-zines, Astronomy,
research material, entertainment, and much, much more!
Aphelion IRC Chat
--2\16\2001-- Information about a new feature for Aphelion.
IRC Chat is a fun way to talk to our readers, writers, staff members,
and other netizens. This link takes you to a basic intro and provides
further links to the IRC software that you can download for free. Look
for new updates as we refine this feature.
--2\12\2001-- For a quick look at the JAVA chat client, this
link launches a new browser window that takes you to a Log-in form for
a JAVA-based chat in your browser window. No specian programs are
needed. This will be a very simple, but passable IRC client, very
no-frills. This will also tell you if there's anyone else in the
chatroom, by the way.
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. Unfinished banners can be completed and e-mailed to you
within 8 days. 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. Finished images can be copied from
the banner artwork page itself. An exchange of links or banner links is
always welcome. Link Swap E-mail should be sent to: Dan Hollifield
If you would like to receive notices from Aphelion when this
page is updated, please join our new, revised, automatic mailing list.
Send a message to
email@example.com 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!
Instead of the back issues the banner below now takes you
to the Archives-where all our past stories are available for you to
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