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 44, Volume 5! -- February 2001

Issue 45, Volume 5 will be online 1st week of March.

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

Happy Birthday, Aphelion!

You are visitor number


Since January 27th 1997

Shortcut Links
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Mare Inebrium Stories Mare Starter Kit Review Query FAQ Aphelion IRC Chat Info & Schedule Aphelion Instant Java Chat Exchange Links With Aphelion Aphelion Submissions Guidelines

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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!
Freefall! The Melonpool Chronicles


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.


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/Filk Editor
Robert Wynne
Cary Semar
Short Story Editor
McCamy Taylor
Asssistant Short Story Editor
Jeffrey Williams
Production Editor/Serials Editor
Ralph Benedetto, Jr.
Asssistant Serials Editor
Roger Bennett
Editor Emeritus

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 missed. Godspeed, Gordy. You'll be greatly missed. Shai Dorsai!

Serialized Stories & Novellettes

  • The Case of the Immoral Monster
    By Guy Hasson
    What if your shrink was a telepath?

  • Occasional Little Wars
    By Tony Ragas
    Jake Morehouse was one hot pilot. That is until the 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.

  • A 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 Inebrium!

  • 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

  • The 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 away from the shadows in her mind, only to realize the shadows were taking shape and becoming real.
  • Where There's a Will...
    By Ralph Benedetto, Jr.
    Sometimes imagination and logic are not mutually exclusive.

  • Protection of the Fire Gryphon
    By Elizabeth Gackstetter Nichols
    When the walls of Primera fell, Ariana found herself alone, fleeing blindly into the hostile darkness. She had no place to go.

  • Butterflies
    By Noel Carroll
    On the way home from the International Space Station, a shuttle crew is ordered to investigate a mysterious object in earth orbit.

  • Execution of Justice
    By Robert Thurston
    A lawyer and a governor share the body of a condemned man.

  • Not for You to Decide
    By Nicholas J. Perry
    We know that Merlin loved the sorceress Nimue. What we do not know is why she betrayed him.

  • Last Night's Episode
    By Shalane L. Weidow
    What happens when the thin line between reality and nightmare no longer exists?

  • Testament of a Starving Artist
    By Simon Owens
    To be or not to be. That is the question.

  • Read the updated Submissions Guidelines
    Aphelion Submissions Guidelines Page

    Poetry and Filk Music

  • Captain Jack and the Mermaid
    By Meg Davis

  • The End
    By Francis C. Parker, Jr.

  • The Innocent
    By Christine Smalldone

  • Stolen Sphere
    By Mark Mongrain

  • 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
    "Interview with the Jasper"
    WARNING: Contains Language.

  • Dan 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 period.
  • The Listening Room
    by Rob Wynne
    Rob Wynne gives a listen to the 20th Anniversary CD Release of Meg Davis's "Captain Jack and the Mermaid"

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

  • A Challenge to Writers...
    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 Hollifield.
  • 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
    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.
  • Aphelion JAVA Chat
    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.

  • 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. 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. 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
  • Link Swap E-mail: Dan Hollifield

  • Excentrivial Musings: Dan Hollifield's Original Cartoon Page. Not updated in a long time.
  • Dan Hollifield reviews: #9 "Frankenstein: The Dawning and the Passing" -- the new novel by Mario Marcel Salas
  • Review Inqueries E-mail: Dan Hollifield
  • Review Query FAQ: All the info you need to mail a book or CD to Aphelion for 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