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 47, Volume 5 -- May 2001

Issue 48, Volume 5 will be online 1st week of June.

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

You are visitor number


Since January 27th 1997

Shortcut Links
Editorial Novels Serials Shorts Poetry Features Lettercol Aphelion Links
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

Top 100 Award Vote for this page in the eZines Database The eZines Database Top 5 Pick!

Aphelion is proud to be associated with:

The best way to promote your website! America.Net Web Hosting Services

The Aphelion Daily Comics Page

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!

This month's thrilling installment is loosely based on the concept of futility. As in; don't bother to plan a vacation and expect the weather to co-operate, don't wash your car unless you want it to rain, don't spend your last cash on seed to plant unless you want a drought, and don't buy a machine and expect it to remain in good repair.

The invading aliens always say "resistance is futile..." Why is that? Our species has proved time and time again that resistance wins, but it takes time. We don't know how to give up. How can we lose?

I was presented with a couple of seemingly unsolvable mechanical problems last week, and the concept of futility was brought to the forefront of my mind as I struggled to decypher what was then a perplexing set of problems. I had the right parts, I knew that beyond the shadow of a doubt-- I just couldn't get them to fit. I pushed and tugged, pounded and twisted, hammered and tapped... To no avail. Until-- I looked again and saw that I had two of the pieces backwards. Within minutes, the futility was gone... Everything fit.

That's the way it always goes. First there is a problem, then there is no problem, then there is... Um, sorry. I was channeling Donovan there for a minute. Where was I? Oh yes, the frustration factor of things that seem futile. Don't let it get to you. Plain bull-headedness has solved more problems than any other human effort. The human ability to never give up, never accept defeat, to die if necessary, but to win-- above all, to win!

"Resistance is futile!" Oh yeah? Come here Bub, I wanna show you something...

Thanks for your time.


Aphelion's "Return of the King" Writing Contest!

Hear ye! Hear ye! Aphelion is sponsoring another short story contest. This one's theme: the Return of the King. Not Tolkien's king. I speak of the once and future king, King Arthur of Britain. When Mallory closed his famous epic, he left the door open for a sequel with these lines:

"Yet som men say in many partys of Inglonde that kynge Arthure ys not ded, but had by the wyll of oure Lorde Jesu into another place, and men say he shall com agayne."

Mallory is not likely to come again, so it is up to us. The contest rules are simple. Write a story of no more than 5000 words about King Arthur's return. You pick the time, place and manner of his return. The story can be science fiction, high fantasy or anything in between. One entry per person. Submissions must be received by May 15, 2001 and should include the words "Return of the king contest submission" in the header. Winners will be printed in the July issue of Aphelion.

Contest entries should be e-mailed to "Return of the king contest submission" no later than midnight (EST) May 15, 2001.

Remember! The deadline is this month!

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

Serialized Stories & Novellettes

Aphelion Special Presentation

  • Illegal Aliens

    By Nick Pollotta and Phil Foglio
    When a spaceship lands in Central Park, its a shame that the first humans to gain entry happened to be a street gang...
    A sample chapter of the soon to be re-issued Sci-fi/Humor novel.

  • 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

  • Six-Hundred Moons
    By McCamy Taylor
    Adolescence is never easy, it is even worse if you are a mermaid in captivity.
  • The Pawnbroaker
    By Tony Cavello
    People sometimes focus on certain things to the point of obsession, only to realize too late that they were not important.

  • No Chance
    By Guy Hasson
    Physics says that if parallel universes exist, then in half the universes the sun turns itself off at noon, eyeglasses don't work on national holidays, and mirrors reflect only left hands.

  • The New Moon
    By Aeryn Sykes
    Ian drove a hard bargain, but one day, he got a lot more than he bargained for.

  • The Original Jamie Ray
    By Robert Thurston
    You will not believe how many Jamie Ray's there are out there, until you get on the Internet.

  • The White Pawn's Gambit
    By Duncan Stuart
    Behind every board lies a battlefield, and on it, the hearts of wooden warriors beat. It's more than just a game. It's life and death.

  • Surgard's Court Case
    By Robert Collins
    Having vanquished a few monsters, Surgard had come to the conclusion that monsters weren't quite so fearsome as were clever human beings. Surgard found no better example of that than in the complicated land of Remulus.

  • Washi In The Underworld
    By Scott Reeves
    If you would make a bargain with the Lord of Death, you must go into his private places.

  • Read the updated Submissions Guidelines
    Aphelion Submissions Guidelines Page

    Poetry and Filk Music

  • Arwen's Gift
    By Teri Wachowiak

  • Desert Dawn
    By Michael Fantina

  • The Ballad of Farscape
    By Nick Pollotta

  • The Last Unicorn
    By Ian Albright

  • 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:
    "Wizard Sword"
    -- The new novel by William Hill
    A classic fantasy with a unique take on some of the familiar elements of the genre.
  • The Listening Room
    by Rob Wynne
    Rob Wynne bangs his head against Phoenix's "Into the Fire"

  • 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: The reviews index page.
  • 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