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 54, Volume 5 -- December 2001

Issue 55, Volume 5 will be online 1st week of January.

"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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Freefall! The Melonpool Chronicles


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

Hello and welcome!

I'm sitting here right now looking out the window at my 3-wheeled car. I've spent all of my recent days off trying to get it to drive. It is giving me a few problems- but then, it is a used car. Either a radiator hose sprang a leak today, or the water pump died. I'd been having problems with the clutch and had replaced a shattered clutch disc last week. Then I had to go back to work for a week, then since my first day off this week, I've been trying to adjust the clutch cable and the new discs.

Then, the cable broke yesterday.

I rigged up something that would work until I could get a new cable next week some time, then started the motor to charge up the battery.

That was when the antifreeze hissed out and the engine began to overheat. I shut it down, re-filled the radiators with water, and re-stsrted the motor to check for the leak. After a half hour of searching with a flashlight, I couldn't see any water spraying out from any hose. Its getting too dark for me to see any putative leaky hose now, but I fear that the water pump has bitten the dust instead. Even while there was still plenty of light, I couldn't see any leak. So I fear the 1978 model water pump had surged its last. Shouldn't cost me too much to replace.

But that's the point...

I can do the work, myself. And anyone can tell you that I'm no rocket scientist. What I am is an old farm-boy with just enough mechanical know-how to replace dead parts with new ones, and generally trouble-shoot common automotive problems.

But I just rebuilt a clutch last week! I've never done that before in my life. Not on any vehicle I own. Matter of fact, I just paid someone $500 to do just that to my VW Dune Buggy! And now I do it myself one afternoon before work? What's wrong with this picture?

Plain little old me replaced 8 clutch discs in under 90 minutes, including the time it took to put the disc assembly back into the motor! True, the proper adjustment of the cable linkage to the new clutch turned out to be really tricky, but if the cable haddn't been dragging across a sharp edge in the handle, I'd of had it finished today. OK, I've replaced fuel pumps, water pumps, brake shoes, carburetors, alternators, and lots of other stuff on other vehicles in my time. So I'm not a complete novice. But still, its odd to be able to do something complicated to a modern vehicle, in this day and age.

It seems like one needs an advanced degree to work on a car these days. Finding a contradiction to that threw me off for a while. I'd found a sense of control that I'd thought lost in these crazy years. I'm glad to have it. Now I hope I can put it to good use.

So what does all this blather mean to you, the reader?

It means that you can blame my new car on this issue being late, for one thing. I've spent so much time on it that I neglected Aphelion. But half of the work for the January issue is already done as I type this, so things balance out.

Control... Its always about control, isn't it?

Onm here's a link to take a look at pictures of the 3-wheeler; Dan's Tri- Magnum.

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

Serialized Stories & Novellettes

  • Mystery of GranLab Station
    By Greg Guerin
    The spores of virus CD-100 released when the virology lab of GranLab station was sabotaged killed Renna's lab assistant Natalie in minutes. Now vials containing a strain of the virus and a trial antidote are missing and Renna is locked in with the unidentified killer...

  • 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

  • Return of the Other King
    By Robert Moriyama
    From an idea by S. Catherine Lee.
  • Crossing Over
    By Robert Starr
    There is a crossing that must be made by all, and each must find his own way.

  • The Push of a Button
    By Vic Fortezza
    What if you could kill anyone by just pressing a button? Would you use it?

  • Alternativity
    By Colin Harvey
    Here is a christmas present for the readers of Aphelion.

  • The Invasion
    By Jow Lindsay
    A mysterious death, a mysterious crater, and a mysterious government agency all add up to a hilarious take on the alien invasion team.

  • Their Men Thieves; Their Women Whores
    By Dustin Appel
    The serai were a wandering people who led an enviable life of freedom. But there were dark rumors...

  • The Return
    By Daniel Beaupre'
    They say you can't go home again, but what if you see home on a different day with a whole new set of eyes?

  • Stencil
    ByGary Croft
    If you are highly suggestible, or otherwise susceptible to paranoid delusions, reading this text could trigger a psychotic episode. In the event you choose to ignore this warning, neither the author nor his publisher accepts any liability for potential untoward effects on your psyche.

  • Sociology Experiment
    By Wishbone
    "I was only trying to get an idea for my thesis on Non-terran sociology...' A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. A Mare Inebrium Story.

  • Shadow of Hope
    By Jim Peters
    Continuing the adventures of Devion Mull, the psionic warrior featured in the Mare Inebrium stories Bluesman and Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. Now with a price on his head and pursuit hot on his heels, Devion Mull is about to find out that you have to give the devil his due.

  • Read the updated Submissions Guidelines
    Aphelion Submissions Guidelines Page

    Poetry and Filk Music

    I regret to announce that due to circumstances beyond her control, Kim Holec has asked to step down as Aphelion's poetry editor. I have decided to put this section on hold until someone can be found to take up the baton. Kim's done a great job for Aphelion- She'll be missed by us all. Please join me in wishing her all the best.


  • By

  • By

  • By

  • By

  • 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
    Say Good Night Gracie
    WARNING: Contains Language.
    Aphelion reluctantly presents the last regular installment of Double Wide. Jim informs us that he's begun work on a novel and wants to give it his full attention, and he's the kind of guy that can't stand to do less than his best. Please join myself and the Editorial Mafia in suporting his decision to take that next big step as a writer.
  • Dan Hollifield reviews:

    The new novel by Ruth McIntyre-Williams
    A Celtic Medieval Fantasy Novel
  • 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!

  • --6\08\2001-- 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