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

Happy 5thBirthday!

Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Issue 56, Volume 6 -- February 2002

Issue 57, Volume 6 will be online 1st week of March.

"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!

This month marks Aphelion's 5th birthday! Since 1997 we've brought you the best amateur fiction on the web. We've never asked for anything in return except for your feedback in the Lettercol and in e-mails to the writers. This you have done, and this has helped to produce even better writers. The number of people who now give regular commentary and critiques of the stories and poetry has risen dramatically over the last year. I'd like to see the number of readers who make Lettercol entries increase- with even more comments on the stories. We've helped five writers and an artist to turn pro, and your opinions in the Lettercol might just help us help more. So don't be afraid, don't be shy, but do tell the writers what you like or disliked, or just plain didn't get. It'll help them write a better story next time.

I started a new Mare Inebrium story in early January and found myself written into a corner, so to speak, after about three weeks. I was trying something new, and ran into a snag. What did I do? I asked for comments from some of the Editorial Mafia and other writers. I put my working draft of the story online and passed out the URL to a select few. And boy, did I get ideas sparked off by their comments! I was dealt an easy day of overtime at work yesterday and was able to sit and do some uninterrupted thinking about the story, in light of the comments offered to me. I'm happy to report that I was able to integrate quite a lot of those suggestions into an escape hatch from my corner. And as soon as I can make time to get back to work on the story, I'll be able to make it better than it otherwise would have been.

But that's just the spirit of Aphelion in a nutshell. Helping each other, learning from each other, and -above all- entertaining each other. Hey, don't knock it, it works. I learn from each person who chooses to tell me what they liked or disliked about one of my stories. Each bit I learn helps me become a better writer. So you can see that taking the time to say a few words in a Lettercol entry is very important to each and every writer that we feature.

All of us wish to transend the free-e-zine state and, rather greedily, wish to be able to ask you to pay to read our work. That's only natural for a writer to desire. It is work to write a good story, one that people enjoy reading time and time again. It was suggested to me that I make a link to my own stories more prominent here in Aphelion, but that's not what Aphelion is about. Its about writing, and learning, and teaching, and entertaining, and giving your opinion, and listening to the opinions an comments offered. So please do take the time to go to the Lettercol page and express your like or dislike of any given story. Its an important thing, a tool we need to use more often.

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
Iain Muir
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

  • Boil a Manchild for Odin
    By Ulf Ronnquist
    "I am young at seven hundred seasons. I am not yet wed, I have caught no manchilds and they think me odd."

  • 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

  • Empty Planet
    By Joe Vadalma
    Here is a warning to those who boldly go where no one has gone before: You had better watch your step!
  • The Fastest Woman Alive
    By Stenger White
    Nothing ever changed on the Res', thought Joe Sonota, until the day Claire Lewis showed up.

  • Felign
    By McCamy Taylor
    Sometimes beauty is a lot more than skin deep.

  • Dreamers: The Challenge
    By Christian R. Bonawandt
    Del Gato and Gradnuer find allies in their persuit of the ruthless killer Rothin.

  • The Garden on the Edge of Time
    By Francis Eaden
    Cormac mastered time and space to create a haven for his beloved daughter, but he had not counted on the determination of his old enemy.

  • A Matter of Life and Undeath
    By Robert Moriyama
    If magic were reliable, magicians would rule the world instead of being hangers-on to people with money and goons to do their bidding.

  • Plan Nine From Hollywood
    By Daniel Clausen
    The fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance when Zultac, ruler of the planet Salvadares, picks B-movie director Bud Crisco to do his film biography, only to learn that Crisco has already promised his girl friend to do King Lear with her as Cordelia.

  • Zanshin
    By Bob Urell
    There are many concepts in Zen which are impossible to render precisely into english. The word "zanshin" is one of these, and the closest approximation is: "warrior spirit."

  • Where Angels Fear to Tread
    By Bill Wolfe
    When a gathering of Gods found that they needed advice, they knew to ask a bartender. They usurped the bodies of a handy group of Abvarnan farmers and marched them purposefully into the Mare Inebrium on the busiest holiday of the Bethdish year. Fortunately for the Devine, Larrye was the one who took Their order... A Mare Inebrium Story.

  • Read the updated Submissions Guidelines
    Aphelion Submissions Guidelines Page

    Poetry and Filk Music

  • Dam
    By Iain Muir

  • Dungeonville
    By Rob Wynne

  • Schlaine's Saga
    By Fred Harvey

  • Six-Ring Haiku
    By Kate Thornton

  • The Mare Inebrium

    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.

    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!

    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!


  • 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
    The collected wisdom of Bubba
    WARNING: Contains Language.
    Aphelion proudly presents the installments of Double Wide all on one page of links. We wanted to make sure that the wit and wisdom of Bubba wasn't lost for new readers, so we made a mini-archive list of just the Double Wide features.
  • 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!

  • --1\03\2002-- 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: Iain Muir
  • 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 © 1997-2002 by Dan L. Hollifield