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 57, Volume 6 -- March 2002

Issue 58, Volume 6 will be online 1st week of April.

"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 the staff and I wanted to catch up on both our backlogs of work and our off-line lives. So this Aphelion can be considered a "greatest hits" issue. Each section editor slaved away to pick out the most memorable submissions they'd seen. I think that they did quite well, considering the number of stories and poems that Aphelion has accumulated over the years. You might disagree with their various picks as being the absolute best, but I bet that you'll be entertained nonetheless. (Dissenters can post their own "best of" lists in the Lettercol, if they want.)

And as an example of how life can get really busy, for the last four days my girlfriend and I have been babysitting her year-old grandson. Aside from being tired out from walking, rocking, and chasing the baby boy, I've been watching him see the world for the first time. Its a positive joy to see his eyes light up when he figures out a new toy, or to watch him bob and dance when the radio plays a good song. I've been having a great time playing grandpa while his Mom recovers from her bout with the flu and his Dad, my girlfriend's son, is working. The couple are seperated, and are trying to reconcile, but they're both just young kids themselves and argue a lot. They're both working hard for the child and are both being reasonable about his careand expenses. Pretty cool folks, all in all. I'm just sad that they can't make the marrage work for arguing- but for both of them, the baby comes first. That says a lot for them both.

Well, the baby is on his way home to Momma as of a few minutes ago as I write this, so my adventure in parenting in over for now... But I remain forever ready to return to grandpa duty at any time. Its fun, except for when it reminds me of what I missed not having any kids of my own. But that's just life. Speaking of which, my sister and her husband are expecting their first child in a few months, and my brother's wife's daughter (step-niece?) is also expecting at nearly the same time... Looks like I'm going to get a chance to do a lot more babysitting in the future. Good thing I'm not really all that old yet, eh? I've still got energy enough to be Uncle and Grandpa, as well as Godfather to half a dozen or more kids ranging in age from 2 to 14. Hey, I've been at this babysiting bit for over 30 years. I've helped raise nearly 20 kids over the years- I even remember when diapers were all made out of cotton, had to be put on with pins, and had to be washed out after "use". You readers with children may take these new disposable diapers with tape to close them for granted, but us old fogies remember when times wre a bit rougher. But times do change, and my own child-like personality helps me make friends with the children in my life. My friends' children all flock to me as if I were the Universal Uncle, and have done for decades. I don't know what it is that I've got, but St. Francis can have it back anytime. {grin} In any case, it looks like all this training is paying off again, but the smile of a child as you read them a bedtime story or rock them to sleep to quiet music- That's priceless. And as a reward, its finer than spun gold. And seeing them discover some new aspect of the world for the first time is almost as priceless as when you were a child, making the same discovery.

Now, as a writer, you just know that I'm rolling this stuff up on a fork and eating it as if it were so much soft fudge. To see the world through new eyes? Isn't that what fictioneering is all about? So I'm cheating- a little. Still, the smile of a child... Isn't that the reward I was after when I started writing? And everything I see him learn, I learn all over again. And if I'm smart, I can learn something from this to make my writing better. I like the idea that I might have as much to learn from a child as I have to teach them.

I already found out one thing just today, the baby absolutely loves Pink Floyd. But then again, some things transend age.

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

Aphelion's Best -- Editor's Choice

  • June - Oct. 1999 - Superhero Nation
    By Mike Tanier
    It's 2049, and any kid can call himself a superhero if he's willing to spend a little money and break a few laws.
  • December 1999 - To Play's the Thing
    By Robert Yosco
    Take a short trip down memory lane as very old friends meet again just in time for an awakening to usher in the new millennium.

  • August 2000 - Mind Over Matter
    By Joanna Berry
    The psionic agent Mauran Cooper has just closed her latest case by fatally wounding a serial killer. But destroying her fugitive only serves to lead her into intrigue, crippling guilt and danger.

  • March 2001 - Living in the Present
    By Guy Hasson
    Communication through time may actually be only a few years away. This story offers a new solution to the time paradox: No coincidences, no tear in the fabric of space-time, and absolutely no parallel universes... Something else.

  • December 1998 - Saucerful of Secrets
    By Dan L. Hollifield
    D-Day had been a PI for a dozen years now, so you'd think he'd seen it all- Right? Right... He thought so, until a simple divorce case took a back-seat to an odd tangential clue. He wound up with a new client who was in a tight spot. The more D-Day learned about his new case, the odder it got. Or as he so deftly put it himself:
    "What am I- a weirdness magnet?"

  • 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

    Aphelion's Best Short Stories of 1999, Editor's Choice

  • January 1999 - Harsh Rains
    By Tom Oliver
    Delta III, or Del3 as the colonists came to call it, had an extremely fragile ecology. When the rains came late one year, the situation became very serious indeed!
  • January 1999 - Nikki Time
    By Jeff Williams
    Sometimes a man's best friend comes in the most unexpected forms...

  • February 1999 - Stick Boys
    By Jeff Miller
    It was a cruel, merciless existence. But it was the only life the boys had known.

  • June 1999 - My Intended
    By McCamy Taylor
    In Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness,' we learned that Kurtz's 'intended' is mature, independent minded and highly moral. This is her story.

  • July 1999 - The Loki Must Die
    By John Gilmore
    Armed with the Piscean Death Ray, the dreadnought Loki was bound for Earth and inevitable victory. But the "fish" hadn't counted on HEIDI, or her secret weapon, Florida Tafoya.

  • September 1999 - Father Shadow
    By Michael J. Martineck
    Hunted by police, private detectives and insurance investigators, Father Anthony has only one trick up his cassock, but it's a good one.

  • October 1999 - You Never Said Goodbye
    By Myke Anthony
    Graduating from High School is a hard time in everyone's life. Several decisions have to be made that will affect your entire life. Having an alien living next door doesn't necessarily help making those decisions any easier.

  • December 1999 - Junkyard Carol
    By Kate Thornton
    Running a recycling park is a lonely job most of the time, but the worst part of the year is Christmas.

  • August 1998 - Yesterday's Glory
    By Robert Wynne
    Was she the girl of his dreams, or something else again?

  • Read the updated Submissions Guidelines
    Aphelion Submissions Guidelines Page

    Poetry and Filk Music

    Aphelion's Best -- Editor's Choice

  • August 2000 - And She Ran
    By Jeanne G'Fellers-Walker

  • May 2000 - Arwen’s Gift
    By Teri Wachowiak

  • Feburary 2001 - Captain Jack and the Mermaid
    By Meg Davis

  • October 2000 - Come Close, Children
    By David Blalock

  • October 2001 - Consumed by Wonder
    By Rob Wynne

  • July 2000 - Cut-off
    By Sven Kloepping

  • July 2001 - Dane Mother
    By Teri Wachowiak

  • October 2000 - Diamond Pete’s Snapping Needlecorps
    By Jennifer M. Boudreaux

  • 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