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 60, Volume 6 -- June 2002

Issue 61, Volume 6 will be online 1st week of July.

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

Hello and welcome!

Its been a busy month for me, folks. In my never-ending battle against entropy and kudzu, I've lost a few yards. I'm having to perform an undue amount of vehicle repairs these days. But on the plus side, my dune buggy is running again and the search for an affordable Honda Gold Wing motorcycle to replace the broken-down engine in the Tri-Magnum still continues. I do have a new Mare Inebrium story ready for this issue. If you enjoy reading it, you need to thank Jeff Williams, Bill Wolfe, and Wishbone for inspiring me with the idea for the story. They, Cary Semar, and Rob Wynne also commented heavily as they were "reading over my shoulder" during the months it took me to write. Ralph and Cary both return to the fold of our writers this month, after having taken on the editor's mantle and being very busy with that and life in general.

The Chat room is also beginning to see some increase in traffic. There are now several Aphelion writers who make regular visits, as well as most of the Editorial Mafia. The ony bad thing is that some people pop into the chatroom and don't say anything. I'm off on another window on my computer reading a web page and not looking at the window the visitor is on, and they leave because no one is talking in the chat room. I find out later that they've come and gone when I next look at that window. The moral of that story is that if you come into the chat room, say hello to someone. Then the computer will flash and beep at me to let me know that someone is there.

Big doings this issue. This month we're reaching a record of 50 Mare Inebrium stories! Last month in the Lettercol I posted a request for someone to please write #49 so that my own new story could be #50. Selfish of me, I know. But I wanted it for sentimental reasons. Several people e-mailed me back and announced that they had begun new Mare stories or poems. Bill Wolfe was the first to finish his submission, so he got the #49 slot. We will see the others in future issues of Aphelion, rest assured.

I've begun to believe that it's time for me to come up with a 3rd Writer's Challenge. I have a couple of ideas, but they need to be ironed out further before I would feel right about the project. I'll have to be careful in composing the explanation or I'll confuse everyone. In the past, the 1st Writer's Challenge was a series of paintings to look at for story ideas. The 2nd Challenge was a list of narrative hooks to read for story ideas. My favorite idea for the 3rd Challenge is for me to write a short story featuring few main characters and a host of background characters, then other writers would pick out some of these background characters and tell their story. How did all these characters come to be in the scene? Sort of like the Mare series, but concentrating on sharing one story rather than a shared universe.

As you can see, that is going to take a lot more work before its ready to present. But it will be fun when I finish and open it up to the writers.

In other good news, our hit counter tripped #100,000 recently. Simon Owen appears to be the lucky reader, but he didn't do a {Alt + Print Screen} to save the image for my records. And still, the counter keeps climbing apace. Either a lot of readers have shifted to visiting Aphelion several times a month rather than visiting once and reading everything right then, or Aphelion has gained a flock of new readers. Quite probably it's both. Whatever the reason, it makes me feel good to know that I've managed to reach a lot of people all over the world. And hopefully, Aphelion is making their lives a little more enjoyable than they would have otherwise been. I know that I enjoy reading the stories and poetry here. Everyone seems to be sending us their best stuff.

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

  • Darkness In the Light
    By Scott Clements
    When the mightiest wizard in the world makes a tragic mistake, he is willing to go to any length to correct it. Even if it means returning to the place where only he, of all those who have gone before, has ever escaped.
  • In the Company of Dwarves
    By Ralph Benedetto, Jr.
    What could be worse than being trapped underground in cavern stock with terrors by a deranged lunatic? Being trapped underground with a dwarf. And what could be worse than being trapped underground with a dwarf? Being trapped underground with two dwarves. And what could be worse than...ah, you figure it out.

  • 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

  • Indian Rubber Balls
    By Robert Starr
    Everything we see starts as a thought in someone's mind..a real shame for those of us who can't control the workings of their grey matter.
  • Elysium Suds
    By McCamy Taylor
    Arthur Clarke had "The White Hart;" Dan Hollifield has "The Mare Inebrium." Now McCamy introduces us to a very exclusive bar for dead heroes.

  • Hunted
    By Sharon Partington
    He couldn't go on much longer. Another day, maybe two and she would have him. She was playing with him, the way a cat plays with a mouse before she kills it.

  • A Case of Slow
    By Swanand Arole
    By 3001 A.D., all possible Science Fiction concepts have been thoroughly exploited. Nevertheless, Bob Casey keeps on searching for a new idea.

  • Dreamers: The Creature
    By Christian R. Bonawandt
    Following Rothin, Del Gato, and Gradnuer into yet another dream world, we encounter a new ally, a new threat, and we discover a new side of Del Gato and Rothin.

  • The Hearts of Men
    By Scott Clements
    No fee is asked for the knowledge taught at the Black School, save one -- the last man to leave each class shall give his body and soul for eternal torment...

  • Be the Cat...
    By Bill Wolfe
    In City of Lights -when Mr. Grym wanted something, he usually got it. Even if he had to wait. And Mr Grym hated waiting. He hated waiting almost as much as he hated having his desires thwarted. But something at the Mare Inebrium was proving to be an impediment, so Mr. Grym was not happy.
    A Mare Inebrium story.

  • How Holly Lost The Bird
    By Cary Semar
    Holly was like a goddess, flying from star to star, while ordinary mortals fought, sweated, and died on the planets below. Then one day she discovered how big the universe is, and how alone a human being can be.

  • Came the Dawn
    By Dan L. Hollifield
    A menace as old as time rears its ugly head on Bethdish. City of Lights is threatened and millions of people are in grave danger. Assassins, terrorists, and pirates, oh my! So naturally, the Reever knew the only people who could save the world
    -would be found having drinks at the Mare Inebrium.

    The 50th Mare Inebrium story!

  • Read the updated Submissions Guidelines
    Aphelion Submissions Guidelines Page

    Poetry and Filk Music

  • Teleportation
    By Wishbone

  • Y-Axis
    By Isabel Church

  • Sleep Of Truth
    By Christina Blackwood

  • Overheard in a Forest Glade
    By Iain Muir

  • 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 4/22/2002--

    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!

    A Timeline of Bethdish: Updated 4/11/2002


  • 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:
    "Accidental Encounter"

    A novel by Noel Carroll
    Unwilling participants in a double-edged nightmare.
  • 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