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 62, Volume 6 -- August/September 2002

Issue 63, Volume 6 will be online 1st week of October.

"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


Iain Muir filling in for the Senior Editor...

* Muir pulls out his soapbox and coughs nervously *

Good evening and welcome to this issue of Aphelion.  I have volunteered to 
write this issue's Editorial, as Our Glorious Leader, Dan Hollifield, is 
still suffering from a bad case of the "dead computer syndrome."  We, the 
editorial mafia, have striven to put together the issue in his absence, but 
I don't think any of us actually realised how much * work * Dan puts in on a 
monthly basis to pull all of this insanity together.  Days slipped away from 
us, and eventually it seemed more meet to put out a combined August / 
September issue, with added content, than to rush an August issue out and 
delay September, thereby frustrating the authors who were slated for 
September publication.  (Trust us: it's all about service to the community, 
not about buying ourselves more time!)

On to the actual editorial comment.  As you read these words, we are 
approaching the anniversary of the single largest act of terrorism in 
history: the destruction of the World Trade Centre.  At the time, I recall 
feelings of shock, of horror, and a sense that the world had changed, that 
from this day forward, things would never be the same again.  A year on, I 
look around and ask myself: has the world changed?

I look around me, living as I do on the far side of the planet from Ground 
Zero, and I see that for the majority of people, life has not changed.  We 
still go to work, worry about our children, plan for our futures.  There was 
a brief spurt of security consciousness, which has dulled with the lack of 
any further attacks.  Airlines have instituted some new security rules, 
which are of maximum inconvenience to the passenger, but are agreed by most 
security experts to be of minimal effectiveness in stopping another such 
attack.  A government has been overthrown in a foreign country, but it 
appears that the man responsible for planning the attack on the WTC is still 
at large, and the world is no safer a place to live in than it was a year 

Aphelion deals in Fantasy and Science Fiction, in tales of what may be, what 
might have been, and what should never be.  Niven and Pournelle called 
sci-fi authors "the dreaming fithp," those whose duty it is to ponder the 
imponderable, to conceive of the inconceivable.  None of us foresaw the 
events of September 11, 2001.  None of us, as far as I know, has predicted 
the aftermath of those events.  Reality, it would appear, is not only 
stranger than we know, but also stranger than we can conceive.  Whatever 
your conception of tomorrow may be, it is wrong.  I find that a comforting 
thought.  When I look at the bleak futures some predict, where freedom has 
been curtailed in the name of security, I take comfort that this is a 
possibility, not a certainty.  I take comfort that there is an equal 
possibility that the future may be as bright and utopian as conceived by 
other writers.

In the shadow of tragedy and despair, take hope from the courage and 
strength portrayed that grim day a year ago.  We cannot know what tomorrow 
will bring.  We can only do our best to make today the best we can, and hope 
that tomorrow we can improve on it.  Speculative fiction can show us the 
way: the possibilities for a brighter future, and the pitfalls we should 

Dream on, my brethren!

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

  • Demon Son
    By Indrapramit Das
    Jerusalem knew exactly what he was looking for-his father. He also knew where to look-Hell. But that got him to the slight problem in between-how to get to the place where he had to start looking.
  • In the Halls of Power
    By Greg Guerin
    Exclusive ownership of land was considered a fundamental right. Could one struggling farmer's small request lead to an abandonment of this belief?

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

  • Sleepy-head
    By Steve Bomkamp
    Ronnie had an imagination so vivid that he was able to escape the unpleasantness of life by hiding in his own hallucinations, until one day there came an intruder that could follow him even into his dreams.
  • Dreamers: The Rage and the Reason
    By Christain R. Bonawandt
    Del Gato and Fox leave Gradnuer to follow Rothin into Gradnuer's dream where they meet the mysterious Xango-Bade.
  • Without a Trace
    By Stenger White
    You probably don't remember Eva Connelly, but if you were in Tucson around 1991 you may have seen the newspaper articles about a University of Arizona student who disappeared. There were lots of guesses: somebody snatched her, she ran off with someone, or she ran off by herself. I was there, and I saw it all, but you won't believe me either... .

  • Mage Mouse
    By McCamy Taylor
    The editors are pleased to present this narrative, penned by the renowned criminologist, Inspector Silverdeen of the Avalon City Police. Silverdeen is better known as the White Wolf, an epithet that is used by friends and foes alike. Though his pedigree is one hundred percent elf, he has a knack for sniffing out the truth that would make a bloodhound green with envy. He also possesses a keen mind and a pair of fists that could level an ox. Out of respect for the latter, the editors have refrained from making corrections to the text.

  • 12:00:00
    By Jeremy Kuban
    You probably don't want to know what it feels like to have only a short time to live, but if you do, read this horrific tour de force by Jeremy Kuban.

  • Night Bite
    By Frank Dunsmore
    Detective Schmidt is not superstitious but as he follows the trail of lovely dead women with puncture marks on their throats from the Chicago Subway to the Adler Planetarium, he begins to wonder if a vampire might have done it.
  • M. Comes in From the Night
    By McCamy Taylor
    During the war, Manuela ran a diner that sat next to a lonely highway in New Mexico. One night a stranger came in who spoke with a slight German accent.
  • Dreamers: Revenge
    By Christian R. Bonawandt
    The surprising conclusion of Del Gato's quest.

Read the updated Submissions Guidelines
Aphelion Submissions Guidelines Page

Poetry and Filk Music

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"

  • 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!

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