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Hello and welcome!
Its the start of another calendar year, and the end of another year of Aphelion. Next month starts off Aphelion's 6th year! The world has changed many times since we began this little website. No doubt it will change many more times in the future. I found myself wondering what some of those changes will be, so here's a short list of a dozen things I came up with:
The laser beams in CD and DVD machines will change color from red to blue, thus allowing each disc to hold four times as much data as they presently do. I predict that there will be a dual system of both red and blue laser drives to make the changeover easier. After a short time, the blue beam systems will become the new standard. Until someone invents something even better, later.
Air travelers will begin shipping their luggage by UPS, DHL, or FedEx to cut back on delays caused by increased security procedures at US airports. Railroad and bus travel will increase as air travel decreases. Also, more people will buy their own airplanes.
The US will become less free the longer that terrorism continues. Many people will compare the new America to Natzi Germany. Sadly, almost no one will attempt to keep governmental excesses in check. Congress will vote themselves more and more raises and do even less than they do now to earn their pay. Electronic voting from your home computer will be viewed as undesirable by the government, as it might tend to get more people involved with the way their country is run.
Automobiles using more efficent gasoline engines will continue to be offered to the public instead of electric or hybred gas/electric engines so that the oil companies will not lose money.
China will attempt to colonize Mars, which may draw the US back into space in a big way. If so, Earth's moon will become important as a source for raw materials to construct ships and lower costs by decreasing the amount of material that will have to be launched from Earth's higher gravity. NASA's Apollo landing sites will become historical monuments. Near Earth asteroids will be used as shuttles out to the main Asteroid Belt where mining will become a big industry.
Ozone factories will attempt to patch the holes in Earth's ozone layer. (I have no idea how this would work. Quite possibly this will cause something even worse to happen. As if decreasing polution to fight global warming unexpectedly causes a new ice age.)
Personal Computers will continue to evolve. They will become even smaller, faster, and more portable. Eventually, PCs will become small enough to fit into jewelry, wrist watches, or sunglasses. I suggest that PC will come to stand for Portable Computer and a new term will be coined for home computers. Internet access will become a standard feature in homes, no different than electrical wiring, telephone service, TV, or plumbing. The internet will become just another common utility.
Political Correctness will stand revealed as the bigotry-on-steroids that it actually is.
Home schooling through the internet will replace public schools as the major means of child education. Public schools will evolve into day-care centers whose main function will be teaching social interaction and physical education while babysitting for working parents.
New cures for old diseases will be balanced by new diseases evolving. Medical schools will be given more funding. Geriatrics will become more important as more wealthy people begin to live longer.
The war on terrorism will be won as much by producing more food as by military action.
Autopilots will become standard features in automobiles and roadways will be upgraded to allow computer controlled traffic to move faster, with greater safety. Eventually, all vehicles not equipped for computer control will be barred from major roadways.
OK, some of these are way off in the future, but some of them very near-term. I'm no psychic, I'm just looking at the world as it is and making guesses as to what could happen. Its up to everyone to work toward the kind of future that they want to see come about. Your life is your own, make the most of it.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled fiction...
Thanks for your time,
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folks! Without those messages we will never know what we need to
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Serialized Stories & Novellettes
The Questors Part Three
By Frederick Rustam
Kevin and Marylou continue combining words to retrieve gold
from the Internet, and they learn that the closer words are
to each other in text the more valuable they are.
By Colin Harvey
The phone chimed when I was in the shower. I padded into the lounge,
still dripping on the carpet, and took the call with a towel wrapped
round my waist. It was Gudrun, looking tearful and as haggard as it was
possible for her to. "It's Egils," she said, without preamble.
By Joshua Jared Scott
When two lives are joined by fate, they cannot be seperated again.
By Minoti Baro
Susannah learns that the father of the child she is carrying is the Lord of Darkness.
By Gregory Paul Mineeff The Senses are coming. The boy can only run... but to where?
The Wall of Sleep
By D.G. Harris
There is no such thing as magic and the supernatural is just a superstition. However, we do have drugs.
The Treasure of Agrinothe
By Sharon Partington
Brak of Calmor was the best thief in the Thirty Kingdoms. How then, did he end up in the dungeons of Sgaithe? Easy...it was all part of his master plan. A Writer's Challenge 2 story.
The Middle Of Winter
By Robert Starr
Eleanor is waiting for you in the cold and dark, where it is always the middle of winter.
An Unexpected Stop
By Robert L. Jennings Most of the things you have heard about werewolves are not true.
By Sarah George
Here is a fable to help you grow up.
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!
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.
A Challenge to
Writers... --8\8\2000-- 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.
Click here to see the Links Page. Our fellow E-zines, Astronomy,
research material, entertainment, and much, much more!
Aphelion IRC Chat --2\16\2001-- 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.
Chat --2\12\2001-- 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
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
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Instead of the back issues the banner below now takes you to
the Archives-where all our past stories are available for you to
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.