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 66, Volume 6 -- January 2003

Issue 67, Volume 7 will be online 1st week of February.

"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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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,


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

  • 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.
  • Powerhouse
    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. "He's disappeared..."

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

  • Finding Freedom???
    By Joshua Jared Scott
    When two lives are joined by fate, they cannot be seperated again.
  • Godly Games
    By Minoti Baro
    Susannah learns that the father of the child she is carrying is the Lord of Darkness.
  • The Boy
    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.

  • The Izzies
    By Sarah George
    Here is a fable to help you grow up.

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:
    "Exile to the Stars"

    A novel by Dale B. Mattheis
    Book One of The Alarai Chronicles
    Dan Hollifield reviews:
    "Night Watch"

    The new Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
    Sam Vimes vs History, and History doesn't play fair!
  • 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@lists.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.

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Sideways to the Mare Inebrium, homepage of Aphelion's Editor: Dan L. Hollifield

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Aphelion Webzine is © 1997-2002 by Dan L. Hollifield