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 70, Volume 7 -- May 2003

Issue 71, Volume 7 will be online 1st week of June.

"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!

Well now, that war didn't last long, did it? Unfortunately, I get the feeling that the road to a lasting peace in the Middle East is going to be a long, rocky one. Let's welcome our returning soldiers home and see to it that they are honored for doing what they were called upon to do. And let us also honor those who gave their all, those who won't be marching home, those who gave their lives. No matter which side of the war debate you were on, the men and women of our armed forces deserve our respect. Thank you, those who answered the call to duty. You have my respect, and my deepest thanks.

I'd also like to take a moment to thank Bob Moriyama for seeing to it that Aphelion was listed in yet another writer's resource website. Thanks to Bob's efforts we now have a listing in Ralan's SpecFic & Humor Webstravaganza website. Ralan has a great site going and I'm proud that Aphelion has been included within it. There is quite a lot there for we writers to ponder. Thanks, Bob! Take a bow!

OK, the big buzz on the street is the new X-Men 2 movie. Is it any good? Does it live up to the first movie? Does Hollywood have a new blockbuster comic-book movie franchise? Does Wolverine have any good fight scenes? Is there a touch of romance between Rogue and Iceman? Are there any new mutants introduced? Are there any appearances by other characters that we have seen in the X-Men comics? Does X-2 pave the way for another sequel, X-3? Do we, as fans, want a third X-movie?

In a word... YES!

I've just come home from the theater, from watching X-Men 2, and I've got to tell you that I was impressed. Some of you may already know that I used to collect comics, that I was a huge X-fan during that time, and a few of you may also know that I'm very picky about comic-to-movie adaptations. But I'm here to tell you-- people, the X-movies have been done even more correctly than I ever thought I had right to hope for. Naturally, not every nuance of the comics is faithfully transfered to the big screen, but the adaptation that was done is by far the best I've ever seen. This movie series rocks! X-2 takes the stories begun in X-Men and continues the tale of Marvel's Merry Mutants at their best. One of the strengths of Stan Lee's work has been that he creates characters that are easy to identify with, that are human in every way, apart from their powers. All the characters in the X-movies are like that. They are easy to see as real people, with real, normal, everyday problems. Bryan Singer has treated Stan's characters with reverence and care. The movie versions are just as real-to-life as the comic versions, and so close together that it takes someone really nit-picky to tell the difference. The story is engrossing, compelling, entertaining, and thrilling. And what's more, there is a great deal of foreshadowing that leads me to believe that an X-3 will be in production soon. If I'm wrong, there is going to be a lot of very unhappy fans out there. First off, go see the movie. Secondly, write or e-mail the studio and rave about it. Thirdly, write or e-mail Stan Lee and thank him for inventing the X-Men, lo these many moons ago. Fourthly, it wouldn't hurt to go see the movie again... Hollywood likes it when you give them money.

You know? One of those X-Men combat suits would look really good with my motorcycle... I gotta look into that...

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

  • Out of Paris
    By Peter Johnson
    It was Crystal's idea for the Jacuzzi. She would join Eric in a minute, and she'd promised to wear something fun. But things didn't work out quite as he'd hoped. And when the Magistrate arrived, he knew he was in for a bad, bad time indeed.
  • Third Timeline Lucky
    By J.H. McKay
    Thomas Bartlett came home to Earth from interstellar war harbouring a fatal secret. How he would react to the possibility of it's being revealed could depend on many things...including which timeline he was in.
  • Madak -- Part Three
    By James McCormick
    Jonathon Blake, a divorced ex cop and washed up private eye who hates his job, is shaken from his inertia when his son goes missing in strange circumstances. Having few clues to go on, Blake must first navigates his way through the world of crime and street gangs before he can begin to learn what is going on. With the help of a mysterious Egyptian academic and his strange servant Omar, he pushes forward towards a confrontation for which no one, it turns out, could posssibly be preperared.

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

  • Land of the Free
    By Max Dunbar
    Now Iím about thirty, and Iíve never seen the sky or the stars. I hardly remember what Nana looks like and Iíve not seen my mum for years.
  • Greg Cum Ira
    By Kelly D. Tolman
    The great advantage of believing in something is that no matter what you see or hear or are told, you will find what you are looking for.
  • FFF Gmbh
    By Armagan Tekdoner
    Any Casanova might have guessed there was something fishy about our ad, when it showed up among the personals, on the net. However, even the real insider could not have envisaged its catastrophic consequences...
  • Terminated
    By Diana Rohlman
    She had been a real mother once, but that was over, so she decided to seek a position in the child-care industry.
  • A Voice in the Crowd
    By Jeremy Kuban
    He could hear her, but he could not see her, and she wouldn't go away.
  • Chat Room
    By Owen James Handford
    We know that machine intelligence is impossible, don't we? After all, a computer that complex would cover the entire planet!
  • Briar Rose
    By Jennifer Loring
    Sometimes it is better to let sleeping beauties lie.

  • The Andiron
    By Cameron Wilson
    Seeing the restaurant reminded Jacob that he hadn't eaten that day. Jacob licked his lips and could feel the scratchy texture of his beard. All descriptions of meals and food scrambled through his head tantalizingly, like the thought of heaven to a dying man able to believe only in hell.

Read the updated (3-3-2003) 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


  • 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.
  • 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
    --Repaired 3\25\2003--
    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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Aphelion Webzine is © 1997-2002 by Dan L. Hollifield