Aphelion Issue 278, Volume 26
November 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
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Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Issue 76, Volume 7 -- November 2003

Issue 77, Volume 7 will be online 1st week of December.

"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 Usual Rant from the Aphelion Senior Editor:

Congratulate me, Monday the 3rd was my 46th birthday! November also marks another year paid off on the mortgage. I now own a third of my home. Only another decade to go... Hey! Isn't that when that asteroid was supposed to hit us? Spider Robinson was right, God is an iron. (Feel free to debate that statement in the Lettercol or the Chatroom.) I also have a new Mare Inebrium story in this issue. Redshift Sue Sings the Blues is linked to in the Short Story section. I want to say right here and now that it is not autobiographical in any way. Despite the recent spate of Mare stories depicting me as some kind of benevolent alien emmisary here to save humaniy from itself- I am but a mild mannered internet publisher (see the glasses?) with powers and abilities no different from those of mortal men. The fact that I was born almost as the Russians were launching Sputnik II with the little dog Laika aboard--- Pure coincidence. Likewise the coincidence that my Dad worked in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Sheerest happenstance. And the coincidence that none of you had ever heard of me before 1997 is so small that it can pass without mention. Events of note on this day in history include:

 	November 3


1718 - John Montagu Sandwich

1793 - Steven Austin

1794 - William Cullen Bryant

1881 - James Edgar Paullin (Medicine)

1901 - Andre Malraux

1909 - James Reston

1915 - Yitzchak Shamir

1918 - Bob Feller

1918 - Senator Russell Long of Louisiana

1921 - Charles Bronson (Charles Buchinsky)

1933 - Michael Dukakis

1948 - Tom Shales

1949 - Larry Holmes

1953 - Roseanne Barr

1953 - Kate Capshaw

1953 - Dennis Miller

1954 - Adam Ant

1957 - Dan L. Hollifield


1990 - Mary Martin


1862 - R.J. Gatling patented the rapid fire Gatling gun.

1903 - Panama declared its independence from Colombia.

1946 - The new Japanese constitution went into effect.

1954 - Linus Pauling won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

1957 - Sputnick II was launched with a dog, Laika, on board.

1970 - Herman Badillo was elected the 1st U.S. Representative of
Puerto Rican ancestry. 1970 - Salvadore Allende was inaugurated as President of Chile. 1977 - The Defense Meritorious Service Medal was authorized for
members of the Armed Services of the U.S. who have rendered outstanding
non-combatant achievement or service while assigned to the office of the
Secretary of Defense, the organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a specified
or unified command, or a Defense Agency. 1978 - Dominica achieved independence. 1979 - Morning Edition, the morning news program on National Public Radio
in the U.S., made its debut. 1984 - Indira Gandhi was cremated. 1999 - Beverly McLachlin was named the first female Chief Justice of the
Supreme Court of Canada. (Female) 1999 - The Nasdaq composite index closed above 3,000 (3,028.51) for the first time.

News of interest: SF author Larry Niven came close to losing everything but some clothes and the pets in the recent California fires. He said that the fire burned right up to the front and side doors of the house, but the firemen were able to save it. They were aided by Larry's home having a big yard so the burning trees were isolated enough from the house for the firemen to work. A little smoke damage inside, but otherwise undamaged. He's back at home and planning what he should have done with his work- everything is in his computer and would have been vaporware if the house had burned. Off-site back-ups, copies on CD or DVD or even a laptop... There are lots of possibilities. Certainly made me think. I need to update my CD copies.

I e-mailed Kate Thornton a couple of days ago. I found myself thinking about her and e-mailed her on a whim. She replied:

Hi Dan!
What a surprise and great pleasure to hear from you!
I had a small stroke last year and it's been an uphill climb to get the use
of my left side back, but I am up and walking and typing and everything.  I
am also back to writing, and have had several mystery stories do rather well
in print anthologies.

But I was just thinking of you recently, too.

And I have a story in the  "boiler" -  roiling around as I put the touches
on it - another trip on the Linda Rae where men are men and the sheep are
nervous...no, wait, that was a different story.

I will have something ready soon - I was just going to send it in and see if
anyone remembered me.  What
a fab surprise to see your email!

I hope you are doing well - I will drop in tomorrow and read the magazine.
I have been away far too long.
You'd think by now I should be able to do something with time - spend the
good stuff slowly and zip through the unpleasant. Unfortunately physical
therapy works in the reverse.  Hmmm - there's a story in there somewhere.

So happy to hear from you - love to you all and especially you!

Kate Thornton

I'm sure everyone will want to send their best wishes to Kate and be thankful for her recovery. Rather than post her e-mail address here for even more spam-list harvesting, I would advise you to go to the archives and use the link to her home page that appears at the end of her most recent stories.

Once again, I want to tell you about Aphelion running a two-month December/January issue starting next month with issue #77. There will be new stories, as well as my own choices for the "best of '03" so be forwarned. And don't get a swelled head if I pick one of your stories. Just means that I liked it. Its not like an award or anything. LOL!

Have you heard that the Hubble may be de-orbited and allowed to burn up- before it's replacement is ready? Not only do they want to waste the telescope, they want to waste it before there is anything in orbit to do it's job! Now, I think its criminal to waste something that can still do good work. How hard would it be to move the Hubble to a higher, more stable orbit and get more years of service out of it? (You rocket scientists, there is another Lettercol/Chat topic.) I say, if there is anything in orbit that can be used as-is or for parts, let's utilize it! Surely it would be better in the long run to save something, if only to have an existing framework to hang upgrades upon.

And shouldn't we launch one or more of the remaining US space shuttles to leave in orbit as a working tugboat rather than ground them and let them rust away? Can't we think of a safe way to refuel them in orbit? I know that there are other problems with that idea too, but I hate to see a perfectly good workhorse put out to pasture. Surely there is a way to boost them out to higher and more useful orbits? I know the next generation of surface-to-orbit-to-surface craft is going to be a few years in the future. I just hate wasting things.

What to do in space? What to do with space? Sounds like there are a few stories hiding in those questions. We writers need to explore the possibilities, and by exploring them, subtly influence the course of events toward a better future. Negative and positive, warts and all. What will we do? What mistakes will we make? How can we learn more? What is the best way to use what we have while we develop things that are even better? I've heard it said that science fiction is in decline and fantasy is the growing trend. But somehow I doubt that SF is going to disappear. We writers just need to think of ways to make it new again. Fun and adventure and really wild things. The future is out there waiting for us to arrive. Its yesterday's future that is now. Today's future is, as yet, unwritten. Its our job to write it. Thinking caps on, people! Pick up your pencils and start creating!

(I'm not a lost time traveler or alien, honest. Really, trust me. I promise...)
(I don't understand it, the glasses work for Clark.)

I now return you to your regularly scheduled reading...

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

  • Bird of Prey
    By Ken Goldman
    Confined to a wheel chair, the reclusive Paul Avery teaches his pet macaw parrot to become his arms and legs and so much more . . .
  • A Path Through Their Hearts
    By S. Johnson
    Forced to flee her home in the middle of the night, Chelle, accompanied by her three closest friends, must solve an engraved riddle or face certain death. But with her enemies always only one small step behind and the riddle still a mystery, she finds her journey in the wilds entangled with fear, treachery, and whispers from her unknown past.

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

  • Cursed Meat
    By John Dixon
    Those who dare hunt in the territory of The Sky Clan do so at their peril.
  • The Search for Paradise
    By Joe Vadalma
    Here is a hilarious burlesque of the golden age of fantasy from the offbeat imagination of Papa Joe.
  • Matters of State
    By Robert Moriyama
    Al Majius receives an urgent call from a sporting goods shop with a poltergeist problem.
  • Temp to Perm
    By Tom Olbert
    When Murph shot the Temp, it did more than just spoil Kally Berenson's lunch.
  • Voodoo Child
    By Mizu Ash
    Whitey was miserable as a freshman at college, until a black girl named Lally invited her into her world.
  • La Diablesse
    By Astrid Bullen
    Mamma had things mapped out for her daughter, but when Anna spilled hot water on Massa, everything changed.
  • Redshift Sue Sings the Blues
    By Dan L. Hollifield

    "I sat stunned at the first sound of this woman's voice. She was crying out her pain and loss for a lover long gone. Low, husky, somehow seductive, but filled with pain. I took a quick gulp of my drink as she began to sing..."

Read the updated (July 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


  • The Pollwatchers!
    by Cary Semar
    Aphelion's Cary Semar turns his eye towards the political scene in this new feature!

  • Dan Hollifield Reviews:
    The Monstrous Regiment

    The newest Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett.
    A fun and thoughtful look at the military life on the Discworld.
  • Dan Hollifield Reviews:

    The new Fantasy novel by Bill Pottle
    A young boy's dream brings both power to him and a new hope to the people of Daranor.
  • 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 an underused 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 special 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.

My storys and comments.

A page of my own story links, with comments.
Dan L. Hollifield

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Aphelion Webzine is © 1997-2003 by Dan L. Hollifield