Aphelion Issue 278, Volume 26
November 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
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Flash Writing Challenge
Dan's Promo Page

Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Issue 82, Volume 8 -- June 2004

Issue 83, Volume 8 will be online 1st week of July, 2004.

"And if you believe that- you'll buy this watch..."
Saint Robere Guilams


Since January 27th, 1997 when Aphelion first went online.

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The Usual Rant from Aphelion's Senior Editor:

It seems like there just isn't enough time to do everything that needs to be done. Whenever I finish one task, five more pop up demanding my attention. And they all want to be done now! (Grin) How can I schedule everything that I need to do? Easy, I can't. I'll just have to do as much as I can and hope I run out of projects before I run out of time. Time is a non-renewable resource, unlike money. I can't just make more, earn more.

Scheduling time just to sit down and write has become a hassle. But I know I need to raise the priority on this item. I seem to spend an hour every day just dealing with e-mail and spam, then another hour catching up on the Aphelion Lettercol and the other few websites I check out regularly. Then I try to write something, anything, just to be writing. Eventually, I get things done. Its the offline tasks that keep eating away at my time. Some things will just have to go in order for me to make time for more important things.

Sort of like what NASA says it wants to do in order to go back to the Moon and then on to Mars. I absolutely hate the idea of allowing the Hubble telescope to die, to back out of the ISS, and to let the remaining shuttles turn to rust. I know that going to the Moon and Mars is going to take boatloads of money, and that corners are going to have to be cut to do it, but that still doesn't make the reality any more palatable. I'm hoping someone can come up with some alternatives before we lose anything irreplaceable.

I'm a firm believer that exploring space should be a world-wide project. We humans need the resources and we're going to need the room. And I also believe that new technological advances are going to come from all over the globe. The US is not going to be able to manage it alone. Besides, invention knows no national boundaries. (For instance; Tesla was Serbo-Croatian, Einstein was German- even though they worked in the US it is still a valid point. No country holds the patent on genius.) Someone needs to start looking at everything everyone is doing now, so we can eventually piece together the breakthroughs that will make the colonization of the Moon, the asteroids, Mars, orbital habitats, deep space probes, and everything that we've been reading about for years. Humanity has the need- not any one country on the planet, but all of us. We're going to have to learn to work together. Or we're just not going to be able to do the job. That's the bottom line from my personal point of view. Everyone is going to contribute a piece of the puzzle. Everyone will have to work together. I don't delude myself that the task of international cooperation will be easy, but if we humans want space exploration to remain more than the subject of entertainment then we're going to have to work together.

There really is no other way.


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

  • Strange Deaths to Follow
    --Part Five--

    By Neil McGill
    A strange tale where a fortean detective meets the minority report meets the world of Pratchett meets Tarantino.
    • Flight of the Starhawk
      --Part Three--

      ByTony Ragas
      As a teenager, Josh had wanted to fly to the stars. As an adult, he ended up with an oilfield job and a portfolio of hopeless dreams stashed away on his PC's hard drive. Alcoholism and depression ate away at him and drove him to spend lonely nights pondering his existence. Then he met an alien on the riverbank one night. An alien with a machine that created objects out of raw matter and energy. Even complex objects like components for starships!
      Profile Drawing of the Starhawk

    • The Darkling
      By William Henry
      Centuries of pain leads immortal sorcerer Catherine to Paris in the fall of 1773 seeking revenge, only to find something else.
    • Nightwatch: Dragon's Egg
      By Robert Moriyama
      To some, the Nightwatch Institute for Strategic and Economic Studies was an adviser to governments and major corporations. To others, it provided expertise and equipment to help build -- or rebuild -- vital services in every corner of the world. But Nightwatch did its most important work in the shadows ...
      For Dr. Simon Litchfield, engineer, linguist, and -- other things, the discovery of a mysterious object in Afghanistan was just another day at the office.

      Aphelion is proud to announce the beginning of A new shared universe series: Nightwatch, under the direction of Jeff Williams.

    Short Stories

    • Trial by Intimacy
      By Claude Hopper
      When real people wind up in a very strange place, can anything be what it seems? And if reality is as easily manipulated as all that, wouldn't everyone rather spend a day at the beach instead of playing God? Me? I'd rather visit the Mare Inebrium. Fortunately, I know how to get there from here. First, you drive north on Highway 441...
    • The Wanderers
      By Joel Doonan
      When Ava saw a rough looking man stealing bullets in a sporting goods store, she didn't report him. The next time she saw him was on a darkened street.
    • First Time Starter
      By Mark Stanley
      Valley Princess was destined to be a champion before she was ridden by Lottman, and he knew it.
    • Inside Job
      By E.S. Strout
      The greatest dangers come unbidden, unheralded, and unseen.
    • Institute of the Dead
      By Susan Wigget
      When Margot's late father appeared to her in a dream, he seemed to be trying to tell her something that she could not understand. The solution to the mystery could only be found at the Institute of the Dead.
    • A Matter of Faith
      By Robert Moriyama
      The College Masters used powerful magic to conjure up the ultimate weapon against the undead demi-god Morgenstern. But now they need Al Majius to save them from their own cleverness ...
    • Veterans Day
      By George J. Condon
      One day each year we pause to remember them. The rest of the year, we turn our faces away. But perhaps on one our tomorrows, their day will come.

    • The Things We Remember
      By Peter L. Johnson
      "Wouldn't it be just great, if life were on videotape?" -- Steve Goodman, lyricist.

    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 2/7/2004--

    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 12/16/2003


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

    • 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.
    • 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

    • 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.

    Read more great stories from the

    Aphelion Archives
    Aphelion Archives


  • Image Copyright (c) 1997 by Laura Butler

    Back Issues
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  • Aphelion Back Issues Page

    Read the updated (July 3, 2003) Submissions Guidelines
    Aphelion Submissions Guidelines Page

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    My storys and comments.

    A page of my own story links, with comments.
    Along with some MIDI files, MP3s of music,
    links to some of my artwork,
    links to photos of my home, etc.

    Dan L. Hollifield

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    Aphelion Webzine is © 1997-2004 by Dan L. Hollifield