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 85, Volume 8 -- September 2004

Issue 86, Volume 8 will be online 1st week of October, 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:

"Sorry I'm late. All sorts of things cropping up at the last minute. How are we for time?"

This is where I do my usual Public Service Announcement: There are elections coming up here in the US, everyone should go out and vote for the candidates of their choice. Everyone who knows me knows that I loathe politics, but I have come to realize that it is a necessary evil. Frankly, I don't care what your party is or which candidate for what office that you prefer. I'm just trying to point out that if you don't vote, you are allowing other people to determine your future. Take control of your life ino your own hands. Go vote. You've got the power, now accept the responsibility.

Well, that's enough of that for this month.

So what else is happening? I've been experiencing a lot of synchronicities lately. (That's when a chain of events occur that seems to be inter-connected by spooky sorts of coincidences.) It seems like all I have to do is think of some subject or other- and suddenly I'm swamped by web-pages, news announcements, and magazine articles on whatever that particular subject happens to be. Like Reality has suddenly switched into Google mode, the last two months have been a massive data dump into my brainpan... Not only is the universe stranger than I had imagined, now its upgrading my imagination so that it can achieve further flights of weirdness. (grin) I've always enjoyed the more Fortean aspects of life, but this is beyond chance. Something odd is happening.

On another front; Jeff has asked me to write a Nightwatch story for next year. I started doing some research after he and I brainstormed a few ideas in the chatroom one night. We started off with a story fragment from my Notebook file. The whole thing was less than four skimpy paragraphs. We figured out how to make it fit the Nightwatch universe, but then Jeff made a mistake. He turned me loose to write, and write I did. The wordcount isn't all that high yet, but the story has begun to devour my entire life. It has pushed everything else that I was working on into the background. Every time I fire up the computer, eventually I wind up working on the story. Am I subconciously attempting to one-up the other writers? I don't think so, I think it to be more like what the writers in the Mare Inebrium series feel when a gem comes to them. At least, I hope so, 'cause this is a good feeling.

Alright, let's get this puppy online. I've babbled long enough.


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 Things Happen
    By J. L. Navarro
    Folksy Hermonites and strange New Mexicans: do they mix?
  • The Apartment Ladies
    By Lee Alon
    All the wrong people had keys to his apartment, but when they stopped by uninvited one lazy morning, more than just annoying realtors came through the door...
    • The Zenin Menace
      By Donald Sullivan
      Three groups of aliens visit Earth, and the fate of the planet rests in the hands of a proprieter of a bait and tackle shop.
    • Nightwatch: Dimensions' Gate
      By Jeff Williams
      Max Cory, trapped in a mountain cave system thanks to his own carelessness, finds something unusual happening there, and he soon finds that he's not alone, that someone else is also observing the strange goings on.

      A new shared universe series: Nightwatch, under the direction of Jeff Williams.

    Short Stories

    • Prufrock's Problem
      By Robert Moriyama
      Yes, this is the same Prufrock who caused so much trouble for Al Majius and friends. The original version of this story appeared in Titan webzine several years ago; this version appeared last year in the defunct Planet Relish webzine.
    • Dreamsicles
      By J.E. Deegan
      The day following the astonishing celestial event that had covered half the globe, Jason Mohs ventured into the abandoned train terminal seeking shelter from the bone-numbing cold. Being new to Limboland, he was unaware that the derelict building was a place to avoid.
    • Two Gods of a Darker Sort
      By Jaimie L. Elliot
      In this excerpt from the novel Harvest Moon, an unlikely group of adventurers searches for a prophet in order to learn why The Prophecy is no longer valid.
    • Eternity
      By Zahid Zaman
      A woman finds herself trapped in a dream world where she faces terror as she searches for someone she lost.
    • The Existentialist
      By J.L. Navarro
      After settling into his new home, Randolph Zook found himself one morning sitting on his porch drinking coffee and looking at the narrow dirt road that ran in front of the cabin. He caught a blue figure from the corner of his eye, and turning, he saw a lithe, tanned woman in a jogging suit, her long hair tied in a ponytail which bounced behind her as she ran. Without looking his way, she rushed by and continued down the road.

    Poetry and Filk Music

  • What are you working on?
    By Aurelio Rico Lopez III

  • 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 7-19-2004

    All the Nightwatch Stories to date.

    The Nightwatch Archives

    The Nightwatch Series Bible


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