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 88, Volume 8 -- December 2004 / January 2005

Issue 89, Volume 9 will be online 1st week of February, 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:

If you haven't read of my tragic news yet, you should read this page: In Memorium.

Thank you all for being so understanding during this trying time. Everything has been so hard to deal with, but both our families have all pulled together to help me cope- as have all my friends, both online and off. Everyone's kindness is deeply appreciated. I am recovering; the grief is not endless, nor is it impossible to bear, it is merely intense.

As you may have guessed, I don't really feel much like my usual self. Most of the joy of writing went out of me then. It will take some time for me to regain it. Please excuse the lack of any real sort of editorial.

This is the yearly double issue of Aphelion. There are more stories than usual, plus my picks of the "greatest hits" of the past year. Hopefully, this will tide you over until February, dear readers. Rest assured, my personal problems do not spell the end of Aphelion.


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

  • Sunrise
    By Jordana Slayer
    A desperate obsession with an apathetic human girl has unexpected and disastrous consequences.
    • Lamak Dying
      By E. Markham
      On an ordinary day in Lamak three travellers paths cross. One will discover a half forgotten history, one will fulfil their destiny, and one will determine the fate of an entire city.
    • Nightwatch: The Orion Affair
      By Dan L. Hollifield
      A phone call in the night leads Dr. Simon Litchfield into a headlong rush towards danger.

      A new shared universe series: Nightwatch, under the direction of Jeff Williams.
    • Best of 2004: Flight of the Starhawk -Part 1-
      -Part 2-
      -Part 3-

      By Tony 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!

    Short Stories

    • Bandit
      By Robert D. Buckingham
      Way up north, on the DEW line, our fighting men are ready for anything. And sometimes, they get it.
    • Night Glow
      By William Baxter
      When the world changes, not everyone receives the benefits.
    • The Floating City
      By Jason Beirens
      "I have been waiting for a champion, or champions to face me. I have been waiting to be destroyed. I am so very tired, tired of it all."
    • Campout
      By Ron Bruno
      Memories can play tricks on you.
    • Shalan
      By George J. Condon
      What price would you pay for immortality?
    • Never Ask Why
      By Ezra T. Gray
      "A flash of light appeared above the small carpeted stand. A split second later Roger appeared. Helen and Winston were quite shocked."
    • Bicycle Mike
      By Mark Knight
      “Dave has to die,” the little demon said from Mike’s left eye.

    • Fright Reaction
      By Joshua Scribner
      “It’s been a year since Kendra died,” he’d said. “Stop drowning yourself in work and get away for a while, go up to that cabin you used to talk about. Remember her. Mourn. Then come back.”

  • Jumping Off Point
    By Robert Starr
    “Look,” I say, “no one really understands anyone. We just relate to the roles we play. You can only understand who I’m trying to be if I make it simple for you.”

    • Best of 2004: Helen Damnation
      By Robert Moriyama
      In the Port Armstrong lunar colony, criminals beware: Helen Damnation McKay has no patience for sinners.
    • Best of 2004: Catch A Burning Star
      By Gareth Lyn Powell
      Nick Malik had done some rotten things to survive, but on the eve of armageddon he found he owed a debt he could not ignore, even if it cost him his life.
    • Best of 2004: Beyond Sapiens
      By Noel Carroll
      I hate putting this down on electronic paper because, in doing so, I concede failure for the first time in my short life at the time of this recording, I am nineteen years old. I suppose I should also state that I am the biological mother of hundreds of children, all under two years of age.
    • Best of 2004: A Path of Ramble and Mist
      By Jaimie L. Elliot
      When Jeremy opened his door to find a mysterious robed figure, a mailed warrior, and a woman dressed like Xena waiting, he knew it was going to be an unusual day.
    • Best of 2004: Absolution
      By Jim Rudnick
      Miguel was a pick-pocket who had committed a terrible sin. Only the priest could save him from damnation.
    • Best of 2004: Eternity
      By Zahid Zaman
      A woman finds herself trapped in a dream world where she faces terror as she searches for someone she lost.
    • Best of 2004: Old Business
      By Robert Starr
      He knew what he had to say to be free, but somehow he could never bring himself to say it.

    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 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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    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