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 89, Volume 9 -- February 2005

Issue 90, Volume 9 will be online 1st week of March, 2005.

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


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

Shortcut Links
Editorial Novels Serials Shorts Poetry Features Lettercol Aphelion Links
Mare Inebrium Stories Mare Starter Kit Review Query FAQ Nightwatch Story Archive Aphelion Instant Java Chat Exchange Links With Aphelion Aphelion Submissions Guidelines

Top 100 Award Vote for this page in the eZines Database The eZines Database Top 5 Pick!

Aphelion is proud to be associated with:

The best way to promote your website! America.Net Web Hosting Services


The Usual Rant from Aphelion's Senior Editor:

First off, Happy Birthday Aphelion! We're starting another year of bringing you the best amateur fiction and poetry on the web. Thank you all for coming back time and time again. For reading the stories, and for making comments on them so that the writers may learn a few things about their craft. And thank you for the kindness that you've all shown to me over the last few trying months. Aphelion is not only a hobby/obsession with me. It has become an extended family. Thank you for being there when I need your support.

Sadly, there were other things going on the the background here at Aphelion during the last few months of 2004. In October, Cary Semar tendered his resignation as our Short Story Editor. He said he was just burned out after years and years of editing. Cary forwarded his folder of pending submissions to us, uploaded the final instalments of "The Pollwatchers" & his final stories, bid us a fond farewell, and stepped gracefully back into his real life. One good thing about losing Cary though, now he'll have time to write his own stories again.

But that put the Editorial Mafia and I into a quandry. Who could we get to attempt to step into Cary's shoes? Well, for various reasons of her own, McCamy isn't able to devote any more time to Aphelion than she already does. Ralph teaches at the same school that Jeff does- with the same sort of mad schedule, too. He couldn't accept. Rob Wynne, Jeff, and I met frequently in the chatroom to discuss the matter. We polled the whole staff, voiced our own opinions, mulled it over, and finally came up with a name. Someone who could both do the job, and just might have the time. Then Cary recommended the same person. The die was cast, fate had spoken, and with only a token struggle against a cruel fate- Robert Moriyama has been strong-armed into joining the Editorial Mafia as Aphelion's new Short Story Editor. You can extend all the proper expressions of sympathy over his abduction to Bob privately. I imagine that escape route maps and hacksaws baked into cakes are traditional gifts for the condemned- Er, lucky devil. This marks the first issue that Robert has edited. Please join me in welcoming him to Aphelion.

So as one friend retires, another friend steps to the fore to fight the neverending battle for creativity, literacy, and really intense spellchecking. LOL! Really, that's the way Aphelion's staff has always changed. People come in, stay a while, then move on when they have to. Meanwhile, other people come in to help out. Aphelion has always been evolving. I expect it will always keep evolving. Thanks to those many friends, readers & writers, artists, poets, musicians, who have helped make Aphelion into something special. I offer my own thanks to Cary Semar for all the years of hard work that he put in for Aphelion. Cary, you've helped make my dream real. You've helped make Aphelion the unparalleled success that it is today. You've helped hundreds of writers learn to be better writers. You've helped thousands of readers find something worth their time to read. Aphelion has reached readers and writers all over the world- in over 65 countries the last time I knew the statistics. You have been a big part of that success, Cary. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for everything.

You know, if we all cheer really loudly and clap our hands like crazy for Cary and Bob- all at the same time... I'd be willing to bet that we'd scare the crap out of the rest of the world. And some of us would be sure to get locked up.

Maybe we just better stick to e-mailing them instead. OK? LOL!


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
Robert Moriyama
Short Story Editor
McCamy Taylor
Assistant Short Story Editor
Jeffrey Williams
Production Editor/Serials Editor
Ralph Benedetto, Jr.
Assistant Serials Editor
Roger Bennett
Senior Editor Emeritus
Cary Semar
Short Story Editor Emeritus

Serialized Stories & Novellettes

  • The Human Cost
    By Jon Wesick
    Still haunted by abandoning the woman he loved at the massacre on Epsilon Eridani IV, Interstellar Navy veteran Arjuna Matthew Diebold tries to make a new life as a private investigator. With the help of Colonel Tanaka, Matthew's love escapes an alien POW camp and flees to Tau Ceti II. Now Matthew must help find the fugitives, before they spread a deadly genetically engineered virus to the planet's inhabitants.
  • Bone Up Yar
    By Dan Edelman
    High again on the night of his biggest gig, musician Jechiel Andrade confronts demons, both internal and the kind that eat souls.

  • Short Stories

    • The Snake, the Bald Man, and the Baby
      By Greg Guerin
      Marooned on a hostile planet, elite expeditionist Newen Newenfound had to depend on his New Zealander strength of will to survive. But after two long years, help was finally on its way -- just not the help he had been expecting.
    • Search. Destroy. Deceive.
      By Tim C. Taylor
      Joel was the best there was at the nasty business of sabotage and assassination. New toys based on technology from the future only made him better. So how was Oskar, a relative novice, giving him so much trouble?
    • Followed by Fire
      By J. Alan Brown
      Melody Burnside had been captivated by fire when she was younger, until the sting of an errant spark had turned fascination into wary respect. But fire still found her irresistible...
    • The Hounds of the Five Boroughs
      By Brian C. Petroziello
      New York detectives Minelli and Mulhearn are back on the job. This time, they're chasing down the source of the eerie howling that is driving the dogs of the Big Apple wild -- and may be connected to a string of seemingly unrelated deaths.
    • Skywatchers
      By K. Bannerman
      The end of the world -- that's what Sadie Thorpe's dreams had showed her, night after night. Then the TV news said that her dreams had almost come true -- a rock as big as Texas had slipped by, far too close for comfort. But Sadie never dreamed of what happened next ...
    • Danice
      By Shelly Wass
      There's nothing like dying to put your life into perspective. Danice only wishes that Victor would show her still-warm body a little more kindness and respect than he did while she was alive.

    • Soul Searching
      By Phill Murray
      In this excerpt from an unpublished (so far) novel, Phill Murray shows us that there's more than one way to 'time travel'. Some methods involve crystalline THC, linear accelerators, and ... cookies.

    • Visions
      By Tain L. Barzso
      Disease had stolen Samantha's life. Now Stephan, with the aid of the world's most sophisticated quantum computer, would bend time and reality to get her back.

    Poetry and Filk Music

  • Red Mist
    By Iain Muir

  • Iain also put together his idea of this year's best poetry. Perhaps a brief intro to it would be in order:

    "Poetry is extremely subjective, and works by the resonance between reader and author. In selecting what I view as the best of this year's poetry, I have been bound by a couple of self-imposed rules:

    1) The Editorial Mafia are barred - unless they were not mafiosi at the time of publishing

    2) I have exlcuded several very good pieces which I sought out from the authors, rather than receiving as submissions - I figure I'm biased.

    3) I have tried to limit the selections ot one per author - if someone has been prolific this year, I've tried to pick what I think is their "best" piece.

    4) All choices are mine, they are subjective, and feel free to argue with them.

    5) It's good to be the editor."


    The selections are:

    • Wreck
      By Steven McDonald

    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
    --- Page ---

  • Aphelion Back Issues Page

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

    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!

    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

    Click HERE to vote for this page as a Starting Point Hot Site.

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