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 90, Volume 9 -- March 2005

Issue 91, Volume 9 will be online 1st week of April, 2005.

"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:

I haven't a lot to rant about this month. Readers of the Lettercol will already know that Rob Starr is going to have a short story collection coming out. He asked me to write a short introduction and I've sent him a first draft. Its a great book. Nick Pollotta has a new book coming out, also. I've read a .RTF of the galley proofs. Everyone is in for a treat. Its a great book, too. I have not one, but two of David Blalock's Thran Chronicles books on my review list, as well as two books by JL Navarro and a short story collection by Andru McIntosh. Aphelion writers, all. This has been a busy time for everyone. I offer my congratulations to each and every one of you. You've made me proud. I appologise for getting so far behind on my reviews.

We're starting up this year's season of Nightwatch stories with this issue. Jeff Williams has gifted us with Part One of his first Nightwatch story for the year. This one is a delight to read, but very challenging. I recommend that the readers pay strict attention or they'll miss something vital. There are other new Nightwatch stories in the pipeline for 2005, so keep watching for them. There are some wonderful stories in the works!

We've got three other novellas to go along with Jeff's Nightwatch story, and ten short stories. That ought to be enough to keep everyone busy for the next month. I'm sorry to say that since Robert Moriyama's abduction into Aphelion's Editorial Mafia his posts in the Lettercol have been reduced. But now, his comments go to the writers during the submission process, instead of to the Lettercol after the finished stories have been uploaded. So that works out rather well for the writers. Gives Nate a chance to catch up on Lettercol posts, too. LOL!

Some of the writers have begun dropping into the Aphelion Chat Room when I've been there. Its nice to get to talk one-on-one with the readers & writers. I really enjoy that. Rob Wynne has revealed a special treat in the works for the chatroom visitors: He's going to recompile the chatroom bot program. Soon, the chatroom will have Max the bartender bot back in residence! Yeah! Max will not only serve drinks and snacks, but he'll be able to keep track of who has visited the chatroom recently, answer simple questions, and liven up the chatroom with randomized witty reparte'. I'm looking forward to Max's return to the living.

I guess I ought to say a few words about the upcoming Aphelion party. So far it looks like the party will either be the last weekend of July or the first weekend of August. Anyone interested in attending is asked to go to the Aphelicon thread in the Administrivia section of the Lettercol and post their preferences for the exact date. I need to know soon so that I can schedule the right weekend off from work. The party/mini-con is open to anyone who wants to travel to Athens, Ga. USA for some fun and food in my back yard. Nothing fancy, just a get-together for anyone who lives close enough or wants to undertake the trek here. It looks like less than 10 people so far. That's not a problem for a backyard party. I hope to see as many Aphelion readers and writers here as possible. Directions can be sent to you on request. Contributions to the food budget will be welcomed, but there is no plan to charge admission or cover. If necessary, there are local hotels and motels that can fit most budgets. I doubt there will be more people here than I can find bed, couch, or floor space for, though. Most everyone that has expressed interest so far lives within local driving range. Except for Kate, she said she's going to fly in from California! LOL!

Let's see what we can work up, shall we? It looks to be a fun weekend, in any case. Hope to see you here!


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 City
    By Bernard Hall
    "The city was a dark place--and cold very cold. That was the one thing I remember best--how chilly the air always was. I would have thought that over 2,000 years of technology would have solved that problem. On the contrary, it just made it worse. In the absence of love, warmth, affection, things did grow very cold indeed."
    • Beyond the Gloaming
      By Dan Edelman
      Raven Runechild has been summoned to the Seven Valleys to serve a Western mage in the war against an ancient coven of godlike witches. That's if he survives the journey.
    • Nightwatch: The Kindness of Strangers, Part One
      By Jeff Williams
      Stuck in unfamiliar circumstances, Dr. Simon Litchfield tries to solve a mystery with little more to go on than the knowledge that 'something strange and dangerous' is happening--and that failure could mean the end of everything as he's known it.

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

    Short Stories

    • The Jazz-Jazz
      By Dan Edelman
      Kai Ferracane, the ultimate soldier, the finest of the Dagian Guard, had surrendered without a fight. Now he was imprisoned in the dreaded Gaol Eerkes, surrounded by lethal security systems and dozens of elite Scorpio Gemfire troops. It really wasn't fair -- to them.
    • Barflies
      By Frank Byrns
      For Fran and Marcy, it's the kind of place to meet someone famous. For Shane, it's a place to score some dope, and maybe a chick. But for Adonis and his friends, Solitude is the best kind of bar: an anonymous place where nobody knows your name.
    • The Mind Robbers
      By Donald Sullivan
      Al Rice must fight a duel to the death against the champion of the mind-stealing Gorojinh. The stakes: the souls and lives of countless people. The odds: not good...
    • Never Say Die
      By Neil Carstairs
      The cloned Empress Victoria is dead, vaporized by a sunburst stealth dart. The powers that be are Not Amused, and those responsible are going to pay. All they need is a confession ...
    • The Assistant Assistant Portkeeper
      By J. V. Rudnick
      Wiggins was a rarity, a civil servant who was actually -- civil. But the Leudies were pushing all his buttons, breaking the rules and being insufferably rude at the same time ...

    • Exile
      By Sohrab Koohpaima
      Meliktin Eos was the best man-tracker in the business. This time, his quarry were hiding on a world that had proven unlucky for anyone who ever tried to live or work there. His assignment: bring them in alive, so they could be exiled somewhere worse.

    • The Coming of the Ronsardi
      By A. J. Kenning
      For centuries, people had come to the Tower of Storms, begging the Black Witch to stop the slow advance of the dreaded Ronsardi. She asked only one thing in return -- a price that none had ever been willing to pay. But finally, with the enemy drawing near, the Wiccandi's demands had been met. Now it was the Ronsardi's turn to pay...

    • Eyes
      By James I. Wasserman
      Joseph Kaufman lost his sight in a terrible accident. The experimental procedure that gave him new vision was a blessing -- wasn't it?
    • See You in Hell
      By Gregory Adams
      Marv had lost everything to his various addictions -- everything except his extraordinary chess-playing skills. He couldn't afford to lose his latest match -- not if he wanted to live.

    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 2004 political scene.

    • Dan Hollifield Reviews:
      The Tower of Morkai

      Book 3 of the Thran Chronicles
      A review of the 3rd Thran novel by H. David Blalock.

    • 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 (March 2005) 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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