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 92, Volume 9 -- May 2005

Issue 93, Volume 9 will be online 1st week of June, 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 don't really have a rant in me for this issue. Its way late, but personal stuff kept getting in the way of my putting the issue together. Sorry folks, but that's life. I did manage to break a word-barrier during my last good writing session on my Nightwatch story. The current edited draft runs 40,481 words. It is now a novel. First time I've ever been able to reach that sort of word-count. But, it still isn't finished. I still have lots left to do. I hope it turns out all right.

Someone e-mailed me what I thought was the perfect ending scene for the last episode of Enterprise: As the camera pulls back from Archer for the last time, he is surrounded by an electrical corona- which then brightens to a whiteout... And then Dr. Sam Becket finally leaps back into his own body, inside the Imaging Chamber of Project Quantum Leap. LOL! I thought that one was pretty cool.
From all reports, the BBC TV version of Hitchhiker's Guide is still the best one to watch. The new version doesn't seem to work for most of the fans who've been vocal with their opinions. I've read nothing but bad reviews of it. On the other hand, people who have never heard of HHGG before seem to enjoy it. Maybe it will even out.

I've been catching up on my reading for my book reviews, too. Look for those to start popping up here in Aphelion in the near future. As well as all sorts of other updates in the other areas of the website. Its time I got busy catching up on everything.

I'm going to re-run this next section over the next few months. It'll be updated whenever I get new information.

I guess I ought to say a few more words about the upcoming Aphelion party. So far the party will be the first weekend of August. Mostly on Saturday the 6th, but guests that can only show up Friday or Sunday will be welcome as well. Anyone interested in attending is asked to e-mail me at ApheliCon 1  or post in the ApheliCon 1 thread in the Lettercol's Administrivia folder. 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 will need to know in advance just how many people to plan for. If there are too few to warrant a cook-out, then I know of several local places where enough munchies and meals can be gotten for party guests. I hope to see as many Aphelion readers and writers here as possible. I think that there are about ten Aphelion writers living within four hours (more or less) drive of here. And I guesstimate that there *could* be ten times that many Aphelion readers in the same area. If all of you came, I'd be shocked. Delighted, but shocked. But do rest assured that you are all invited. Directions can be sent to you on request- And I am working on some JPGs of maps of the route from Atlanta to Athens, then out to my place- seven or eight miles North of Athens. I'll put the maps online and post the URLs so that you can download and print them at your leasure. Contributions to the food budget will be welcomed, but there is no plan to charge admission or cover. If necessary, for people who want to stay the whole weekend, there are local hotels and motels in Athens that can fit most budgets. All are near major highways and none worth staying in are more than half an hour's drive from my home. And over half of that time would be traffic delays from hotels in downtown Athens. But realistically, I doubt there will be more people here than I can find bed, couch, or floor space for, in case they have too much to drink. (Please pardon my ranting on this point, but I will not allow you to leave if you've over indulged- even if it means that I choose to sleep on the floor that night. As a good host, I cannot risk your safety if it is within my power to prevent you from accident or arrest for DUI. This is not a point upon which I will accept any debate. You are free to behave as adults will - if you are of age, but I'll find a way to pick-pocket your car keys if you get too lit. Fair warning. You are my friends and my online family. I don't want to lose any of you to any misfortune.)
 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! If she can manage that, shouldn't you folks who live in the Southeastern US also be thinking about coming to the party? *I'm* excited. This may be my only chance to meet Kate Thornton in person! As well as the others of you who have expressed interest in coming to the party. My worst nightmare would be that ten people confirm that they are coming, three rent hotel/motel rooms, the other seven either don't drink alcohol or plan to drink responsibly, I plan hamburgers, chicken, and salad for ten-- and ten thousand people show up totally un-announced. LOL! Let us work together to give me accurate numbers, 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

  • Holes in the Sky
    By Vera Searles
    In the year twenty-seven twenty-six, Keesha and her young son anxiously await the end of the New Productivity Era. Their food supplies are being severely decreased, and they are running out of memrix. Keesha plans to try to escape from the Dwin - - through the invisible holes in the sky.
  • Down by the River, Part II
    By J. H. McKay
    Vern wanted nothing more than to be able to live out the rest of his life in quiet seclusion. Then one night he was awakened by a shooting star coming down by the river. What he found the next morning seemed like nothing much, but before he knew it his life, and possibly much else, had been irrevocably altered.

  • Short Stories

    • Raising Father Kilpatrick
      By Terry Dartnall
      Jack and his Uncle Lupus dig up an old friend of the 'family'. But Father K. is a bit peeved -- he's been buried for a long time!
    • Decoys
      By Chris Harris
      Bob and Anne were the perfect neighbors. Okay, they weren't human, but aside from that -- they did a fine job of drawing attention away from the really weird stuff going on.
    • Girl's Best Friend
      By Mark Griswold
      In the future, celebrities won't be a dime a dozen -- but their copies might be treated as if they were.
    • Atraxes the Bold
      By Sohrab Koohpaima
      Atraxes, the bravest of the brave, must risk everything to destroy the Leviathan before it can crush the city and all who dwell within. All he asks is to stand out from the crowd just once before he dies.
    • The Man With Two Minds
      By Donald Sullivan
      Jake Stewart has something on his mind. Or perhaps that should be 'someone IN his mind'. Between that, saving the world, and getting his girlfriend back, he's really feeling the pressure.

    • The Day the Leash Gave Way
      By Trent Zelazny
      Little Etchy had it all: a dog to play with, a Mom who would always be there for him. Mind you, Sam McKenna thought it less than ideal that Mom and dog had both been dead for quite some time ...

    • Songs of Steam Lungs (Part 1)
      By D. D. H. Lee
      War is hell. But for a Wright or a Smith, learning to listen to the metal could make things a lot easier.

  • AntiMatters
    By Robert Moriyama
    Al Majius must deal with a tiny little world-threatening problem caused by the secret weapon conjured by the College Masters. And Githros can't help him with this one ...

  • Poetry and Filk Music

  • The Machine Age Begins
    By John Grey

  • 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,
    links to some of my artwork,
    links to photos of my home, etc.

    Dan L. Hollifield

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    Aphelion Webzine is © 1997-2005 by Dan L. Hollifield