Aphelion Issue 278, Volume 26
November 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
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Flash Writing Challenge
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Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Issue 95, Volume 9 -- August 2005

Issue 96, Volume 9 will be online 1st week of September, 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:

Well, it was one great party.Where do I begin?
Bill Wolfe was the first to arrive. He and I sat and talked for an hour or so as we waited for the others. Turns out that he and I share some geography, so to speak, my childhood was spent in a lot of the same area he lives in now. One thing Bill found out from this party is that Krupnick is real, not just something I made up for my stories.
Kate showed up looking elegantly beautiful, and bearing books as gifts. Soft-spoken, kind, and possessing a rapier-like wit that can slice steel at a hundred yards. I was hanging on her every word whenever she spoke. I hated that we didn't get to spend more time with Kate, but she had to leave before dark.
Rob and Larissa showed up bearing Cornbread! Which I promptly hid from everyone, LOL! Larissa made it for me, not for the party. Sorry. Rob also brought a gift from his mom that nearly moved me to tears. Three Tom Swift Jr. hardbacks, as a starting place for me to rebuild that long-lost collection I learned to read from. I never had the heart to try replacing them once the burglar took them. Now I can do it. Thank you! Thank you so much!
Jaimie pulled up during the tour of Casa Vila, but he'd been here before was quite impressed by the changes. I had added some decorations since his last visit. After showing off the house, we all went back in the living room and started partying. If you think the stories these folks write are good, you should try to imagine how mind-blowing it was sitting here listening to them talk! The time flew by, and then we has to adjourn to the back yard to cook dinner. Naturally, I burned the steaks on one side, but the chicken came out OK, as did the beef kabobs. It took far less time to cook everything than I thought. And I want to thank everyone for helping out in the kitchen and out back. I assume everyone got enough- although I know I ruined those steaks. Also naturally, during the clean-up I discovered that I'd forgotten the sliced mushrooms for the kabobs. Well, the corn on the cob was really good. LOL! Cleaning up took very little time, then we were back in the living room for more talking and music. It seemed like only a few moments later that Kate had to leave, or else chance getting lost in the dark on the way back to her B&B. Shortly thereafter Larissa needed to get some sleep, and I realized that we hadn't even opened the Krupnick I'd hurriedly made for the party. Note to self: Next year, use smaller glasses!
An hour or two after drinking way too much Krupnick, I began to feel the effects of having been awake and puttering about the house since 5 AM. Bill also had to take off for the long drive back to Knoxville. So I curled up in my sleeping bag and slept like a man stoutly anesthetized. Which I was, LOL! I woke up the next morning as Jaimie was leaving. Rob, Larissa, and I went out to downtown Athens for breakfast. It had started raining by then, and it's been raining almost steadily since then. As if the sky were sad the party ended so quickly.
An hour or two later, two of my neighbors came by to apologies for missing the party. They stayed for a couple of hours and I've been invited to a party at their place later this week, and again later on this month.
Somehow, I'm beginning to get the idea that I really need to have a social life again. LOL!
This has been one of the best parties I've ever given. I loved every minute of it and I can't wait to do it again. Thank you all for coming and showing me such a good time. Bill Wolfe sent the best 4 photos he took, and Rob has set up a party photo and Aphelion Cover Art gallery page at: this link. There were at least three cameras going that I saw, so there ought to be more photos to post, later. Jacki Powers should be thanked for the food- his donations bought all of it, and half the beer. And as synchronicity, his last donation showed up in the mail Saturday morning. It was too bad he didn't get to come. And Lee was missed, too. Kate, I found your donation in the freezer Sunday morning as I was putting things away. Talk about cold, hard cash! LOL! You shouldn't have, dear. You probably spent more on your plane tickets and the B&B than I did for the party. But thank you, and more hugs go out to you.


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

  • Nightwatch: Fly By Wire
    --Part One--

    By Dan L. Hollifield
    What was concealed
    Shall stand revealed
    In all its radiant glory.
    Those secrets held
    Shall be unveiled
    And thereby hangs this story...

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

Short Stories

  • From Above
    By Jeremy Robinson
    Losing an arm in the line of duty didn't bother Detective Priest nearly as much as having to pay to replace his own ruined tact-suit. Years later, when the orbiting superweapon that vaporized his arm started wiping out whole city blocks, Priest was ready to collect on the debt -- with interest.
  • Alligator Tears
    By N. J. Kailhofer
    A fable of sorts, about the real reason for alligator tears.
  • Fool Brittania
    By Gareth D. Jones
    The secret war against the aliens had been going on for decades, hidden behind a brilliant campaign of misdirection and pop culture. The government thought it was over -- but was it really?
  • When Blood Freezes
    By Mitch Wyatt
    Tal had only begun to develop his skills at Shaping when his brother, King Razius, went mad. Now Razius has half the thugs in the kingdom of Elwyn hunting for Tal and the magical objects he -- liberated -- when he went underground. Tal's only choices: become a true Shaper -- or die.
  • I Get My Ideas From ...
    By Fiona MacDonald
    Steve thought he'd found the writers' equivalent of the gold at rainbow's end: a source of inspiration guaranteed to make him a successful author, and the world's best agent, all in one package. It sounded too good to be true ...
  • Spring Break
    By Joe Arechavala
    When young women started to vanish, the Florida resort town of Oceanside went into panic mode -- Oceanside's status as a favorite Spring Break destination could be ruined. But Police Officer Marcie Callahan knew there were more important things than tourist dollars. (Contains adult subject matter)

  • Freshman
    By Timothy Maguire
    Being the new kid in school was hard. Being the new kid, from another country, with the powers of a God-Touched -- and enemies to match -- was something that Alex would just have to deal with. Right after Math class ...

  • Welcome to Hell
    By Diana Rohlman
    Vikten was a killer's killer, utterly without conscience. The home invasion was really just something to fill the time between contracts -- but the consequences were beyond anything Vikten could have imagined.

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 6-28-05

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

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    My storys and comments.

    A page of my own story links, with comments.
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