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November 2022
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Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Issue 96, Volume 9 -- September 2005

Issue 97, Volume 9 will be online 1st week of October, 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:

Friends, I have good news. There is a lady to love in my life again. A longtime friend has been waiting for my grief to run it's course, for me to heal. ApheliCon was one of the healing bits. A neighbor's 50th birthday party was another bit. Spending time with Rob and Larissa, Jaimie and Tejal's wedding, birthday parties for my neice and nephew, a baby shower for a new neice or nephew soon to be born... All this and more have helped me face the roller coaster that the last year has been. And now that I'm ready to look for romance again, low and behold, there's someone jumping up and down, waving flags, shooting off bottle rockets... And I thought that I really ought to stop and take a good look at the woman who has been waiting for me to look up and notice her.

We're going to give it a go and see what we can make of it. Both of us have no illusions about how much work it will take. We're going to take one day at a time, as it comes. By the time the October issue of Aphelion comes online, she'll be by my side. Maybe I'll make fewer typos.

Her name is Lindsey, she prefers Lyn. She's 23 months younger than I. She's English, born in Venezuala, and has been living in New Mexico for the last 15 years or so. She'll probably show up in the Lettercol and chatroom for folks to get to know her. I know that you'll all welcome her. And I thank you for it in advance.

Now, with all that good news boiling in my veins, do I still have a rant in me? You betcha, Red Ryder. I had promised myself that I wasn't going to rant on NOLA and Katrina. But I've got to, after all. But maybe not in the way that you'd think at first.

I'm not going to wade in on the politics involved. I will only point out that the disaster highlighted governmental budgetary and planning deficencies that stretch back over a century, in all levels of government: local, state, federal. Less work was done than was needed, for the entire history of New Oreans. That's a sad fact that everyone has to face. Katrina was a monster, and the entire Southeastern US now knows what it feels like when Godzilla wades up on our beach. And no, that was not supposed to be a joke, but rather a reflection of the magnitude of the carnage. I'm not going to slather and foam at the mouth about photo ops and dog and pony shows. That's can be found on the TV news if you want it.

Instead, I'm going to point out that perhaps the US needed to be shown horrible disaster and suffering right here at home. That we needed to know that our city, county, parrish, state, and federal governments have been more interested in pork and power to do the work necessary to plan for huge disasters to occur, and to spend the money necessary to build and rebuild infrastructure to minimise the effects of a monster storm in areas known for them. And that it isn't just now, the rot goes way back into the past.

And perhaps, we Americans needed to be shown how thin the veneer of civilization really is, in the wake of disaster and deprivation. That even we prideful Americans are only three missed meals away from anarchy at any given time. That even we succumb to barbarism when the going gets tough enough. And that those of us who think "it can't happen here" or "we're too good for that" or even "well, that's just poor people for you" are blindly wrong. In desperate need of having their eyes opened.

NOLA and Katrina have shown us the best and the worst that the human animal is capable of being. There are tough lessons to be learned from this disaster. I hope the US has the guts to learn them and take them to heart. Earth is evolving, conditions are changing, the old models aren't good enough any more. We all have to work together, or we're going to see more and even worse disasters of every stripe.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." We are living in Interesting Times, friends. Scares the willies out of me.


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 Laws of Magic
    By Joe Vadalma
    When Detective Martin Kopinski got the missing person case, he thought he'd seen it all in his twenty years on the force. But dealing with the occult was beyond even his tough, cynical expertise, when murder, witchcraft, demonology, the Cthulhu and other dimensions are involved.
  • The Nameless Evil --Part One--
    By Mizu Ash
    If you like fantasy, read this story. If you don't like fantasy, read this story.
    • Nightwatch: Fly By Wire
      --Part Two--

      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

    • Alienated
      By Andrew Beatty
      Wyclef had always been different, an outsider from the day he was born. But he didn't find out HOW different until the day he tried to end it all.
    • One Night at Eddie's
      By George T. Philibin
      John Temmels thought he was a pretty good pool player -- until he met Eric. And when the strangers arrived to challenge Eric, John found out he'd been playing way out of his league.
    • Battle Stations
      By Joel Callahan
      The cargo ship Merchanter's Luck was making a routine visit to deliver goods to a farming colony in an isolated star system when the Privateer attacked. But the Luck and her crew had a few surprises in store for their murderous foes.
    • Born Under Punches
      By Mark Aspillera
      With the government monitoring every step you take -- or every step your shoes take -- you'd better pick up the pace.
    • Pixies' Lament
      By G. C. Dillon
      Once the forest dwellers had lived in harmony with Men. But that time had long since passed, and the armies of Man were pushing the faerie folk to the edge of war.
    • Libertas Scriptor
      By JPhilip Hamm
      The members of Libertas Scriptor wanted to wipe forgotten literature from the data banks -- to preserve it in its original paper and ink form, safe from tampering by the government of the day. That meant that Jason Runner would have to do the unthinkable if he wanted to see the books he was seeking ...

    • Shrine
      By Iain Darby
      Josiah had lost everything. Joan was gone, and with her death, the joy had drained from Josiah's life. But when he found the forgotten shrine, he found much more.

    • The Yellow Leaf
      By Joel Doonan
      What is a single dead leaf worth? To the people around the tree from which it falls, it is nothing -- one pretty thing among thousands. But let it travel far enough, and it can become precious.

  • Uptime
    By James Brian King
    Dr. Benjamin Ellsworth knew that time travel was risky. A tiny mistep in the past could change everything. A trip into the future, on the other hand --

  • 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

    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.
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    links to some of my artwork,
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    Aphelion Webzine is © 1997-2005 by Dan L. Hollifield