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 97, Volume 9 -- October 2005

Issue 98, Volume 9 will be online 1st week of November, 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:

Hello again, friends. Lindsey is here with me now and things are going wonderfully well. We're working out the usual co-habitation adjustments rather well. Be happy for us and wish us luck.

This past week has seen some strange weather here. The last remnants of one hurricane hovered nearby for the last three days, and may yet drop more rain here. Everything greened back up after the sudden end to the four weeks of near rain-free scorching heat. The air smells fresher, the dust washed out and gone. Hard to believe that summer is nearly gone. Another Fall is rolling in. Hopefully, hurricane season will draw to a close soon as well. I've seen too much tragedy this year, and despite the distance it was from me, I was still shaken.

I'm willing to bet that you can tell by now that I don't feel a rant coming on. (Grin) I'm just rambling.

I'm all ranted out about NOLA, and Iraq, and politics. I haven't turned on my TV in over a week. I can't get excited about the plan to go to Mars, because I doubt it'll ever happen. The most exciting news on that front that I've heard lately is that SpaceShipTwo is under construction. They'll launch in a year or two. Aphelion might get another good cover photo from their inflight cameras.

And once SSTwo works out, then SSThree will be close behind, and maybe I'll be able to take a sub-orbital hop over to England or such - before I'm 60.

Or the entire future could change in an instant. After all, nothing is fixed and permanent. Change is the only constant in existance. And who wants to live in a stagnant, static, unchanging universe? Bore--ing! And consider the writing lessons to be garnered from the events of just this last month. And if you thought there weren't any lessons involved, you're kidding youself. Every facet of life gets stashed in the writer's mind, to be sorted, replayed, subtly edited, and fired back out at the dreaded Blank White Page in a broadside of creativity. Not only are the events of your personal lives recycled thusly, but everything you see on the news, or read about, or hear. Part of being a writer is mixing all that together and focusing the result through the filter of storytelling. Yes, it sounds a bit like a form of mental illness, but then that's exactly what writing is, after all.

So how can all this tripe I blathered on about in the above paragraphs help the aspiring writer? It's all just unconnected ramblings from some love-sick would-be fictioneer? Right? Wrong. Look again. It's all about how different elements pop into a character's mind from all the bombardment of events in the character's fictional universe. Besides the basic "what do they look like" and "what do they sound like" there are endless background elements that can added to flesh out the discription and characterization or each of your actors on your personal stage. What do they *think* about? What is the weather like in your story? What's on the News? What are the gossip topics? What is the music like? I think you can all take it from here and apply it to how and what you write, yourselves. NOLA, Rita, Iraq, Korea, Hollywood, Politics, pop music, TV... You're characters have a life of their own, just like you do. They have infinite dimentions of characterization that you the writer can utilize in whatever blend suits your stories.

Just as no man is an island, complete unto themselves, no writer can create in a vacuum. We must live and work and play in the real world to understand it. And even more so for us to write to the best of our abilities. Everything, everywhere has an effect on us as a private individual. And as a writer, everything is fair game for us to use as daubs of paint on the pallette of our textural portraits.


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 Space Sphinx
    By Edward Rodosek
    A mysterious monster intimidated the people on a distant planet. Peter, a young hunter engaged to trace and kill it, fell in love with the local biologist Pat, but that didn't hinder him of chasing the monster. When Pat suddenly disappeared, Peter began searching her, but the outcome was beyond anything he could have imagined.
  • The Nameless Evil --Part Two--
    By Mizu Ash
    If you like fantasy, read this story. If you don't like fantasy, read this story.
  • Hunting Season
    By Boomer
    All Professor MacFarland wanted was a pint of beer and a game of darts; what he got was something completely different in the way of entertainment.
    • Nightwatch: The Sin Watcher
      By jaimie l. elliot
      What is more terrifying, the demons within or the demons without? The fate of the world hangs in the balance as Stephanie Keel confronts demons of all sorts."
      A new shared universe series: Nightwatch, under the direction of Jeff Williams.

    Short Stories

    • Ladi
      by Michael Goldberger
      Ladi was Jack Onger's imaginary friend. At least that's what his perpetually-arguing parents and the other kids at Jack's school thought. Unfortunately, they were wrong.

    • Fun House
      by J. Alan Brown
      The barker told Evan Hendrickson that the Fun House -- Smilin' Sam's Sudsy Hotel -- was a scream. Later, Evan's father Matt would discover that sometimes there is truth in advertising ...

    • New and Improved
      by Ezra T. Gray
      The Prometheus implant was the latest thing -- guaranteed to make you smarter, faster, stronger, better than steroids, even better than gene therapy and 'smart drugs' combined. And it worked! Of course, there were a few effects that weren't in the brochure ...

    • Time Out
      by E. S. Strout
      Taking the FTL ship da Vinci through the first wormhole ever discovered was supposed to take Evans and Rundquist further and faster than any human had ever traveled -- if it didn't kill them. The results were beyond anything they could have imagined.

    • The Lost Days
      by G. C. Dillon
      Time is a peculiar thing -- in some ways, purely a construct of human consciousness. So when humans change the way they reckon time, some people can get lost in the transition. The wizard Megrim hoped to rescue a few -- with the help of Tion the pixie ...

    • Too Much Information
      by Sohrab Koohpaima
      They say that a little information can be a dangerous thing. But sometimes, too much information in the wrong hands can be much, much worse.

    • The Visions of Carlos Rivera
      by Brian C. Petroziello
      Carlos Rivera had been a man of the people. But when the revolution he led was successful, he became a murderous dictator worse than the despot he had overthrown. Then the old Mayan priest granted him even more power -- a blessing and a curse.

  • Enter The Dragon
    By B. H. Marks
    When one seeks vengeance to the exclusion of all else, one may find in the end that all the best laid plans go awry -- if one picks the Mare Inebrium as a hunting ground.

  • 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
    --- Page ---

  • Aphelion Back Issues Page

    Read the updated (March 2005) 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 © 1997-2005 by Dan L. Hollifield