Hello and welcome to the September 2023 issue of Aphelion!
I have spent the best part of August dealing with
a wonky Internet connection. It's not on my end, rather my ISP is
suffering from a load of cascading equipment failures. As soon as they get everything fixed, my service comes back—at
least for a little while at a time. In the past week alone, I've gotten
home from work to discover that we had only had Internet for about
fifteen minutes at a time, then no connection at all for thirty minutes
to an hour. Lather, rinse, repeat... My wife was quite frustrated, as
was I when I tried to deal with the situation. I quickly discovered
that the problem wasn't with any of my equipment. The modem was
working, the router was working, the wifi was working—they just weren't getting a steady signal.
I could see the connection reestablish itself, then drop, over and over
again. Which made dealing with any Aphelion submissions which I hadn't
previously downloaded quite the PITA. I'm going to have to start
downloading every submission as I see it come in so that I can at least
read and edit the stories when I'm forced offline. Now, that said,
between Monday and Friday of each week, the absolute earliest I will
see any submission is 6 PM US Eastern time. I'm working ten-hour days
now, and will continue to do so until at least the middle of October.
Same job as I've held for the past few years, just a lot more of it.
But, during the last week of October-first week of November time frame,
I will submit my official retirement papers. The result of that will be
that ninety days later, I will be removed from the company payroll
system, thus becoming "no longer gainfully employed." My pension will
be rolled over into an IRA account, my 401k will either be rolled over
into the same IRA—or cashed in, and I will no longer be forced to be awakened by an alarm clock. I'll be getting a stipend from the pension IRA—which
will eventually be supplemented by my Social Security. To quote Tom
Baker from his final episode of Doctor Who, "the moment has been
prepared for..." I have been working towards this for over forty-five
years. I am quite ready to shed that particular harness. This old
workhorse is more than ready for "pastures green."
upshot of all that is I will be free to write stories and music, make
artwork, do household repairs, go to conventions, and have all the time
left in my mortal span to finally enjoy each day I am given. And enjoy
it, I will!
Now, here is more good news. My first book, "Tales
From The Mare Inebrium," will be reissued by Three Ravens
Publishing before the end of the year. Better news; it will be a Volume
1, which means that I have already begun writing Volume 2. Three Ravens
also has the Tom Darby prequel "A Disposable Man" in the queue for
release, as well as "Fly By Wire" and they are waiting on me to finish
"The Cat And The Crow"—which will be my first foray into the Fantasy genre.
I'm hoping that I will be allowed to do the cover artwork for FBW and
C&C. We shall see. Further down the road, I hope to finish the
Steampunk novel, then expand "Test Run" and "Diablo Canyon," into full
novels, and I have been asked to write the soundtrack to "Life On
Cora," an original comic and animated movie being done by an online
friend in the Netherlands, Mike Jimmy Lortia de Bruin. Busy, busy, busy!
But first, I have sixteen more weeks of gainful
employment to accomplish. One foot in front of the other. Slow and
steady wins the race.
And so, now it's time for a change
The online streaming shows "Stupid
O'clock" and "Last Man Standing" have been uploaded live to YouTube as
well as several Facebook pages for over two years now. They are
basically live-streaming chat shows covering a range of topics, modeled
on the types of conversations people have after hours at SF&F
conventions. Joe McKeel and I have archives of past shows on our own
YouTube channels. Check 'em out if that sounds like something you'd
enjoy I've put links in our Features section that will take you to the
YouTube archives of both shows.
With all that said, it's high time I
shut up and let you get to reading.
Title: NGC 7027
Courtesy: NASA, ESA, Joel Kastner (RIT)