Hello and welcome to the June 2021 issue of Aphelion!
In this issue, we have our
regular issue's worth of outstanding original stories--which is the
sixth of our 24th year of continuous publication! I know that
seems extraordinary, but we got here though a simple strategy. We just
never stopped. We simply never gave up--sheer stubbornness, if
you will. And, as it turns out, that is one of the biggest
strengths of a successful writer. You can't succeed if you give up.
Perseverance pays off. Of course, it
does help if you begin with a bit of talent, then educate yourself in
the accepted methods of doing what you're trying to do. I say that as
if it were some kind of universal law, but it is actually more like
common sense. If you examine the totality of all the fiction that has
ever been published professionally, Sturgeon's Law becomes ever so much
percent of everything is crap." In other words, talent and training
necessary for succeeding at something. It is to be preferred,
of course, because the things that aren't "crap" are usually
more enjoyable to us. But there is evidence available to point out that
"crap" does have its place. There are a lot of things out there which
prompt one to the inevitable question "someone
actually got paid
this?" And that's the thing. Yes, someone did get paid for
that thing you didn't enjoy--that lots of people didn't enjoy, but
someone did enjoy it!
And that's really all right. Different strokes, IDIC, and so on.
The thing is, the bad stuff will be
remembered for being bad,
but the good stuff will be remembered much more fondly, and for far
longer. Now, take a deep breath and read my previous sentence again.
Got it? Hold that firmly in your mind. Here's my point: hard work pays
off. It is actually worth the time you take to learn all the tips and
tricks to create the good stuff. Your work will live in the minds of
your readers for a whole lot longer, and be cherished, because
you took the time to learn how to get it right.
You have it within you to create the
stories that will become loved and cherished by readers both now, and
for long after you shuffle off this mortal coil. It behooves you to
become the best writers each of you can be. If you get discouraged,
remember that there are actually people who think Shakespeare,
Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov, Norton, Tolkien, and McCaffrey are "crap."
They're wrong, of course, and need professional help, but that's
neither here nor there. Those writers, along with thousands of others,
learned how to write in their own distinctive vioces, tell their
stories in the most effective way, and remain much beloved by their
So, butt in chair, fingers
on keyboard, let the words flow through you from your imagination to
your fingers, and write your
stories. Then, edit as needed, proofread over and over, find your own
writer's voice, and devil take the hindmost.
Learn your craft, then keep writing!
About time I quit talking and
let you get to reading!