Aphelion Issue 296, Volume 28
July 2024 --
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
Contact Us
Flash Writing Challenge
Dan's Promo Page
P&E Top TenP&E Top TenP&E Top TenP&E Top TenP&E Top TenP&E Top Ten

Hello and welcome to the July 2024 issue of Aphelion!

Another LibertyCon has come and gone. A good time was had by all! Despite some problems with a burst water pipe near one of the largest convention rooms and a failing air conditioning unit for another of the convention center meeting rooms, the hotel staff bent over backwards to insure that meeting spaces and con areas were shuffled around to ensure the con went off without a hitch. The con suite was bustling every minute of the day, the panel discussions were amazing, and the hotel rooms were ample and sparkling clean. Parties sprang up everywhere, conversations were had, networking was accomplished--all the usual treats abounded. As always, there was more to do than there was time to do it in. The only dampener was that each year the roll call of Absent Friends gains more members. LibertyCon has existed for 36 years now and more than a few of our con-goers has shuffled off this mortal coil in the interim. They are Eternal Members attending a LibertyCon Valhalla and having the best time of their after-lives. All of us will wind up there--in our own sweet time, rest assured. But as for now, we carry on and honor their memories.

At LibertyCon, my publisher told me that the recordings for the Spaceport Bar stories audio book have been completed and will soon be available in a variety of online marketplaces. I've been slowly writing more Mare Inebrium stories for the next collection, but it is by no means ready for prime time just yet. I'm also, slowly, working on finishing the fantasy novel. Sadly, however, there was no news about the Tom Darby prequel, or Fly By Wire. Both of those manuscripts were submitted Before The Plague, and were thus sidetracked But they have not been forgotten. Hopefully, "Disposable Man" will be released before the end of this year! 

My retirement has been an endless series of filling out forms and doing homeowner repairs I didn't have time for while I was working, On the other hand, I almost never have to wake up to an alarm clock, I can indulge in adult beverages whenever I finish adulting for the day, and I'm getting to cook for my wife more often. I'll count those as a win instead of enduring endless reams of Paperwork Against Humanity. Most of the Burning Hoops Of Doom I have successfully leapt through now and only a few remain. Oddly enough, the ever-filled coffeepot from work has tapered off to two cups of good breakfast coffee each morning--which has surprised me since most of my life I considered coffee to be one of the essential food groups. And six months of NOT breathing fiberglass dust has done wonders for my sinuses. My sense of smell has returned! Food suddenly has flavors again! My sense of hearing has ceased being assaulted by thunderous sounds that aren't the music I enjoy and I can once again hear the passage of trains whose tracks are seven miles away. I can hear birds again, gentle breezes caressing the trees outside, and no longer consider the low rumble of a distant storm approaching to be a forklift bearing down on me. I consider this to be a retirement bonus no one has ever seen fit to reveal to me!

So now I can actually enjoy Aphelion again--my most cherished work to date, to be sure--as I assemble the cover art, accept short story submissions, edit and HTML code them, and finally present them to you, our readers. Time has become a resource to be enjoyed instead of being strictly allocated to annoying tasks.

All that said, it's time for a change of pace.

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 four 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.

It's high time I shut up and let you get to reading. 

Enjoy yourselves,




Title: The Tinker Bell Triplet

Courtesy: ESO