Hello and welcome to the February 2024 issue of Aphelion!
First of all, I would like to
congratulate Nate Kailhofer on earning 3rd Place in last year's
Preditors and Editors annual Readers Poll Awards! After ten years of
doing our covers, Nate has elected to persue his other interests, so I
have assumed the duties of assembling our cover artwork, beginning with
this issue. While I have cultivated a few graphic arts skills in my
time, I am finding his shoes to be very large ones to fill.
Nevertheless, needs must when the devil drives. I can and will learn to
drag myself up to within ten percent of his ability, sooner or later,
Secondly, in January I recorded myself narrating one of my shorter
stories to upload as a 20-minute audio story on my Bandcamp page.
Sadly, several people have taken it upon themselves to annoint me as
some sort of voice actor now. I don't see how I would have time for
that in and amongst my other duties. But, as has been said by a very
wise friend of mine: "Hey! $20 is $20!" I have stories to write and
music to compose, deadlines to meet and conventions to attend, but I am
on the cusp of full retirement from my day job. Who knows what the
future will bring? When I started this "being a creative" gig--lo those
many years ago, I never dreamed that I would actually succeed in
getting paid for it. Yet, here we are.
Speaking of my retirement, as of 3:30 PM US EST on February 8th, I will
clock out of my job at the factory for the final time. After 46 years
there, I will suffer the torments of an alarm clock no longer. I will
become a pensioner, officially. I have household repairs to do,
gardening, and my writing. I'll be on panels at LibertyCon in
Chattanooga this Summer, and be a guest author at Hallowcon in Dalton,
GA this Fall. My publisher wants at least one more Mare Inebrium
book--two, if possible! They also have two unrelated complete novels
that haven't been published yet which we are hoping to release this
year. And I have six unfinished novels I need to complete. Plus, I've
been asked to compose the musical score for an animated film being done
by a friend in the Netherlands! "So much to do, and no place to hide!"
I predict that I will be busier after retirement than I ever was at the
As for Aphelion, rest assured that I will not be neglecting my duties
here. Far from it! I've almost caught up with processing the short
story submissions from 2023. But now I will have more time to devote to
submissions, artwork, and everything else. We've been doing this for 26
years now, rushing headlong into our 27th with this issue, and the
domain regestration has been purchased for the next 20 years! Stay
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.
A, NGC 5128
Courtesy: ESO/WFI (Optical);
MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weiss et al. (Submillimetre); NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et