Aphelion Issue 291, Volume 28
February 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 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, LOL!

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 factory.

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 tuned!

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. 

Enjoy yourselves,




Title: Centaurus A, NGC 5128

Courtesy: ESO/WFI (Optical); MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weiss et al. (Submillimetre); NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al. (X-ray)