Aphelion Issue 294, Volume 28
May 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 May 2024 issue of Aphelion!

Spring is in the air, and so are several buckets full of pollen. Once again, my allergies are playing up--but that's just life.

We've got a lot of treats for you this month. A new Mare Inebrium story, nine other fantasy and sci-fi stories, and I even contributed a very short flash piece! 

I have to compliment the writers submitting short stories. Not only did you read the submissions guidelines, but you took them seriously! Thank you! There were very few edits or typos at all. Y'all are making my job easy! Some folks ought to be pros already. The quality of the submissions has been markedly improved. I hope all the other editors are expencing the same phenomena!

My next public appearance will be LibertyCon in late June, and after that I'll be one of the author guests attending October's Hallowcon. I'm greatly looking forward to both, to be honest. I find cons to be great fun, and a great place to not only network, but to meet writers, editors, publishers, and everyone's fans. Now, if you have yet to explore going to conventions--PUT IT ON YOUR BUCKET LIST! Writers need conventions to find their peers. That's extremely helpful, because, let's face it, a writer's job is to sit alone in a room that doesn't offer them easy distractions, and take dictation from the voices in our heads. Having a social life outside the writing room is going to preserve your sanity. It'll also get you fired up to finish the next story, and the next, and the next. The more people you meet that get you fired up about writing another story, the more stories you finish and submit--or even self-publish once you take the recommendations to heart and find an editor that isn't you, the more your name gets out there. The more your name gets out there, the better your chances of making more sales. I mean, let's face it, most of us write for ourselves first, and making money second. We'd keep writing even if we never published anything, because we are writing the stories we want to read, but no one else has thought of yet. Once you meet your fans, and your peers, in person, and discover how much fun that is, you won't look back. Look at me, for example. I wrote and wrote and wrote for over 20 years before I ever made a sale. True, I had the safety belt of a day-job to pay the bills. I wrote tons of "not quite excellent" work before I finally learned enough to be worth a publisher's time of day to pay me for something. It isn't a coincidence that my first sales happened after I began going to conventions and met people who had read my online work and liked it enough to remember me. Or make connections with editors and publishers who were willing to take that chance on me. Or, other writers from whom I could learn things I never knew could be helpful. Small-to-medium cons are the way to dip your toes into the water. Big cons are usually too busy to make those human connections between yourself and your peers.

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: VLT image of the spiral galaxy NGC 1187

Courtesy: ESO