Let's see if this works... OK, I think it does. This issue
marks the first wherein this index page is HTM-ed with a new
program. If you can't see any difference in this page from how a new
issue normally appears, then the new program works just fine. OK, this
is another month where I don't really have anything to rant about. I'm
upset with NASA for wanting to close down a lot of good programs like
Pioneer, Voyager, and the Hubble in order to save chicken-feed amounts
of money to re-direct into their Mars initiative. But I'm not angry
enough to rant about it. Not yet, anyway. Stay turned for further mood
swings on my part. (grin)
Jeff Williams has gifted us with Part Two of his
first Nightwatch story for this year. I think reader commentary should
run very high on this one. I've read it over Jeff's shoulder while he
was working on it and have been very impressed with it. I think that
everyone involved with the Nightwatch stories has put in a fantastic
amount of work. And the quality of the series shows the love and
attention put into it by each and every writer. Jeff Williams and Rob
Moriyama have a right to be proud of they way the series has taken off.
It is quite absorbing work, to fit one's individual story into the
series framework. And the marvels of it all are that every story does
fit. That the characters grow and change over the span of the series.
That the writers work together to make that meshing of individual
interpretations look as seamless as it does. This is a really exciting
project and I'm proud to be a part of it.
We've got eight short stories, four poems, a new novella, and the first chapter in a new serial too. That ought to hold you all for another month. LOL! Please do offer
the writers the benefit of your commentary on their stories and poems
in our Lettercol. Without your comments, the writers don't know what
they've gotten right and what they have yet to work on. That is the
main business of Aphelion. To help the writers become better thru
reader commentary on their works. Most of the writers, myself included,
beg for commentary. Signing up to post comments in the Lettercol is
easy. Just fill out a short form and provide a valid e-mail address for
a temporary password to be sent to you. You can then edit your
Lettercol profile to the password of your own choice. Since going to
the new Lettercol Boards last year, there have been *no* spambot posts in the Lettercol at all!
Some of the writer visits to the chatroom have fallen off. I
hate that, but I can't stay in the chatroom 24/7 and still get any work
done. Rob Wynne and Jaimie do tend to hang out there during the day
(EST-DST) and I pop in whenever I go to the Lettercol. Please do make
it a habit to try and catch someone in the chatroom. Sooner or later,
you'll find someone there. A good time will ensue, I'll wager.
I guess I ought to say a few more words about the
upcoming Aphelion party. So far the party will be the first weekend of
August. Mostly on Saturday the 6th, but guests that can only show up
Friday or Sunday will be welcome as well. Anyone interested in
attending is asked to e-mail me at ApheliCon 1 or post in
the ApheliCon 1
thread in the Lettercol's Administrivia folder. The
party/mini-con is open to anyone who wants to travel to Athens, Ga. USA
for some fun and food in my back yard. Nothing fancy, just a
get-together for anyone who lives close enough or wants to undertake
the trek here. It looks like less than 10 people so far. That's not a
problem for a backyard party. I will need to know in advance just how
many people to plan for. If there are too few to warrant a cook-out,
then I know of several local places where enough munchies and meals can
be gotten for party guests. I hope to see as many Aphelion readers
and writers here as possible. I think that there are about ten Aphelion
writers living within four hours (more or less) drive of here. And I
guesstimate that there *could* be ten times that many Aphelion readers
in the same area. If all of you came, I'd be shocked. Delighted, but
shocked. But do rest assured that you are all invited. Directions can be sent to you on request- And I am
working on some JPGs of maps of the route from Atlanta to Athens, then
out to my place- seven or eight miles North of Athens.
I'll put the maps online and post the URLs so that you can download and
print them at your leasure. Contributions to the food budget will be
welcomed, but there is no plan
to charge admission or cover. If necessary, for people who want to stay
the whole weekend, there are local hotels and
motels in Athens that can fit most budgets. All are near major highways
and none worth staying in are more than half an hour's drive from my
home. And over half of that time would be traffic delays from hotels in
downtown Athens. But realistically, I doubt there will be more people
here than I can find bed, couch, or floor space for, in case they have too much to drink. (Please
pardon my ranting on this point, but I will not allow you to leave if
you've over indulged- even if it means that I choose to sleep on the
floor that night. As a good host, I cannot risk your safety if it is
within my power to prevent you from accident or arrest for DUI. This is
not a point upon which I will accept any debate. You are free to behave
as adults will - if you are of age, but I'll find a way to pick-pocket
your car keys if you get too lit. Fair warning. You are my friends and
my online family. I don't want to lose any of you to any misfortune.)
everyone that has expressed interest so far lives within local driving
range. Except for Kate, she said she's going to fly in from California!
LOL! If she can manage that, shouldn't you folks who live in the
Southeastern US also be thinking about coming to the party? *I'm*
excited. This may be my only chance to meet Kate Thornton in person! As
well as the others of you who have expressed interest in coming to the
My worst nightmare would be that ten people confirm that they are
coming, three rent hotel/motel rooms, the other seven either don't
drink alcohol or plan to drink responsibly, I plan hamburgers, chicken,
and salad for ten-- and ten thousand people show up totally un-announced. LOL! Let us work together to give me accurate numbers, shall we?
It looks to be a fun weekend, in any case. Hope to see you here!
I now return you to your regularly scheduled reading...
I'd like to thank those of you who have sent e-mails or signed
into the Lettercol for your feedback. Keep those messages coming,
folks! Without those messages we will never know what we need to
improve upon. Hope you like the improvements so far!
Senior Editor, Publisher
Short Story Editor
Assistant Short Story Editor
Production Editor/Serials Editor
Assistant Serials Editor
Senior Editor Emeritus
Short Story Editor Emeritus
Serialized Stories & Novellettes
A Thousand Times
By Robert Buckingham "Sometimes, the distance between a coward and a hero can be measured by
a beam of starlight."
Down by the River, Part I
By J. H. McKay
Vern wanted nothing more than to be able to live out the rest of his
life in quiet seclusion. Then one night he was awakened by a shooting
star coming down by the river. What he found the next morning seemed
like nothing much, but before he knew it his life, and possibly much
else, had been irrevocably altered.
Time is changing. There's a timequake coming, something so drastic
that all Simon knows of the future could be changed, and he is the only
one who can prevent any further alterations from happening. If only he
can find what is causing them...
A new shared universe series: Nightwatch, under the direction of Jeff Williams.
By John M. Cowan The patrol ship Veil was badly damaged and completely outgunned, and her commanding officer was new to the job. But the Apellian cruiser Sacred
Spear had just blown away a supply ship and its crew, and only the Veil and her crew could even the score...
Six Lights Off Green Scar
By Gareth Lin Powell Once, Sal Dervish had been the
wildest of the pilots who played the dangerous game of blind wormhole
jumping. Losing his best friends (and one who was more
than a friend) to something lurking on a derelict alien ship had broken him. Could he find the nerve to go back?
Welcome to Skull Island
By Bart Meehan
Stevy was being as contrary as only a small boy accustomed to
manipulating his divorced parents could be. Still, Stevy's Dad clung to
the hope that this trip to the
most amazing theme park in the world would score major points in the
ongoing favorite-parent race. After all, Stevy's Mom would never dream
of taking the boy
to see -- Kong.
Six to Go
By J. E. Deegan Being
mauled by the biggest tomcat he had ever seen changed Dennis Bonn's
life forever. The wounds healed -- but inside, he was different. And
months, for one night, that difference came out to play -- and hunt --
By Joe Vadalma All Amber wanted was shelter from the
stormy Maine night. The big house looked empty and had to be better
than being outside in the middle of a Nor'easter. But the house wasn't
empty after all ...
The Shores of Night
By George J. Condon A dedicated doctor and nurse play cat burglar to obtain the drugs
they need to treat the patients in their care who have been damaged by
too much time in space.
And that's the least of their problems.
The Gray Hole
By Gareth D. Jones Dom Fraser was studying the behavior
of particles that somehow escape from what some still call a black hole
when he noticed something odd. There was a pattern there, a pattern
that couldn't be natural. If only the others would open their eyes and
By Matthew Scott Baker The human body couldn't survive the stress of hyperspace travel. But the human mind
could be transferred into something that could. And that's how Sarah
and nineteen other volunteers ended up with their minds and bodies
separated by hundreds of light years...
by Jim Parnell The collected wisdom of Bubba WARNING: Contains Language.
Aphelion proudly presents the installments of Double Wide all on
one page of links. We wanted to make sure that the wit and wisdom
of Bubba wasn't lost for new readers, so we made a mini-archive
list of just the Double Wide features.
And banner artwork for links. If you want to link to Aphelion and want more than a text link,
then this page is for you. Some of these banners are finished, but
most of them lack only my adding text to make them complete.
Unfinished banners can be completed and e-mailed to you within 8
days. The banner HTML code-- and image --can be e-mailed on
request, or can be more simply copied from the "View / Page
Source" option in your web browser. Finished images can be copied
from the banner artwork page itself. An exchange of links or banner
links is always welcome. Link Swap E-mail should be sent to: Dan Hollifield
A Challenge to
Writers... --8\8\2000-- Not a contest, but a series of ideas to spark off a story.
Challenge 1 is the paintings of Daniel Hannaquand, Challenge 2 is a
collection of narrative hooks composed by Dan Hollifield.
Click here to see the Links Page. Our fellow E-zines, Astronomy,
research material, entertainment, and much, much more!
Aphelion IRC Chat --7\31\2003-- Information about an underused feature for Aphelion. IRC Chat is a fun
way to talk to our readers, writers, staff members, and other
netizens. This link takes you to a basic intro and provides further
links to the IRC software that you can download for free. Look for
new updates as we refine this feature.
Chat --Repaired 3\25\2003-- For a quick look at the JAVA chat client, this link launches a
new browser window that takes you to a Log-in form for a JAVA-based
chat in your browser window. No special programs are needed. This
will be a very simple, but passable IRC client, very no-frills.
This will also tell you if there's anyone else in the chatroom, by
If you would like to receive notices from Aphelion when this
page is updated, please join our new, revised, automatic mailing
list. To subscribe:
Send a message to email@example.com with the
following in the body of the message:
subscribe aphelion <email address>
As always, this mailing list will only be used to notify you of
new issues and will never be given out to anyone else... 'cause I
hate spam as much as you do!