Aphelion Issue 283, Volume 27
May 2023
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Issue 99 Volume 09 January 2006


Archives Editorial Serials and Long Fiction Poetry and Filk Music Short Stories Features Series


Dan Hollifield

The Senior Editor's usual rants about whatever…

Serialised stories and Long Fiction

Dreams of Starlight
Saki Channing
"Drink this…it's not poison."
Between her mad scientist father and his overly solicitous friend, Cheska should have known better…but, in the interests of science, she took the beaker of fuming red liquid and drank.

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Short Stories

A Gathering Storm
Nick Capo
Ahern, a mercenary commander, and his friend, the mage Ranulf, march with Duke Aidan's army against the forces of the Empire to take back a captured fortress. Dark secrets and the threat of darker magic may make their task even more dangerous than it had to be.

Earthly Prey
Michelle O'Neill
Morgan Stranton didn't look forward to the job — transporting a dangerous, literally man-eating alien to Earth to stand trial for its crimes. But she needed the money if she wanted to keep her ship, and anyway, the Hydracore was just a smart, nasty animal, nothing she couldn't handle. Sentient, definitely, communicating by pheromones and maybe a little telepathy; but the species had never even learned to use tools …

First Strike
Joe Vadalma
King Knight Black of Retslu was in big trouble. The treasury was empty, and the country was a mess in just about every way possible; the odds of a coup seemed distressingly high. But then Queen Jennifer suggested that a war would be the ideal distraction — and hadn't the Neergians used Weapons of Magical Destruction more than once in the past? What if they were preparing to do so again? A fairy tale, of sorts.

Give That Man a Hand, Ladies and Gentlemen
JA Howe
Satan, Prince of Darkness (etc., etc.) couldn't believe it when Ty Corn, the dirtiest ball player of all time, not only insulted Satan's team, but refused to join it and (presumably) improve it. When T. C. weaseled his way out of Hell (thanks to fine print in his contract!) and started up his own team, it was time to call in the lawyers — of which Hell had a plentiful supply.

It'll All End Sobbing in the Dark
Lee Alon
In a cottage in the woods, a Court Services team condenses information from trials around the world and sends out reports, some via Projection — artificially mediated telepathy — some in writing. They live at the center of a web of information, but at the same time, they are isolated; the superflu that is devastating the world seems very far away. But not far enough. (Contains coarse language)

I.D. Weis
A gun-for-hire walks the streets of a city where drugs and violence rule. He's a killer, and death and destruction don't bother him much any more.Learning that his city is turning into something out of a Bosch painting of Hell, on the other hand …
(Contains disturbing scenes)

Song of the Universe
Jason Maxwell
Mother was the ultimate artificial intelligence. With FTL communications links, she watched over and controlled routine processes in every part of the solar system where humanity had carved out a place to live. But beyond the heliopause, where the winds from the sun diminish to the point where she could not even detect them, she heard — a voice?

Stolen Magic
Colin Harvey
Jake was a loser, or at least he felt like one. Divorced, in a brain-melting job at an insurance adjuster, nearly broke (thanks to the divorce. He shouldn't have had a chance with Sylvie, the sexy exchange student, but he had to try. Too bad the gift he bought for her in the junk shop contained stolen magic.(Contains coarse language)

The Burden
Bill Wolfe
The Silicata were the evolved descendants of artificially intelligent probes sent out by countless spacefaring civilizations. Some were benign. Others were not. Humanity had borrowed Silicata technology as a shortcut to the stars, but now had to contend with an enemy that came in a million different sizes and shapes. On a mission to establish a base to study and exploit new Silicata forms, Darus has learned a terrible secret … and he must carry his burden alone across a barren world.

The End Place
Arnold Emmanuel
Crease didn't know how he'd ended up there, but The End Place seemed to be ultimate resort, with gorgeous women eager to pamper him, and the best food he'd ever tasted. If only his girlfriend had treated him this well, he never would have had to … teach her. Funny how the one other guest he'd met seemed so nervous.

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Poetry and Filk Music

Best of 2005

In selecting what I view as the best of 2005's poetry, I have been bound a couple of self-imposed rules:

  1. The Editorial Mafia are barred — unless they were not mafiosi at the time of publishing
  2. I have excluded several very good pieces which I sought out from the authors, rather than receiving as submissions - I figure I'm biased.
  3. I have tried to limit the selections to one per author — if someone has been prolific this year, I've tried to pick what I think is their "best" piece.
  4. All choices are mine, they are subjective, and feel free to argue with them.
  5. It's good to be the editor."


Meat Machine
Bill Wolfe

The Bear
Mari Ness

The Machine Age Begins
John Grey

The Battle is Over
Thomas Reynolds

OI! People of Earth!
Gareth Lyn Powell

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Articles and features

There were no new articles or features in this issue

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