Aphelion Issue 197, Volume 19
July 2015
 
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Here we go with the July issue of Aphelion!

Wow! June went by in a rush, didn't it? The only time I got a chance to catch my breath was when I was driving to the next thing I had to do. Work, LibertyCon 28, more work, a birthday party for one of my grand kids, more work, Family reunion next weekend... ZOOM, ZOOM, ZOOM! Every day packed with things that had to be done right then. I did manage to steal a little time to write a bit. But now it's Editorial time, I'm tired but happy, and I don't have a rant or writing tip to spark off my editorial. Oh well, this month I'll ramble. LOL!

LibertyCon was, as it always is, a huge blast of fun packed into a single Summer weekend. I was on a number of panels about writing, costuming, and other topics. I also managed to briefly meet up with H. David Blalock, who is one of the Old Guard of Aphelion writers that have turned pro. I spent far too short a time with David, since I was in a mad dash between panels, but our meet-up gave me a wonderful glow of happiness to add to the general joy of the convention. I also managed to get contact info for a major publisher, who sadly informed me that one particular much beloved series that I wished to contribute to will no longer accept submissions. The estate of the original author of the series wishes to bring it to an end. So the last entry to that series has already been written and published. On a more happy note, I was given several compliments on the Mare Inebrium book, asked to sign a few autographs, and encouraged to get another book out soon.

On that subject, I've already turned in my part of a co-authored novel, submitted a short story to an anthology, and am hard at work on two other novels of my own. When one stalls out, I work on the other for a while. Slow going, but work is being accomplished. I expect when my co-author completes her part of that novel, we will have to brainstorm a few more ideas to make our styles mesh tighter, and tie up any loose plot threads. In fact, we did talk a short while about that very thing at the convention. She is hoping that by the end of the year we will have the completed manuscript to shop around. As for my solo projects, I have no idea when they will be finished, but just for giggles I pieced together a rough collection of my remaining short stories that aren't connected to any series. Came out to about three quarters of a book's worth. 60,000 some-odd words. I don't think that this book will happen, because some of the stand-alone stories have already prompted sequels in my head, so those would have to be moved to a self-themed collection whenever I write those sequels.

In other news, my wife and I got to spend lots of time with one of my daughters and her family at the con. It was the first con they were attending for more than an hour or two. To say they had fun would be putting it mildly. They are already making plans to return next year, if at all possible. On July 4th, we all got together again for a grandchild's birthday party. It rained, but that didn't slow anyone down. It was great fun!

Next week, my Mother's family will have their annual reunion. It will be a bittersweet affair because we have so few of our family elders left to us. I'm sure we will find joy as well as sadness in the event. As long as we remember and honor those whose time among us has ended, they are not lost to us. They are but absent. The family continues with more and more children coming along to replenish our ranks.

My, my-- I'm gadding about all over the place. Oh well, such is the way my mind works. LOL!

A word or two about Aphelion: We've been showing a marked reduction in comments and critiques on the stories in recent issues. I'd like to see that turn around. Aphelion has always been about readers and writers coming together to help the writers learn more. Those comments in the Forums are a huge part of the learning process. Everyone is invited to join in the Forums and comment on the stories you read. Forums membership is free, easy to obtain, and helps everyone concerned. The writers become better, the stories become better, and more of us will eventually graduate to the ranks of the pros. We also have a Survey you can take that will help the Staff come up with new ideas to improve the zine. It is free, no names are collected, and it only takes a few minutes of your time. There is a button over on the left of the page which leads to the survey. As an aside, Aphelion itself got several instances of praise at the convention. Readers, writers, and even pro publishers know about us. I got a few thank yous from some of the pros, for gifting them with some of our writers. Aphelion has been around for a good long while now. We've earned the respect of the larger community. All of that is due to the efforts of the Staff, the writers, and the readers. I'm proud of all of you!

In October, the 200th issue of Aphelion will go live. That is amazing!I'd love to see something special to commemorate this event. So, writers, start creating something super for that issue, please! The Staff and I will brainstorm together and see what we can do to make it a memorable occasion.

Now it is high time that I let you get to reading. Please do comment on the stories and poetry. The writers are depending on you to express your opinions. They'd love to hear what you have to say!

Dan


BOILERPLATE:

First off, if you do the Facebook thing, feel free to join us on the Aphelion page there. The link is Aphelion Webzine. As an aside, the Editorial Mafia and I have found Facebook to be very useful. Given our different locations and schedules, it's come in handy as a way to discuss production details of new issues. Sometimes there are several of us using Facebook at the same time, so it's almost like the old chat room days.

Dan's Music Page This is my promo page here at Aphelion. All the links below, and more information about the albums, are located here.

The Never Bank On A Learning Curve CD on the Create Space website. My first album, with a wide range of styles and genres, covering the past three years of my working with the MAGIX Music Maker programs.

The Second Helping CD on the Create Space website. My second album, with just as wide a range of different musical styles, showing just how much I've learned in the past three years.

Dan's Studio-D Page on the Bandcamp website. Digital downloads of the albums, or each individual song if you prefer it that way. Just click on the album cover thumbnails and you'll see a list of each song on the album. Next to the song titles are links to read the liner notes, or to download the individual song. You can listen to each song for free. There is also a link to download each entire album at one go. I cannot say enough about Bandcamp! This is an amazing website. I have Rob, and many other friends, to thank for finally talking me into checking it out.

Here are some links to pages I have up promoting my music. When my book comes out I'll add those links to the promotion page, too. So far, there are links on that page to the Create Space Preview songs, the Create Space page for each album, the Amazon.com listings, and the link to the digital downloads page.

And here's a link to my Sound Cloud page:

Dan's Sound Cloud Page where all my music has been stored for your free listening pleasure. These are not as high a quality recordings as the ones on the CDs or on Bandcamp. But SoundCloud does have the virtue of having everything collected together in one place.

Check those links out, buy a CD or download if you like what you hear. And once again, thank you for your time,

Dan all my music has been stored for your free listening pleasure. These are not as high a quality recordings as the ones on the CDs or on Bandcamp. But SoundCloud does have the virtue of having everything collected together in one place.

Check those links out, buy a CD or download if you like what you hear. And once again, thank you for your time,

Dan


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ON THE COVER

Title: Hubble Snaps Image of Space Oddity
Photo Credit: NASA, ESA,
W. Keel (University of Alabama), and the Galaxy Zoo Team.