Aphelion Issue 295, Volume 28
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Aphelion Editorial 086

October 2004

by Dan L. Hollifield

The Usual Rant from the Aphelion Senior Editor

This is my last chance to convince you that you need to vote in the upcoming election. Should I wax poetic on the duties attached to being a grown-up in the US these days? Nah, you'd just scroll down the page. Should sling mud at one or the other parties? Why should I need to? Can't they do that perfectly well for themselves? My mission is clear here, I just want you to make your voice heard.

The best way to insure that you wind up with a bad government is to do nothing. Casting your vote tips the odds in favor with your point of view, your opinions, your ideals. Not voting just gives control of your life to other people. And they may not share your ideals.

OK, that's about all the time I want to devote to politics.

How about those folks that are flying SSO? They won the X-Prize! How about that? Civilian Aerospace is here. We live to see it, folks! I wonder what we'll do next? An Hotel in orbit? One on the Moon? A second generation of inner solar system exploration stories has just opened up. And if we decide on a faster engine for our future ships, the outer solar system will be just as ripe for good storytelling. Just because some of the classic "Explore the Solar System" stories turned out to be based on information that turned out to be incorrect, doesn't mean that new stories written with science accurate to our times should be neglected.

Something that I've always thought is that we writers need to give the readers something more than mere entertainment. If you can educate, please do so. If you can inspire, more power to you. If you can make the reader want to learn more, then I bow to you.

Just as the heroes and heroines of those early SF stories helped readers decide to take up the sciences, we, half a century later have the chance to influence the next generation of scientists, dreamers, artists, musicians, and heroes. Reading is the key to unlock the powers of the universe. Good writing is the key to unlocking the powers of reading and imagination. We writers have an awesome responsibility. We can shape the minds that build our world with the heroes and villains we create- to struggle out our petty dramas and dash some illumination upon the human condition like a lighthouse in the darkness, casting its beam out upon the crashing seas. We owe our readers our best work. Who knows what new reality may spring from our words?


I now return you to your regularly scheduled reading...


2004 Dan L. Hollifield

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