Aphelion Issue 295, Volume 28
June 2024 --
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Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Aphelion Editorial 091

April 2005

by Dan L. Hollifield

The Usual Rant from the Aphelion Senior Editor

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.)

 Most 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 party. 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...


2005 Dan L. Hollifield

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