Aphelion Issue 295, Volume 28
June 2024 --
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
Contact Us
Flash Writing Challenge
Dan's Promo Page

It's that time again: Time for another new issue of Aphelion. This issue is dedicated to an online friend whose untimely passing has affected myriad SF and Filk fans world-wide. So before we begin, let us all raise a glass in toast to the memory of Frank Gasperik, SMOF, Bard, Hero, and SF Fan Extraordinaire. To Frank! Rest in peace, old friend. You are at last reunited with your loving wife, Peggy. You made our lives richer, and helped feed the imaginations of a multitude. We'll miss you, you stubborn old goat!

Here is a link to a web page over on the Larry Niven fan site that is dedicated to Frank and Peggy. There is another page with video and audio links here to some of Frank's work. Also, here is a page of memories posted by some of his closest friends. Bill Warren is working on a memorial sculpture that will reside in the LASFS clubhouse. In part, the inscription will read:

FRANK GASPERIK, 1942 - 2007

In other news: I have to offer thanks to Kevin Che of Penguin Books, and SF writer L. Neil Smith for giving me the kick-start I needed to resume doing the Aphelion Reviews section. Kevin and Neil provided me with some books that I couldn't resist reviewing. So look out, world. Vila is back! Those of you who have sent books that have failed to appear in the reviews section will be pleased to find out that I will get to them in the near future. They may be late, but they will appear!

The yearly Aphelion party was a grand success, though fewer people were able to attend. Much fun was had by all, much food was consumed, many tales told, and old friendships renewed. Next year, the location may change. Keep your eyes peeled here for updates o the plans for ApheliCon 4! And start making plans for a trek back to Casa Vila this year. In November, I will be throwing myself a small Birthday Bash. After all, I'll only turn 50 once, so I better make the most of it!

In roughly eight weeks time, Lindsey and I will be in Chattanooga, Tennessee to attend LibertyCon 20. Anyone planning to attend should drop us an e-mail so that we can meet up. I'd love to meet more Aphelion readers and writers in person. That's the last weekend of July, so you haven't got much time to make plans.

Bill Warren, the pro artist who contributed last issue's cover art, has asked Lyn and I to consider going to a small Con in Montana next year. The plans are a bit vague at present, but if everything works out I'd be a minor guest speaker in a panel on e-publishing. We'll have to see if transport can be afforded, but I'm hopeful that something can be worked out. I think it would be fun to do. Bill has also suggested a new Shared Universe Series here in Aphelion. The series would be based on the Aphelion 1 & 2 spacecraft of the Mars Lander & Solar System Explorer missions portrayed in Bill's cover art. Bill would like to see some hard science stories spun off from his artwork for last month. The rules would be few, the possibilities many, and the series would be open to everyone. So start thinking about how you can be inspired to try your hand in a new series. I'll work up a very simple series bible and let you know when it goes online.

I'm pleased to announce that Larissa March was the winner of the first Flash Fiction writing contest over in the Aphelion LetterCol Forums. This is a new Forum feature that is organized by Nate Kailhofer. Plans are to find a way to feature the winning stories over here in the main part of Aphelion. These plans have yet to be finalized, but we're all discussing how to best present it. If you aren't yet a member of the forum, please do join up. If you are, please post more often. Remember, the forum is where the writers look to for constructive criticism on their work each issue. Without your comments, they never know what they got right or wrong. They need your comments. Remember, your comment might be just what it takes to give one of our writers that final shove to making their first professional sale. You can make a difference. So please join in and post comments on the stories in each issue.

Well, I ought to shut up now. I think I've blathered on quite long enough.