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
Hello, and welcome to another issue of Aphelion Webzine!

Autumn shows signs of moving in, finally. It's as if hurricane Irene decided to bring Fall along with her, packed up in the bag and baggage of wind and rain. This Summer, rapidly drawing to a close in the next two weeks, saw many changes woven into the fabric of my life. The heat was more oppressive than I recall it had ever been. My natural disinclination to use household air conditioning found itself tossed out the airlock. I've always been hesitant about becoming acclimated to AC. Mostly because it would make my job at the factory far more uncomfortable. But this year I bowed to the need to keep the house at livable temperatures. Indeed, as I feared, months of outdoor temperatures near half the boiling point of water did take their toll. Even the night shifts were sweaty, uncomfortable affairs. I came to dread day shifts. They became even more like torture than they had been in the past.

But the past week shows just how rapidly the seasons may change. Fall is approaching; the air conditioner cycles on less often already, dawn arrives later and later, and dusk reveals itself a little earlier each day. The garden is drying up as the growing season comes to a close. Only the tomatoes and peppers seem willing to continue to produce. But even they have begun to slacken their riotous growth.

But the long, hot Summer did prove to contain many blessings. I have been more productive this year than any within recent memory. I've written more stories in less time than ever in my life. I've had stories accepted and rejected by publishers. I planted a vegetable garden, for the first time in over a decade. I went on several vacations, to conventions and even across the Atlantic, to visit friends and in-laws in England. I even started composing music again. One long-term project I began within the last month will produce an audio play of sorts. Eventually, when it's finished, I hope to have a mix of music and narration that I can be proud of having composed. What the future holds, I cannot know. I do know that the work is fun. I also know that it is giving me great pleasure to listen to a completed composition. I believe the hardest part of the work will be the narration. I have, as yet, only a vague outline for the actual story. That scripting will probably be the most difficult writing project I've begun this year.

Speaking of writing projects, “Tales of the Mare Inebrium” was rejected by the first publisher my Mentor and I submitted it to for consideration. Rest assured that the manuscript will be sent out again, to other publishers. Aphelion readers already know what Mare Inebrium stories are like. The mere fact that the series exists proves that there is a readership out there who will enjoy it. My task is simply to whip my stories into shape suitable for publishing, and then find a publisher willing to take a chance on the work.

“The Immersion Book of Steampunk” is now available for pre-order on the Immersion Press website. The general release will be later this month. At one time I had a story in that anthology, but mine got bumped out to make room for three other stories. I still believe the book will be a fantastic read for anyone with an interest in steampunk. Please do check it out. If you like what you see, buy a copy. I believe that you will enjoy the book.

My music pages on SoundCloud have had nearly four hundred listeners in the six weeks of its existence. One set of songs has a “buy a download” link. $9.99 US for 15 songs, or individual tracks can be purchased for ¢99 US. My page on the VibeDeck website also has that set of songs available to buy. Purchases will be handled through PayPal on both websites. I've already upgraded my PayPal account to handle the micro-payments to the account, and income tax paperwork involved to keep everything legal. Well, I've babbled on quite enough for one day. It's time I let you start reading the new issue of Aphelion.

Thanks for your time,