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 Readers, and welcome to another new issue of Aphelion Webzine!

I'd like to announce that Bob Moriyama has decided to step down as our Short Story Editor. Well, not like so much as Bob has worked his butt off for us over the past several years. Rather, I want to announce that Bob is stepping down. He will be missed, and I hope you will join me in wishing him the very best, as well as wishing that he continue to be associated with Aphelion for a long time to come. This isn't so much of a goodbye as it is a 'Thank you for a job well done! Now take a break, and never go away completely! We want you to stick around and keep doing that voodoo that you do so well! Now you have time to write more of your own stories!

Change is inevitable in an online publication such as Aphelion. Our staff has changed several times since I started this e-zine. It was very much a one-man-band sort of thing back then. And it showed. As the only staff member, I really sucked at editing and constructive criticism of works by new writers. I knew it at the time. I couldn't do it alone and manage any sort of quality at all. Aphelion readers deserved more than I could give by myself. But an amazing thing happened just as I thought I'd have to shut Aphelion down forever. Friends stepped in to lighten the load. People with more talent than I asked what they could do to help. Knowing my limits, I accepted their offer, and Aphelion was saved. Some of those folks are still Aphelion Staff, others have chosen to step down after a stint doing a difficult job for no pay. Each and every one of them has my eternal thanks for everything they have done to keep my little hobby going. Aphelion is something special. A permanent floating writer's workshop, designed solely to teach new writers the tips and tricks they might need to eventually begin to sell their work to pro publications. Over 200 Aphelion writers have graduated to the ranks of the pros. Aphelion is read in over 200 countries around the globe, and with each new issue the number of readers grows. If anyone googles Aphelion Webzine there are multiple thousands of hits. I am proud of what we have become, and of what we will be as time goes by. Thank you, each and every one of you! You made this all possible!

As you can imagine, finding a successor for Bob was never going to be an easy task. But I got lucky. There was someone already a member of the Aphelion Family whom I thought had everything it took to step up as Bob was stepping down. I messaged that person, asking if they had the time to spare to do a difficult job, an unpaid job, one that required skills unique to the position. And once again, I got lucky. They said yes. So, long story short, Nate Kailhofer is our new Short Story Editor, as of this issue. Bob and Nate are going to work together as Nate gets the hang of all the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes into producing a new issue of Aphelion.

Nate is hell-on-wheels as an editor. I know this from experience, myself. Not only has he helped many of us hone our writing skills on the Forums Flash Fiction contests every month, but when I was writing Fly By Wire for Jeff Williams & Bob Moriyama, Nate was my harshest and most valuable critic. Even more so than Jeff, who was my story editor during that time. Nate wouldn't let me get away with anything but my best work. He pointed out every flaw in my writing and reasoning. He debated every questionable plot point, trope, and maguffin. He never let the fact that I'm the Publisher get in the way of an honest critique. Nate, like Bob and Jeff, was never afraid of my level of awesome old dude who owns the zine. And I listened, I rewrote, and the story was better for it! Nate was second only to Jeff & Bob as a tag-team as the critic & editors whose suggestions I valued most. Nate is going to be good as Short Story Editor. He, like Bob, isn't going to let you get away with being lazy. He, like Bob, is going to ask you to learn how to be better than you once were. He, like Bob, is going to work with you in order to make your stories the best you can write. And you're going to learn so many wonderful things!

Now, Nate isn't Bob, and he isn't going to pretend to be. Both have different personalities, different strengths, and different styles of working. Nate is going to challenge you to go beyond what you thought was your best work, just like Bob did. And Cary Semar before them both. Every writer needs an editor who isn't afraid to point out whatever flaws they see, and suggest changes you can make to insure that you write the best story you possibly can. I write better with an editor calling bullshit when I take unnecessary shortcuts. You will too. Trust me, I know from experience. But Nate becoming our Short story Editor does leave us with a vacancy. Nate says he can't do two jobs, so we need someone to take over the Flash Fiction contests on the Forums. We asked a couple of people, but they turned it down. Nate has a candidate he thinks would be perfect, so we'll see if they accept. But the Flash Fiction contests are going to suffer until someone steps up to fill Nate's shoes there.

Now, personal stuff from me to you...

This issue is late because I was shocked by the unexpected deaths of a good friend at work and one of my Mom's brothers. I had to work through that grief over the past week. I'm good, now. But my friend Fred Jordan and my uncle Bill Griffith have passed beyond the veil, into that uncharted country beyond whose borders no travelers return. Raise a glass in toast to their memories, please. To Fred! To Uncle Bill! The universe is poorer for your passing, but yet infinitely richer for your having lived among us. Salude!

In other news, I finally heard back last week from the publisher upon whose desk my own contributions to the Mare Inebrium series have been sitting for a while. He asked me to send him a rewritten and re-edited version of all of my completed Mare stories. 14 Mare stories to date, 4 of which no one has ever seen, totaling 103,347 words. This was finally finished today, Sunday, May 19th, 2013. The stories will go before one of the publishing company's editors tomorrow morning. There are 7 more new, unfinished stories that can be added to the que as I complete them. 11 new Mare Inebrium stories that no one but myself and my editors have ever read? Well, that's a tad exciting, don't you think?

OK, far more than enough about me. Send Nate congratulations on becoming our new Short Story Editor, send Bob messages asking him to stick around and not vanish on us, and go read the new stories! This is the 173rd issue of Aphelion Webzine. Hopefully, no one finds us boring yet, LOL!

Go read! Now! Comment on the stories in the Forums. Help our writers learn more and become better. That's what we're here for. That's why Aphelion exists. Enjoy...