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

P&E Top Ten P&E Top Ten
June, and the rains of May keep revisiting...

You remember all that yard work I was talking about last month? Well, it has rained almost every day since I wrote those words. Instead of planting a garden, I'm starting to believe that I should have been building a boat! Well, maybe it isn't as bad as I make it sound, but we have had a flood watch in effect for several weeks now. The ground is so saturated that new rain can't soak into it--water just pools until it gets deep enough to find a path to race downhill. When it does, it takes every loose grain of dirt with it, carving new channels into the soft, wet ground. It also piles debris up against anything that gets in its way. One storm last week tried the bury the chain-link fence in the back yard. Seemed like every pine cone and twig from one neighbor's woods next door got washed up against our fence. And in Georgia, that means an awful lot of pine cones.

But there is some good news. To wit:  My wife and I have managed to whip the yard into shape, plant a few tomatoes, a couple of peppers, and we have several new flowers and shrubs and herbs to plant near the patio. My wife has been spending all her spare time while I'm away at work making the yard look beautiful. She doesn't seem to be willing to allow the lawnmower to cool off--and any sprig of kudzu she sees is well aware that she will uproot it as soon as it dares to show itself. I'm in the middle of building a little shelter for our anti-social outdoor cat. I've got most of the frame up, and I'm just about ready to put the roof on and get the interior shelving put up. While I'm working I'm reminded of some of the stories I've read where the character spends a lot of time building things or gardening before the next plot twist shows up. Waiting on the proverbial "next shoe" to drop, as it were.

We're also gearing up for LibertyCon, in Chattanooga, later this month. If you haven't already got a membership and a room reservation, it's too late to plan to go this year. The con is sold out, the hotel is full, and all you can do now is plan to go next year. It's a fun convention, basically a relaxi-con. Memberships are limited to 700-odd people by design. The ConCom has no intention of allowing it to grow so huge that it becomes a rival for Dragon*Con--it's meant to be, and functions as, an event for writers and fans to get together and have a good time. When you get there, it feels like a family runion--hugs all around, parties everywhere, discussion panels and meet & greet sessions, publishers and writers and fans and artists just kicking back and having a good time. If you've ever been to anhy convention in Chattanooga, chances are you've already met most of the folks who run LibertyCon or are regular attendees. Good people, all of 'em. I highly recommend it.

Other events this Summer will be a family reunion in mid-July up North of Knoxville, BBQs here at Casa Vila (weather permitting), spoiling grandchildren, gardening, and just generally having a good time.

All right, it's about time I shut up and let y'all get to reading the fifth issue of Aphelion of 2018! Enjoy!



Title:Glowing stellar nurseries

Photo Credit: ESO/APEX/DSS2/ SuperCosmos/ Deharveng(LAM)/ Zavagno(LAM)