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
P&E Top TenP&E Top TenP&E Top TenP&E Top TenP&E Top Ten

Hello and welcome to the first issue of Aphelion of 2019!

As you can see by the additional awards illos, Aphelion came out very well in the online Reader's Poll this year. We placed 5th in Fiction Magazines, tied for 2nd in Poetry Zines, I came in 2nd for E-zine Editor, and Aphelion writer Denny E. Marshal landed 1st place in Artist, Artwork, Magazine Cover Art , & Poem for work all over the internet, and tied for 9th place in SF&F Short Story for his Flash Fiction piece in Aphelion's December 2018 issue, "Levels," while Sergio Palumbo placed 4th in Steampunk Short Stories for "The Last Of The Mortals" written by he and his late friend Ernesto Canpa. Now, those are only the awards that people have actually told me about--there may well be others that no one has mentioned to me. In any case, congratulations to everyone! And many thanks to everyone who voted, too!

It is Aphelion's 22nd year online, with 250+ Aphelion writers having turned pro during that time, so we must be doing something right, LOL! Well, we're not going to go away any time soon so we hope to add to our collection of "newly-fledged" pro writers as we continue along during this new year, and for however many more years to come we are granted upon this "mortal coil." And you, Dear Readers, can help evolve our writers into that celebrated Pro status. How? Easy. Visit our Forums section, comment on the writer's work. Tell them what you thought worked and what didn't work in their stories. Not just once in a while, but as often as you can. YOU are the driving force that moves our writers to learn more about how to write successfully. You share that power with all the Editorial Staff, to be sure, but you have been granted the power to comment. And with power comes responsibility to use said power both wisely and as often as you possibly can. You are the audence our writers need. They need you so that they can learn more and more about how their work can be improved enough for them to reach their goal of being paid for their work. This is why Aphelion exists, to help writers learn to become better writers. Your feedback is important to each and every writer featured in the pages of Aphelion. They NEED you. You can make a difference. Comments don't need to be long and involved critiques, unless you want them o be such, but your comments are one of the most important teaching tools Aphelion can boast of providing. It can only take a few moments of your time--or you could spend as long as you feel the need to comment and critique. But the thing is, every comment you might make will serve to help a writer become better, to take one step closer to the goal of selling their work. You want to see the writers wind up with their names on the spines and covers of books in your local bookstores, don't you? You have that power. Please use it.

For informational purposes: I got an e-mail today from a pro artist. He's looking for clients to do interior story illos for as well as potentially doing cover art for books y'all might be working on bringing out. I'll quote the e-mail below and link to his website in case you're interested.

Firstly, thank you for your time in reading this email.
My name is Simon Walpole and I'm a freelance illustrator. I would appreciate it if you could spare the time to look at my online portfolio here: Hand Drawn Superheroes with a view to me having the opportunity to work with you.
Most of my commissioned work is based around ancient history, fantasy, horror and science fiction. However I can adapt my skills to other genres. My work is hand drawn with my chosen media being pencil, pen, promarkers and ink. I use digital for finishing, tweaking and alterations.
My speciality is interior illustrations but I have also illustrated covers.
Some of my most recent and ongoing clients include:
Heroic Fantasy Quarterly: http://www.heroicfantasyquarterly.com/
Luna Press Publishing: https://www.lunapresspublishing.com/
Aurealis Magazine: http://aurealis.com.au/
Fighting Fantazine: http://www.fightingfantazine.co.uk/
Rob Wingfield (Science Fiction and the Inca Project): http://www.incaproject.co.uk/
Ancient Warfare Magazine: https://www.karwansaraypublishers.com/ancient-warfare-magazine
British Fantasy Society Journal: http://www.britishfantasysociety.org/
Independent authors including: C.R.May, Gordon Doherty, SJA Turney, Griff Hosker and Paul Bennett

Thanks and I look forward to hear from you.

Sorry I didn't take the time to make all his reference links clickable, but the guy has nearly as many pro credits as Sergio, LOL! But the gist is that if any of you want to hire a pro artist to do interior illos for your stories, or to do covers for any books you may have in the works, he's good, and he's looking for work. Check him out and make up your own minds.

Now, as to personal stuff: I was recently able to recover a scan of a photo of my original Map of Bethdish--the big, poster-sized thing that I spent months hand drawing and hand-coloring as I wrote my earliest Mare Inebrium and History Of Bethdish stories back in the early 1990s--before the Internet was a thing. I'm involved in computer-coloring the faded out photo of my map--that was destroyed in a house fire back in 2007--so that I have a reproducable copy of my old artwork. The same artwork that was essentually a mnemonic device to help me remember all the details from my planned stories from back in the day. The map is like a huge notebook of planned stories, history to make said stories work within the framework of my created universe, and between the map and my Timeline file, it's how I want stuff to go when I make it go. And things are still going, all the time!

Other news: in November, I released a new album on my Bandcamp site. over the two days following, I released three more. The first one is steampunk music--all based on the theme of airships as a trope vital to the steampunk genre. The three after that are all live music fom my garage band days--back in the 1980s. So that gives me seven albums out now. All of them can be listened to for free, or downloaded for a small fee. If you want to give them a listen head on over to my Bandcamp page. If you don't want to hear that stuff, don't worry about it. No pressure, LOL!

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



Title:  The Trifid Nebula

Photo Credit: ESO