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 July 2019 issue of Aphelion. By the time you read this, I will have been to this year's LibertyCon in Chattanooga and returned safely home. At the moment, I'm sitting here at home on a June Sunday afternoon, drinking my last cup of coffee for the day, and contemplating what to accomplish today. The convention is four days in my future, the next issue of Aphelion is still two weeks away, and I'm breaking a long-standing tradition by getting my editorial done at something other than the last minute. It feels like I'm putting a message in a bottle, here. No one will see this for two weeks, but then, writing is sort of like time travel, isn't it? I mean, a reader can find something someone wrote down weeks or years, or even centuries ago, and suddenly they are inside the mind of the writer at the times thewords are recorded. Well, last night I engaged in a bit of philosophy, as I sometimes do, and I penned the following little essay. "In vino veritas," eh?

One’s lIfe is not the goal, it is the path you take in search of that goal. Goals can change as experiences bring new knowledge. Paths can change, diverge from their original course, and destinations evolve along the way.

In an experiment, changing one tiny variable can tweak the outcome in a myriad different ways. This does not invalidate the original experiment. It merely prompts you to consider different values for other variables.

That’s the thing with variables. Plug in different values, get different results. What if my family had never moved back to Tennessee? What if they never left Tennessee for Georgia? What if they had never left Georgia for that brief time when I was in middle school? What if we’d kept the first farm Dad bought? What if, what if, what if? All variables, in different parts of the equation.

The path I have been on for so many years has presented me with uncounted detours, side-quests, if you will. Subtract the least of them, and I would not be who I have become. I would have become someone else.

This is not determinism versus free will. This is chaos theory. One tiny change at the right point can skew the end results way out of any predictable outcome. Change the spin of a single quark that’s part of a single electron that’s part of a single atom of a single molecule, and you can change entire universes into some unrecognizable alternative version.

It’s the same with people. Change one tiny thing in their lives, and they suddenly have an entirely different life.

Be the change you want to see in the world. One word, one action, one touch, one connection, one kindness... in the right place at the right time with the right person, you can change reality itself.

You have the power to reshape the universe. For better or worse, fate looks to you for guidance.

OK, now I'll shut up and let you get to reading the new stories, LOL!


Title: The Trapezium cluster

Photo Credit: ESO/IDA/Danish 1.5 m/R.Gendler, J.-E. Ovaldsen, and A. Hornstrup