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 Ten

Hello and welcome to the February 2021 issue of Aphelion!

In this issue, we have our regular issue's worth of outstanding original stories--which is the first of our 24th year of continuous publication!

24 years? Wow! We've really come a long way since 1997, haven't we? Seems both so long ago that we started Aphelion, and just a few months ago--all at the same time. Hope you've enjoyed the ride as much as I have. Hopefully, you will agree that we've only gotten better as time passes.

I got the news last week that, barring unforeseen circumstances, LibertyCon in Chattanooga will be a live convention this year! All memberships from the 2020 con, which was not held due to the virus outbreak have been rolled over to apply to 2021. Due to State, Local, Hotel, and convention insurance rules, masking and social distancing will be the order of the day. Despite that difficulty, it looks as if everyone attending will be having a great time. It is my understanding that discussion panels will feature fewer guests at a time, and seating will be arranged further apart for audience members. There won't be a "meet & greet" , nor a banquet dinner, this year. No doubt, there will be changes to the Con Suite, Green Room, nd Room Party rules as well. The Con Staff have no control over the laws that will make this necessary, so please don't give them a hard time about it. Other changes include the raising of the convention's membership cap from 750 to 1000--but that was enacted before the virus appeared. I'm looking forward to it, and I hope that everyone who does make it has a great time.

Lots of people have been getting used to working from home, remote schooling, online meet-ups on streaming services, and other new ideas over the past year. I even "attended" a few virtual conventions. Hallowcon as one that broke new ground. It used Streamyard to host virtual panels, show movies, host musical events, and even had an online Dealer's Room. I believe that's something that may survive after the virus passes--conventions having greater online coverage of live panels and events, I mean. It seems like a natural outgrowth of this past year's workarounds for not being able to host live events. It would also solve a frequent complaint of con-goers: there is so much going on that no one can see the entire convention, all the panels, all the events. While watching a convention on You Tube will never replace the fun of a live con, it would allow many of us to see what we missed while we were in the audience of the panels we most wanted to see. 

As for me, I'm working on finishing up a prequel Tom Darby book for Three Ravens Publishing. The manuscript is already at 29k+ words. It seems to be in the home stretch--unless the characters throw me yet another plot twist. The format is a series of short stories with Tom narrating his adventures from the Korean War, Cold War, and eventually putting him on that darkened back road on his motorcycle--where the story "Abducted" begins. Once I send that manuscript off to Three Ravens, I promise I will dive back into the Cat & Crow fantasy story. If I keep putting the work in, and don't get distracted, maybe I can get both books out to the readers this year.

In other personal news, I've just had a flash fiction piece appear in a quarterly Corner Scribblers issue. It's on Amazon now in e-book and print. Turns out that the essay on writing that I was also asked to submit was chosen for the introduction to the book. I had no idea! "Take Me To Your Reader" has already been added to my Amazon Author Page, and I will be updating my promo page here on Aphelion in the next few days. Go check out the book, and if you like what you've read, then take a gander at the previous four issues of the periodical.

About time I quit talking and let you get to reading!




Title: AM 2026-424

Courtesy:NASA, ESA, and J. Dalcanton, B.F. Williams, and M. Durbin (University of Washington)