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 June 2021 issue of Aphelion!

In this issue, we have our regular issue's worth of outstanding original stories--which is the sixth of our 24th year of continuous publication! I know that seems extraordinary, but we got here though a simple strategy. We just never stopped. We simply never gave up--sheer stubbornness, if you will. And, as it turns out, that is one of the biggest strengths of a successful writer. You can't succeed if you give up.

Perseverance pays off. Of course, it does help if you begin with a bit of talent, then educate yourself in the accepted methods of doing what you're trying to do. I say that as if it were some kind of universal law, but it is actually more like common sense. If you examine the totality of all the fiction that has ever been published professionally, Sturgeon's Law becomes ever so much clearer--"ninety percent of everything is crap." In other words, talent and training isn't always necessary for succeeding at something. It is to be preferred, of course, because the things that aren't "crap" are usually more enjoyable to us. But there is evidence available to point out that "crap" does have its place. There are a lot of things out there which prompt one to the inevitable question "someone actually got paid for this?" And that's the thing. Yes, someone did get paid for that thing you didn't enjoy--that lots of people didn't enjoy, but someone did enjoy it! And that's really all right. Different strokes, IDIC, and so on.

The thing is, the bad stuff will be remembered for being bad, but the good stuff will be remembered much more fondly, and for far longer. Now, take a deep breath and read my previous sentence again. Got it? Hold that firmly in your mind. Here's my point: hard work pays off. It is actually worth the time you take to learn all the tips and tricks to create the good stuff. Your work will live in the minds of your readers for a whole lot longer, and be cherished, because you took the time to learn how to get it right.

You have it within you to create the stories that will become loved and cherished by readers both now, and for long after you shuffle off this mortal coil. It behooves you to become the best writers each of you can be. If you get discouraged, remember that there are actually people who think Shakespeare, Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov, Norton, Tolkien, and McCaffrey are "crap." They're wrong, of course, and need professional help, but that's neither here nor there. Those writers, along with thousands of others, learned how to write in their own distinctive vioces, tell their stories in the most effective way, and remain much beloved by their fans. 

So, butt in chair, fingers on keyboard, let the words flow through you from your imagination to your fingers, and write your stories. Then, edit as needed, proofread over and over, find your own writer's voice, and devil take the hindmost.

Learn your craft, then keep writing!

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




Title: NGC 6369

Courtesy:ESO/P. Weilbacher