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 May 2022 issue of Aphelion!

In this issue, we have our usual outstanding original stories. Thank you all for helping keep us going through the past quarter-century!

As you can see from the awards banner above, Aphelion racked up several Top Ten positions in the Preditors & Editors annual Readers' Poll. We took Top E-zine Cover Art - 4th place, Top E-zine Editor - tied for 5th place, Top Fiction E-zine - 4th place, Top Poetry E-zine - 5th place, and Top Writers Forum - 2nd place! Thanks to everyone who voted, and to all the staff for their hard work! Thanks also go out to our writers and readers here in the zine. Y'all are amazing!

Spring has finally sprung here in the Southeastern US. Flowers are blooming, the sun is warm, and pollen is covering everything, LOL! Thankfully, this is entirely normal, expected, and except for the pollen, cherished as a sign that the long Winter is over once again. The mornings are still a tad cool. That will change soon enough as Spring advances into the inevitable Summer. It's already short-sleeve weather at work once the morning chill dissipates. Now it is time for the onset of yard work in the great outdoors.

I am slowly but surely working my way through the short story submissions while Aphelion awaits the materialization of a new Short Story Editor. It's  an open call for anyone to assume the Short Story Editor position, as long as you know ahead of time that it is by far the most difficult Editorial job at Aphelion. So far, I have submissions slated up to the August issue! Of course, I could add another story or two the the penciled-in schedule of releases and thin that back a bit, but since I have no idea how many submission I'll get every month, I'm trying to ensure that no issue has less than five new stories. Six or eight would be better, but I decided to err on the side of caution for now. Things can change without warning, however. I could decide to take a chance on submissions coming in at what I now see as a normal rate, and so increase the story count each month. 

If you recently submitted a story and I have yet to message you back, please be patient with me. There was an increase in my workload at the factory recently. I've gone from a predictable 40-hour work week to an unpredictable 60 to 80 hours per week. That will drop back to my normal hour once the people I am filling in for have been replaced by new employees taking the job positions I am having to cover on overtime. In any case, my retirement from the factory is now only 20 months away! I'll be transitioning into a full-time pensioner, writer, and professional layabout at that time. Who knows? I might even be able to go to extra conventions every year--as long as they aren't too far away. I'm getting a bit long in the tooth to manage very much interstate driving, nowadays. I'm afraid my days of comfortably driving anywhere over 5 hours away are soon to be extinct--if not already well and truly on the endangered list, LOL!

As for other personal news;  I am getting close to finishing the Fantasy novel. Its working title is "The Cat And The Crow." It's a fairly standard "quest-type, hero's journey" sort of story.  As my long-time fans know, I rarely delve into the worlds of the strictly Fantasy genre. I've always been a more Sci-fi kind of writer.But this time, the Fantasy story decided it wanted to be told. Furthermore, it decided that I was the one to tell it. Who am I to argue with the Muse when they speak? I'm just this guy--you know? I write what I write when I write it. Hopefully, my fans will see that I have grown as a writer and allow me this indulgence. Especially since it's turning out to be one exciting read! I can't wait until you can all see it. I'm working as fast as I can, I promise!

My publisher has also asked me for a second collection of Mare Inebrium stories--at which I am also fast at work--as well as asking me to edit an anthology of Mare stories by other series authors. If you have any way to get in contact with any of the past writers of our Mare Inebrium Shared Universe stories, please do and tell them I need to talk with them. Most especially Wishbone, but everyone else as well. I've gotten several positive responses from writers I am still in contact with, so things look fairly good at this point. If you're  Mare Inebrium writer still visiting Aphelion after all this time, please do get in contact with me through e-mail or Facebook Messenger. We have a lot to talk about!

The online streaming shows "Stupid O'clock" and "Last Man Standing" have been uploaded live to YouTube as well as several Facebook pages for over two years now. They are basically live-streaming chat shows covering a range of topics, modeled on the types of conversations people have after hours at SF&F conventions. Joe McKeel, the show-runner of Hallowcon, and I both have archives of past shows on our YouTube channels. Check 'em out if that sounds like something you'd enjoy I've put links in our Features section that will take you to the YouTube archives of both shows.

With all that said, it's high time I shut up and let you get to reading. 

Enjoy yourselves,




Title: Cats Paw and Lobster Nebulae

Courtesy: ESO