Aphelion Issue 221, Volume 21
September 2017
 
Editorial    
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Poetry
Features
Series
Archives
Submission Guidelines
Contact Us
Flash Writing Challenge
Forum
   
P&E Top Ten Hello and welcome to the September issue of Aphelion.

First off, let's all celebrate Nate's longstanding contributions to Aphelion. he's done more for us all than most people realize. He's worn so many hats here, doing so many jobs, that the place seems to echo now that he's back doing what he does best; writing his own words. I've been privileged to read his latest story as a work-in-progress. You are going to love it when he has it ready to release into the wide, wild world!

In other news, sadly, Carolyn has asked to step down as our Short Story Editor. Life got in the way and she felt she couldn't give the job the energy and attention that it, and you, deserve. She's done a great job, and she will be missed by everyone here. The staff and I agree that she'll be welcome back any time she is able to return, and we have been honored by the time she was able to share with us. She has joined the roving ranks of Aphelion Editors At Large, out there making the world a better place for everyone who encounters them.

What we have here is a chance for someone else, one of you perhaps, to decide you have the sort of drive to help your fellow readers and writers. Being an Aphelion Editor is a strange job, really. It eats your time, it brings you joy and frustration alike, the rewards are few--yet incredibly meaningful and personal, but it won't drive you crazy. No, you have to be crazy before you start, LOL! If you don't think you're quite crazy enough, don't worry, we can teach you.

Right now, I'm the de-facto Flash Editor, Short Story Editor, Production Editor, Mare Inebrium Shared Universe Series Editor, Senior Editor and Publisher, and the day is still young! What all that means is that I'm a bit overwhelmed at the moment. Thankfully, Iain reaffirmed his offer to, temporarily, pick up the duties of the Flash Editor until someone steps up to take over full time. So, that's one hat I can take off for a while. I've got to figure out the arcane incantations to redirect the Flash submissions to Oz where Iain's flying monkeys can deliver them to him, but that's just Production Editor stuff. I'm not very good at that, but one thing I am good at is learning new things.

One thing being an editor can teach is how to become a better writer. You start thinking beyond the terms of just seeing typos and punctuation errors, into the realm of noticing how subtle differences in wording and tone and structure can improve a story. You also learn the importance of debate,diplomacy, and tact--as well as when it is vitally important to occasionally decide that you can do no more to help an individual without simply letting them go make their mistakes and learn from the consequences. That last one hurts every time, believe me, I know. You don't become an editor without the desire to help people. You've become something between a tutor and a guru. You're not an unquestionable master, but rather a guide leading by example. That is a rocky road to have to follow. Yet it does have its rewards.

Have I made it sound grim and uninviting? Good. It's important that you know what you're getting into. The rewards are that you get to help people learn how to become better writers, become one yourself along the way, and the thrill of seeing their success when they apply what they've learned to jump through all the hoops that pro publishing requires. When you get that e-mail telling you that one of your writers has sold a story--that is one of the biggest thrills in the world. You've made a difference, you've helped someone achieve a dream goal, and you've made the worlds of words a much larger and more fun place to live.

It takes time, effort, and a fearless desire to help someone. It takes being able to tell someone that their submission isn't perfect--yet. And it takes the ability to tell a writer "I noticed a few things you could do to improve this. Have you considered changing this bit to..." And on and on and on. HTML is easy--even I've learned the basics. Web production is a bit harder, but it becomes easier as you keep doing it. Learning the ins and outs of different programs that make the job possible is not without a learning curve, but once again it isn't as overwhelming as it looks when you first start off. Do you think you have what it takes to become an Aphelion Editor? Do you want to teach and to learn at the same time? Are you willing to devote some of your private time to reading new submissions, passing e-mails back and forth with new writers, doing a bit of HTML coding, and socializing online with the rest of the staff as we make each new issue ready to upload? If so, we need you. Aphelion needs you. Your fellow writers need you. Hop aboard this crazy train and find a place of your own where you can help others become better writers. The staff all hang out on Facebook Messenger for a group chat that is always ongoing. If you dislike Facebook, we also have a seldom-used IRC chat room created just for that reason. It can be reached with several different free programs scattered about the web. But Facebook is the easiest way.

Come, join us, we have fun!


And now, this is ALSO a thing! Aphelion's first advert!



Feel free to share this on Facebook, G+, blog posts, and other webpages. But only with the permission of the page or group owners! Be polite and considerate, always. You'll have to look up the embed code for the ad on You Tube, sorry about that, but the code won't display correctly here. But the Share Code for Facebook and G+ is:

https://youtu.be/23qfziyt9Jo

Mare Inebrium Collection

BOILERPLATE:

First off, if you do the Facebook thing, feel free to join us on the Aphelion page there. The link is Aphelion Webzine. As an aside, the Editorial Mafia and I have found Facebook to be very useful. Given our different locations and schedules, it's come in handy as a way to discuss production details of new issues. Sometimes there are several of us using Facebook at the same time, so it's almost like the old chat room days back in the 1990s.

My first collection of Mare Inebrium spaceport bar short stories was published in February of 2015 by Dark Oak Press. It is available in both Kindle an Nook e-book formats, paperback, and hardback. I also have three albums of instrumental music out through the Create Space self-publishing website. If you like, you can click on the photo or the link below to fin all the info you would need to purchase my book in your preferred format, or an e-book of Flash of Aphelion, buy a CD of my music, or listen to tracks off of the albums on my Bandcamp website. Enjoy!

Dan's Promo Page

Dan



ON THE COVER

Title: Bastille Day Solar Flare and a Coronal Mass Ejection

Photo Credit: NASA/GSFC/Solar Dynamics Observatory