Aphelion Issue 294, Volume 28
May 2024
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
Contact Us
Flash Writing Challenge
Dan's Promo Page

D'rrish and Friend-Fan art by Jon Nixon

The Mare Inebrium Series
of Spaceport Bar Stories

In Publication Order

Click here if you were looking for the introduction, the Mare concept page.

Click here if you were looking for the Mare Starter Kit.

To read the Mare Inebrium stories that have been published so far:
  1. At the Spaceport Bar: the Mare Inebrium
    Version 2.0

    by Dan L. Hollifield
    There is something about time travel that makes some people loopy.
  2. The Absent-minded Shall Inherit...
    by Dan L. Hollifield
    The Mare's lost & found holds some awesome doodads.
  3. Frightening Little Planet, Isn't It?
    by Roger Bennett
    Kazsh-ak Tier in battle. My own drawing. When you take advice from a stranger, always remember to ask the next question...
  4. A Nightmare Inebrium
    By D.K. Smith
    Trapped in a world they never made...
  5. Cause and Effect
    By Kate Thornton
    There is always a reason...
  6. Max's Night Off
    By Mark E. Cotterill
    Larrye just can't get a break...
  7. Mare Tranquillitatis
    By Mark E. Cotterill
    Some minds shouldn't meet...
  8. Yesterday's Glory
    By Robert Wynne
    Was she the girl of his dreams, or something else again?
  9. Disco Droids
    By Dustin Appel
    Sometime you find the job, sometimes the job finds you...
  10. You Don't Mess Around With Grym
    By Jeff Williams
    Sometimes, the price is more than simply counting the cost...
  11. Barfly
    By Dennis Tallent
    Always do your homework...
  12. There is Always a Reason
    By Kate Thornton
    Beware of Stellar Confiscation Officers bearing gifts
  13. Chance
    By T.S. George
  14. The Mare Inebruim Tower- the Bar is on the first 3 floors. Sometimes, one Chance is all you've got...
  15. Anatomy Lesson
    by Dennis Tallent
    Sometimes its what you don't know that can get you
  16. Bluesman
    by Jim Peters
    The Bluesman had the gift of touching souls with his music. A powerful weapon, indeed!
  17. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
    by Jim Peters
    In this sequel to "The Bluesman" the lives of an entire species hang in the balance as revenge proves itself to be a two-edged sword.
  18. Harry Chapin's Waltz
    by Jeff Williams
    The Mare Inebrium's jukebox holds the key to mysterious patron.
  19. Sins of the Fathers...
    by Dan L. Hollifield
    Relationships can be so odd...
  20. The Drinking Contest
    by Rene' Steen
    Some drinks can be deadly to those unacustomed to them.
  21. O'Rourke's Passenger
    by John Shanahan
    There are passengers, and there are passengers... Trouble comes in all shapes.
  22. The Tanneh Death Chop
    By Kate Thornton
    Dan Holly sighed when she finished her story. "Why?" he must have been asking himself. "Why, of all the gin joints in the galaxy, did she have to walk into mine?" Aloud he said, "Jeeze, Baby Girl, I think this whole thing is maybe my fault."
  23. An Argument In Favor of A Social Conscience
    By Gary Glass
    When the Mare Inebrium is threatened by a Culture Clash, its up to the Social Conscience to save the innocent.
  24. Bethdish from high orbit.
  25. Wandrin' Star
    By Iain Muir
    Need calls out to kindred spirits...
  26. Heroes (In the Shadows)
    by Debra Laich
    Behind every great hero, there is someone unsung...
  27. Tarj's Hit
    by T.S. George
    Even in the Mare Inebrium- "Another day, another dollar..." for the galaxy's greatest living assassin.
  28. The Challenge
    by Dennis Talent
    There were two ways for a paramedic to join the elite 911 Group... The easy way was with 15 years senority, but Rookie Stephen Haddad was at the Mare Inebrium to do it the hard way!
  29. Drinking Problem
    by Jim Parnell
    Never trust an alien who doesn't drink, particularly at the Mare Inebrium!
  30. Virtual Pet
    by Linda Kelly
    The absent-minded inventor Camforrt is back at the Mare Inebrium- with a new toy!
  31. Mare Crisium
    by Mark E. Cotterill
    EHS inspectors were notoriously thorough and had immense powers, they were feared throughout known space for their diligence. They had powers to suspend trading licences, seize equipment and stock, and even arrest or execute staff. The Environmental Health and Safety inspector was fully entitled to spend as long as she liked looking at every aspect of the Mare Inebrium's operation.
  32. Brother, Can You Spare A Crime?
    by Dan L. Hollifield
    City of Lights from low orbit. The Reever is called to the Mare Inebrium to investgate a murder, but the victim keeps coming back for more.
  33. Homecoming?
    by Jonjack
    "Its not enough to succeed, you have to survive and get home again too."
    A Mare Inebrium story AND a Writer's Challenge II story!

  34. "Stay"
    by Jeff Williams
    "If I could stay then the night would give you up
    Stay, and the day would keep its trust
    Stay, with the demons you drowned
    Stay, with the spirit I found
    Stay, and the night would be enough."

  35. The Captains of the Silver Moon
    by Greg Barozzi
    Caveat emptor, or in other words: There's one born every minute.
  36. Hunter or Hunted?
    by Jonjack
    A Mare Inebrium story & a Writer's Challenge II story: You haven't lived until you've had to outwit something that's decided that you'd make a nice snack.
  37. Liar's Bar
    by Iain Muir
    "From the dizzying height of her full 5‚€™2", the waitress looked down at the heap of lace and embroidery on the floor, an earth mother figure in a peasant blouse and gypsy skirts. Hooped gold earrings peered out from under her dark curled hair. She was carrying four two-litre beer steins easily in each hand. She nudged his head with one slippered foot."
  38. The Bouncer
    By Claude Hopper
    Every bar has a bouncer, usually really big guys that could easily be mistaken for heroic statuary, until they get the signal to kick your butt. The Mare's new bouncer was a little guy, but that's just a measure of how good he really is. Bruce is one bad mother--- Well, you know what I mean.
  39. Rerun
    By Bill Wolfe
    ‚€œIn the back of every mind, a monster lurks-chained in the mind's dark recesses, kept away from the light of day for all eternity... but chains can break. Corbeatee‚€™s ability to control biological systems was absolute; he was merely very good with mechanical devices. But he was learning fast.
    A Writer's Challenge 2 & a Mare Inebrium story!

  40. Mare Inebrium --A Filksong--
    By Dan L. Hollifield
    To the tune of "Lola" by the Kinks.
  41. Mare Inebrium to All and to All a Good Night!
    By Kate Thornton
    Naughty or nice? Sometimes you can make the wrong choice, but I've always felt that virtue was its own punishment.
  42. Sister at the Bar
    by Kate Thornton
    Some people truly get what they deserve... But sometimes the Instrument of Justice makes it-- personal.
  43. A Study in Alizarin Crimson
    By Dan L. Hollifield
    When Sherlock Holmes is hired to investigate a suspicious man who seems to be planning to burgle the British Museum, the trail of clews leads straight to the mysterious owner of the Mare Inebrium!
  44. The Maltese Fiction
    By McCamy Taylor
    Her beauty was stunning, she could have had her pick of almost any male in the Mare Inebrium. But Sydney RueVerte had come to the Mare searching for someone in particular. And no one was going to be allowed to get in her way!
  45. A Fish For Orion
    By Lee Foster
    ‚€œI hunt everything. Hunt dangerous things, no one else will hunt.‚€� He touched the butt of a bone-handled weapon on his belt. ‚€œI hunt great cat-creatures. I hunt giant white, crushing creature. Use skeleton for trophy room. I hunt mutated giant killer quadruped.‚€� He fingered his white furred GEEB polar bear cloak. He leaned close to me and said in a conspiratorial tone, ‚€œBut I run out of things to hunt. No more great killer beasts. I become building-stick.‚€� Then he smiled his toothsome smile and looked up towards Kazsh-ak Tier...
  46. Sociology Experiment
    By Wishbone
    "I was only trying to get an idea for my thesis on Non-terran sociology...' A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing."
  47. Where Angels Fear to Tread
    By Bill Wolfe
    When a gathering of Gods found that they needed advice, they knew to ask a bartender. They usurped the bodies of a handy group of Abvarnan farmers and marched them purposefully into the Mare Inebrium on the busiest holiday of the Bethdish year. Fortunately for the Devine, Larrye was the one who took Their order...
  48. Sheffield's Eleventh
    By Jeff Williams
    "Mr. Grym... gives you this challenge. Virtually all of City of Lights is...'open'...shall we say. To the enterprising entrepreneur, there is an entree into virtually every business, every bank, every shop, if the cards are played right and if the man or woman is quick, smart, and intelligent. Every building is transparent to your skills and talents under the right circumstances. Every building, that is, except one... The Tower, my friends- The one building that has never been burglarized beyond petty drunks stealing petty bags of petty peanuts. Nothing more than the occasional ashtray or shot glass. Nothing of any consequence besides bathroom towels. No one in this room, indeed, no one in the history of Bethdish has ever broken into the Mare Inebrium Tower and stolen anything of value."
  49. Baby Baby
    By Mizu Ash
    When it comes to interspecies romance, its those little skeletons in the family closet that really make life complicated.
  50. Sam Spade Ain't Nearly Dead Enough
    By Bill Wolfe
    "My secretary, Page, calls these bread and butter cases. Me, I call 'em boring. But don't take that the wrong way. I like boring. I've had enough excitement to last me couple'a lifetimes. All I'm doing is tailing some rich guy's wife to see what she's up to. Any Private Dick anywhere in the Stream would recognize the drill in a heartbeat....."
    A Mare Inebrium story & a Writer's Challenge II story.

  51. Be the Cat...
    By Bill Wolfe
    In City of Lights -when Mr. Grym wanted something, he usually got it. Even if he had to wait. And Mr Grym hated waiting. He hated waiting almost as much as he hated having his desires thwarted. But something at the Mare Inebrium was proving to be an impediment, so Mr. Grym was not happy.
  52. Came the Dawn
    By Dan L. Hollifield

    A menace as old as time rears its ugly head on Bethdish. City of Lights is threatened and millions of people are in grave danger. Assassins, terrorists, and pirates, oh my! So naturally, the Reever knew the only people who could save the world -would be found having drinks at the Mare Inebrium.
    The 50th Mare Inebrium story!

  53. Time Loves A Hero
    By John Shanahan
    he Eternal Champion was eternally sick and tired of fighting the Forces of Chaos. So when the Powers that Be materialize him in the Mare Inebrium, he's just a little cranky.
  54. In The Laptops of the Gods
    By Maggie Patten
    Power corrupts, but do absolute Power-Points corrupt? Absolutely!
  55. Unsung Heroes
    By By Mizu Ash
    He used to send out agents to adjust timelines, but now he's retired and wants to check the impact he had made on the probable histories of the human race.
  56. Redshift Sue Sings the Blues
    By Dan L. Hollifield

    "I sat stunned at the first sound of this woman's voice. She was crying out her pain and loss for a lover long gone. Low, husky, somehow seductive, but filled with pain. I took a quick gulp of my drink as she began to sing..."
  57. Helen in Wonderland
    By Robert Moriyama
    In the Port Armstrong lunar colony, Helen Damnation McKay has no equal. In the Mare Inebrium however, she may have met her match!
  58. Trial By Intimacy
    By Claude Hopper
    When real people wind up in a very strange place, can anything be what it seems? And if reality is as easily manipulated as all that, wouldn't everyone rather spend a day at the beach instead of playing God? Me? I'd rather visit the Mare Inebrium. Fortunately, I know how to get there from here. First, you drive north on Highway 441...
  59. Just Another Day at the Office
    By N. J. Kailhofer
    The alarm came from the R&D Department. It was always the R&D Department that cause the most trouble...
  60. The Customer is Always Right
    By Bill Wolfe
    All things come to they who wait- Even if they wait forever.
  61. Enter The Dragon
    By B. H. Marks
    When one seeks vengeance to the exclusion of all else, one may find in the end that all the best laid plans go awry -- if one picks the Mare Inebrium as a hunting ground.
  62. The Kitten Box
    By Gareth Lyn Powell
    What is the true nature of man? And if you knew that, how would you measure it? Willing to bet your life on it?
  63. A Fish Out Of Water
    By Linda Kelly
    Some bars don't know how to deal with a patron who is obviously drugged out of their mind, but at the Mare Inebrium, intoxication is just a state of mind...
  64. Deus Ex Machina
    By Wishbone
    You'd would think that having proved that some planet's major deity was actually an alien Sociology Professor would be enough for one student's lifetime. But now Robert Landis had to survive the wrath of the disillusioned natives he'd "inconvenienced" with his secular revelation.
  65. An Old Joke
    By Gareth Lyn Powell
    The shortest distance between two points is usually a punch line!
  66. Ten Years at the Bar
    By Gareth D Jones
    Even in the Mare Inebrium, things can be stranger than they seem...
  67. Turning Over A New Leaf
    By Gareth D. Jones
    Change is the only constant in the universe. But in a place like the Mare Inebrium, would anyone really notice?
  68. The Door Of Renown
    By Jaimie L. Elliott
    The games people play is as nothing when compared to what deities can get up to the the Mare Inebrium's Pantheon Room... Gods and heroes and writers- Oh my! Jaimie Elliott's first ever Mare Inebrium story!
  69. Never Friday
    By Greg Barozzi
    "When the two Captains of the Silver Moon return to the Mare Inebrium, Max isn't very glad to see them. But they buy their way into Max's good graces with a large credit chip, and a sad story. After all, in the Mare Inebrium, a story to tell is as valuable as hard currency..."
  70. Flash Crowd #1 - Points of View
    By Dan L. Hollifield, Bill Wolfe, Lester Curtis, J. Davidson Hero, & Jaimie Elliot
    "Any cop can tell you that if you interview a dozen witnesses to a single crime, you'll wind up with a dozen different versions of what happened."
    The February 2010 Flash Challenge was to take the example story and write it up as seen through the eyes of one of the bar patrons who were there to witness it. Congratulations to Lester Curtis, the challenge winner for February!
  71. A Space War To End All Space Wars
    By Sergio Palumbo
    "Wars can be fought on many fronts, using many different weapons. Sometimes, even the most paranoid of warriors forgets that wars don't always have only two sides."
  72. Fast Friends
    By Dan L. Hollifield

    "In which we learn how the D'rrish Kazsh-ak Teir met and became friends with the Reever and Guiles Thornby, just in time to join the battle against Valleor, the Chaos God of Bethdish."
  73. Numinous Presence
    By Sergio Palumbo
    "Did you know the Mare Inebrium is haunted?" When a team of intrepid reporters goes to Bethdish to investigate rumors of a ghostly presence in the Mare Inebrium, they find business going on as usual in the spaceport bar -- Or is it?
  74. Forbidden Archaeology
    By Sergio Palumbo
    The market for forbidden artifacts has always been a cut-throat field of commerce. Sudden death is forever near at hand when such sales take place. When a 13 million year old off-world statue winds up in the Mare Inebrium under dubious circumstances, and the Reever is busy with far more serious crimes, even Max can find his hands tied if the putative buyer is a distant relation. But what exactly makes this random lump of rock so valuable?
  75. Concerto For Spies
    By D. J. Rout
    Of all the gin joints in all the worlds...
  76. The Recurring Customer Is Always Right
    By Sergio Palumbo
    Sometimes a familiar face at the Mare Inebrium is more than just another pretty face. Max recognizes someone he'd met, briefly, only once before...
  77. Tales From The Mare Inebrium Myths And Legends
    By Dan L. Hollifield

    Written For The Mare Inebrium Short Story Collection--Not Available Online
  78. Sic Semper Tyrannis!
    By Dan L. Hollifield

    Written For The Mare Inebrium Short Story Collection--Not Available Online
  79. History Lesson
    By Dan L. Hollifield

    Written For The Mare Inebrium Short Story Collection--Not Available Online
  80. Necessary Evil
    By Dan L. Hollifield

    Written For The Mare Inebrium Short Story Collection--Not Available Online
  81. No Room For Evil
    By Dan L. Hollifield

    Written For The Mare Inebrium Short Story Collection--Not Available Online
  82. The Hunters
    By Sergio Palumbo
    Your waitress and bartender have seen it all before. They've got your back...
  83. The Terraformers
    By Sergio Palumbo
    Karma has a way of sneaking up on people...
  84. Against All Odds
    By Dan L. Hollifield
    "Kazsh-ak Teir relates the tale of when he was forced to battle alone against a fleet of alien invaders attempting to conquor the D'rrish colony planet of R'lynath..."
    A free bonus story to promote the publication of my anthology Tales From The Mare Inebrium.
  85. Connecting Links
    By Sergio Palumbo
    Sometimes the connections between this and that can benefit from a discrete snip here and there...
  86. Ethiralz
    By Sergio Palumbo
    When vigilante justice comes to the Mare Inebrium, it doesn't go well for anyone involved...
  87. The Self-Contained Reality Door
    By Sergio Palumbo
    Some doorways it is perhaps best not to darken...
  88. A Steamy Ale From Sthmefla
    By Sergio Palumbo
    Some things are just too good to be true.
  89. Closet Cases
    By William Joseph Roberts
    Stockholm Syndrome can get really, really complicated. Especially when...
  90. Shell Beach
    By Dan L. Hollifield
    The 'Lost And Found' at the Mare Inebrium sometimes includes people
  91. Poker Face
    By William Joseph Roberts
    "The side rooms at the Mare Inebrium often play host to the beginnings of many an adventure..."
  92. The Line Of The Reality
    By Sergio “ente per ente” Palumbo
    Edited by Michele Dutcher
    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy... "

  93. The Shape of Things to Come

    by ??

  96. "A Friend In Need..."
    by D. J. Rout

  97. COMING SOON: ??
    by ??

  98. COMING SOMEDAY, I HOPE: Sidestep
    by Kate Thornton? and Dan L. Hollifield
    I pulled the wreck closer so that I could get up a bit more speed. Whatever I could shave off of that ETA--any survivors might need. While the autopilot chuckled to itself I tried to make out more details on the old rust-bucket. With some magnification I was able to see the peeling paint scorched up in strips on it's surface. Originally it had been gleaming white, I guess, but the Deity only knows how long ago that was. The emergency flashers were still going strong and the angle had to have been just right, but I was able to see some patterns in the peeling paint. Enough to let me com ahead to the spaceport again so that they could look up it's registry. I managed to make out some letters and numbers in all the mess. My computer translated it for me, turned out to be an Earth language. The name on the side was "Linda Rae"...

    I thought of this one and wanted to write it with Kate, since her characters were the biggest part of the story. Sadly, she has never had the time. Since the time of this story's conception, Mare writers have made it a habit of borrowing each other's characters. I may go ahead and write the story myself- just to get it done and out there.

  100. Last Call
    by Dan L. Hollifield
    Just before the end of the universe, three entities are left- Max and his last two customers. Time has almost ended, but there's still a moment for a final round...

Click here to submit a Mare Inebrium story or artwork as an attachment (in MIME encoding as a .txt for DOS file, or .rtf file, or .doc file for stories & as .jpg or .gif for artwork) to an e-mail to me at the Aphelion. Please send all Mare Inebrium stories to this and only this address! That will save the other Editors time and make sure that your submission is read ASAP.

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