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Tag: aphelion

STORY: The Fundamental Things Apply

Well, the votes came in, and I actually ended up winning the flash contest I mentioned in my last post. I’m really pleased, because this is the first complete (albeit short) fiction I’ve written in some time.

If you’re interested, the story I wrote is

Aphelion Flash Contest: May ’09

Every month in its forum, Aphelion Webzine has a flash fiction contest, run by Nate Kailhofer. I’ve meant every month to try and take a run at it, but never got the right idea, but this month, I finally did.

The voting just opened and runs for a week. Anyone can vote, as long as they register on the forum. If anyone wants to participate in the judging, just click the link below.

I’m not interested in “stuffing the ballot box”, so I’m obviously not going to tell you which story is mine. So do feel free to participate.

Aphelion – May 2009 issue

The latest version of Aphelion Webzine has gone online. I really ought to do a better job of pimping it here, because i know there’s a lot of folks reading this who would probably enjoy it.

  • What is Aphelion?
    Aphelion is an original fiction fanzine that has been published on the web since 1997. It was started by Dan Hollifield (vila_resthal) when the webzine he’d been contributing to went dark, and has been published mostly monthly ever since. I have been involved with the technical direction of Aphelion since it’s inception, have written semi-regularly for it, served a tenure as the Serials editor, and currently serve as its Features editor. Aphelion is entirely fan-run and self-funded. Because it is unable to be a paying market, it also has no advertising nor requires any subscription.

  • What kinds of things will I find there?
    Aphelion publishes original science-fiction, fantasy, and horror, along with poetry and filk lyrics and non-fiction articles and essays of interest to its principle audience. In an average issue, you will find 2-3 pieces of long fiction, a dozen or so short stories, 6-10 poems, and a couple of book reviews, film reviews, essays or other non-fiction material.

  • When does it come out?
    Like many fan-produced periodicals, deadlines tend to be honoured more in the breach than the observance, but the new issue generally hits the net sometime around the first Sunday of the month. It is rarely as late as the second Sunday of the month. Currently, Aphelion publishes 11 issues a year. There is no new issue in January, but Feburary features the editors choices of the best of the previous year.

    Livejournal users can be alerted to new issues at aphelionfeed, or you can subscribe to our RSS feed with your favourite RSS reader.

  • So what is it for?
    The primary purpose of the zine is to give writers a chance to flex their imaginations, put their work in front of an audience, and hopefully get feedback. There is a forum where we encourage people to comment on the stories and features in that month’s issue, and try to foster a dialogue between the writers and their readers (most of whom tend to be fellow writers). It is the fondest wish of Aphelion’s editors to lose their best contributors to paying markets.

    So please drop by and give it a look. And if you read something that you like – or something that you didn’t – drop by the forum and leave a comment. Everyone who puts their stuff on the line there wants to hear from you.


The new issue of Aphelion Webzine went up on Wednesday, right on time. Of particular interest to my friends list may be :he conclusion of On The Corner of Galaxy and Fifth, the novel that hejira2006 and I wrote in 1998. If you’d been holding off reading this because you don’t like reading serialized stories until you have all the parts, It’s all up there now:
Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five

Also appearing in this issue are a review of Ookla the Mok‘s reissue of “Less Than Art” by cadhla and an essay on writing by telynor — both of which appeared in their journals and you may have already read, but if not, here’s a second chance.

And of course, there’s a whole mess of original fiction and poetry, a book review, and even a con report.

Aphelion is, like most fanzines, always looking for new material, and more importantly, for comments. If you read something that strikes your fancy, or something that you could lend some constructive criticism, please drop a note in the Aphelion Forum!.


June Aphelion Issue online

Actually, the new Aphelion was posted back on June 2, but since I was in the full blossom of my recent illness at the time, I just got it up and went back to bed. But there it is.

Of possible interest to my friends list in particular:

  • Part Three of “On The Corner of Galaxy and Fifth”, the novel Jeff Williams (hejira2006) and I wrote together back in 1998.
  • My review of Mary Crowell’s new CD, Courting My Muse, plus lyrics to “Magnus Retail” in the Poetry & Filk Music section.
  • Becky Kletnieks’s hysterically funny “With Great Boyfriends Comes Great Responsibilities”, which appeared last month in her LiveJournal and she allowed me to reprint. 🙂

    Plus, of course, lots of original short fiction and poetry by a bunch of other people, and an engaging forum of amatuer writers where you can talk about those stories.

    Aphelion Webzine, as always, is found at


Story: On the Corner of Galaxy and Fifth

One of the things that hejira2006 and I decided to do in conjunction with Aphelion’s 10th Anniversary was to resurrect the novel that we wrote together back in 1998 as a serial project for the zine. Some of you may have read it back at the time, and offered suggestions that went into the revised manuscript. But this story hasn’t been available on the web in nearly eight years, as we spent some time trying to sell it, and some more time thinking fondly of it while it collected digital dust in a virtual drawer.

This is a story that has comedy, detectives, time travel, Shakespeare, and speculation on the future of aviation, not to mention plots, intrigue, bad jokes, an unexpected love story, and at least one filk song.

You can read Part One here, and Part Two here. Parts 3-5 will appear over the next three months in Aphelion, and I’ll be sure to mention it here when they come out.

Feedback is, of course, appreciated. 🙂

Aphelion Webzine’s New Look

Back in 1996, having been drug by me kicking and screaming onto the Internet, vila_resthal started submitting some of his fiction to an online fanzine called “The Dragon’s Lair”, which was run by a Baltimore fan named Roger Bennett. Dan really enjoyed the community, and the chance to show his writing to other people and discuss it. Thus, he was extremely disappointed when Roger shuttered the project less than a year later for various personal reasons.

He expressed this disappointment to me, and I said “Well, why don’t you start up your own ‘zine. There’s already a group of writers to draw on, and that way you won’t lose the community that already exists.” After much debate on whether he had the wherewithal to do that, and promising to help him with all the technical details, Dan decided to do just that, and launched Aphelion Webzine in February of 1997. Eventually, we added a lettercolumn/forum to help facilitate discussion between writers about the stories they were putting in, and it grew and prospered. Lots of other fiction webzines have come and gone, but Aphelion has endured for 10 years now.

In conjunction with the 10th anniversary, we’ve been running a lot of “Best of” links with stories from the entire 10 year run, but I wanted to do something more. You see, Aphelion’s look and feel could charitably be described as “vintage”. (It could uncharitably be described as “archaic” and “clunky”). I’d had in mind a major overhaul of the ‘zine’s look and feel for some time now, and even had some preliminary discussions with alymid in 2005 about her possibly helping with the revamp, but then various personal issues ate my brain and I never got around to it. I knew this would be a major project to undertake, and that made it easy to put it off just a little longer.

Well, I finally found my round tuit, and today, with the May issue, the new design was unveiled. And I have to say I’m rather pleased with it, if I do say so myself. I did start with a template from Steve's Templates, but I spent a good month tinkering with it to make it just exactly the way I wanted it.

I’ve probably been remiss in not pimping Aphelion more in this journal over the years. We are not a fan fiction site; we public original SF&F from developing writers who are looking for feedback on their work. We are a fanzine with a community of aspiring writers who are willing to provide feedback on stories and hopefully help writer’s improve. Our biggest goal is to eventually lose our best writers to paying markets, something which has happened often enough to be gratifying.

Filkers may be interested to know that we do run filk lyrics and sfnal poetry, and would love to have submissions from you as well. I’m also looking for “feature” articles (reviews, essays, etc, either on the subject of SF&F or on writing).

So, please, go check it out. Read the stories. Leave comments in the forum. If you have a story you really want folks to read, send it in. We’d love to have your submissions, your feedback, and you readership. Like any fanzine, it’s only as good as the people who make up the community.

There are some things I’ve worked on that I’m really proud of having been a part of. Aphelion is definitely one of them.

Social weekends

I’ve really been sort of absent from these pages lately, and in large part that’s because the last several weeks have revolved around kitanzi‘s work schedule, which has her at her office 12 hours a day five-six days a week, and as a result I’ve been trying to pick up most of the household chores. This plan has been hampered by the fact that I’ve been having more troubles with my back, finally coming to the point where I got myself referred to physical therapy in an effort to get it fixed.

For the last two weekends, kitanzi has actually gotten the weekend free, giving us time and energy to actually be social with folks. Last weekend, we headed up to Colbert, GA for ApheliCon 2, the second annual Aphelion Webzine barbecue, hosted by my old friend vila_resthal and his lovely new wife, Lyn. Attendance was light, as usual, but Lyn’s delightful daughter Michele was there, along with Bill Wolfe down from Tennessee, and mrjaimie and his wife over from Marietta. We had barbecue and chili, discussed writing and science and art and politics and music, and I played my guitar a bit, at the command of the hosts, who insisted. (I also played them a bit of cadhla‘s amazing live album, and got at least a couple of converts, I think.) We stayed until about 10pm, and decided to drive back home rather than get a hotel room in Athens, which was a prudent financial decision, if it means I didn’t really get down into Athens at all on this trip.

This weekend was full of people too. Saturday evening, we went to the monthly Gafia housefilk, hosted by Alice and though it was lightly attended, the company was great, with mrpsyklops, his wife and daughter, and also joyeuse13 and abovenyquist, and we had a good deal of conversation and played some good music and had a grand time.

Sunday, we met up again with joyeuse13, abovenyquist, and Alice at Oglethorpe University to see the Georgia Shakespeare Festival’s production of Metamorphoses, a play based on the works of Ovid. Rather uniquely staged around the centerpiece of a large pool of water, the players retold several important stories from the Greek/Roman myths, all of which centered on the theme of transformation and change. All of the stories were familiar to me, but the presentation was so original that I found myself spellbound for the entire 90 minute production. If you are in the Atlanta area, I highly recommend you try to catch the show before it closes on August 20.

(Digression: I used to see a great deal of live theatre, but I’ve fallen out of the habit in the last few years. The last time I saw a play was, if I’m not mistaken, when I went with tigerbright, browngirl, and magid to see Copenhagen in Boston four years ago. That’s much too long.)

In other news, I got kitanzi a copy of The Sims 2 as an anniversary present, and we’ve both become rather hopelessly addicted to the game. I remember I used to watch telynor play Sims 1 on her laptop (I even got her a couple of the expansion packs), but I never really ‘got it”. But now that I’m actually playing it myself, there’s something strangely compelling and zen like about directing these imaginary people through their lives. Kit likens it to playing dolls for grownups, and that’s certainly fitting. It certainly does eat up a lot of time.

And that’s the news from Lake Unionhill. May all of your days be full of joy.

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