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Nothing happens in a vacuum, unless you count stars, galaxies, the cosmos — but that's not what I mean.
AntipodeanSF still exists after sixteen years and runs strong towards its 200th issue (which will mark seventeen years of full issues) because of its contributors. Volunteers all, devoting their time to this ongoing project. Authors, AntipodeanSF is nothing without you. I cannot list you all here, but I can say this about other parts of this venture. Mark Webb, the ebook versions are not without you. Narration team: Beth, Ed, Mark, the other Mark, Richard, Paul, the other Richard, Gaines, Kathryn, Simon, Marg, and all of the "Imagine This" playgroup at 2NVR (amongst numerous others), the AntipodeanSF Radio Show would not be without all of you.
Thank you. Yes, you.
In the meantime, dear reader, it's on with the issue, an amalgam of speculative material that includes aliens, tyrannies, legalities, monsters, quantum fluctuations, births, icy worlds, narcissism, and the right stuff.
Read on. Listen in. Thank you, too.
Ooroo for now,
Jason Fischer, Everything Is A Graveyard: Ticonderoga Publications 2013
Another collection of short stories this month, but a marked contrast to last month's fairy tales. In Everything Is A Graveyard, Fischer has given us fourteen tales of post-apocalyptic horror and pathos.
I'm not generally a fan of the macabre, and I tend to like my post-apocalypses full of triumphant remnants of humanity. I am, however, a fan of things done extremely well, and this book fits the bill.
Five years before, the drunk would have been thrown out, maybe beaten and incarcerated. How things changed after first contact.
“Mate, I haven’t even started drinking,” the slurred words rang through the din of the evening regulars in the Sunset Beach Hotel “I’m telling you the honest truth. I held up the world for seventeen minutes once. If I hadn’t, none of us would be here.”
The mining pod’s cabin was only four body-lengths wide, and despite the latest technology, it felt cold. Stark watched the ice through the glass walls and his mouth watered. He couldn’t remember how long since he had swallowed unblemished water.
“The cabin fits exactly into the drill-hole,” Drago said.
While I sat talking with my fiancé Maraiek, her mother muttered to herself within her room in their apartment in the Inner City.
Some things had come out, had been mentioned 'in passing', that indicated she had some cause of shame, deep deep shame, that made her worry about our coming wedding. I should've listened more closely. Something about 'the Game', streetwalking, suchlike.
After three hours of interrogation by the Social Security Customer Care Consultant, Jim Bensen thought that he might at last have jumped through the final hoop to gain unemployment benefits. Every datum of his life had been examined, a spotlight shone into every crack and orifice. While elevator music played in the background, his identity had been systematically dissected; chopped into an uncaring stream of 0's and 1's, the last trimmings and gobbets of humanity flushed away.
My co-counsel, gentlemen of vaguely reptilian nature who had reminded me of the old movie The Creature from the Black Lagoon I had seen as a kid, had requested that I act as local counsel in this jurisdiction. Australia. Earth.
I pulled my attention back to the present, which said a lot about how riveting honourable opposing counsel was.
“Jordan,” alerted Shelley, “The egg is hatching.”
Jordan looked up from his screen at the small speckled egg in the incubator. On the face of things the egg was motionless. There were no visible fractures, nor was there any rocking that indicated internal movement. He pressed the microphone key on the virtual keyboard and said, “I can’t see anything happening, Shelley, confirm your findings.”
"I scored 5.83 on the narcissism scale," Brad announced between mouthfuls of cornflakes. He looked at the tiny Mepod screen yet again, but the result was the same. "Me, a 5.83... I would have thought I'd score much better than that." He shrugged his shoulders. No matter. There were lots of other tests he could take, and sooner or later he'd have to get a remarkable score on one of them, surely.
The demon laughed as its severed head flew across the battlefield and landed with a thud. Og looked frustrated as the demon's lumbering body headed over to retrieve its head. It was the third time Og had decapitated the creature.
'You have to do better than that to kill me,' the Demon said as it reattached its head and turned around.
Coming In Issue 195
A First For Klinko The Klown
By Tony Owens
Time & Time Again
By Ed Errington
The Reluctant Knight
By Mark English
By Shaun Saunders
By Nick Hoins
By Arthur M. Doweyko
by Rebecca Fraser
The Uses of Lemmings
by Wes Parish
by Tom Grayhorse
"Time to check Thursday's weather. How's it looking Paul?"
"Fine for indoor lovers Sally. Thursday morning we're expecting five cyclones, a tidal surge and temperatures around 50 degrees Celsius. The afternoon's looking more settled with just the one cyclone, a sandstorm, and two metre snowfalls.
"Typical Thursday, Sally."
David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks is also on the longlist for the Man Booker Prize. Go SpecFic.
One drowsy summer’s day in 1984, teenage runaway Holly Sykes encounters a strange woman who offers a small kindness in exchange for ‘asylum’. Decades will pass before Holly understands exactly what sort of asylum the woman was seeking...
AntipodeanSF contributor David Scholes has a new book out Daughter of the High Lords and other Speculative Fiction Stories. The book comprises a collection of some 14 science fiction and science fantasy short stories. In “Task Force to Earth XXX” heli-carrier forces from an Earth dominated by Greater Britain are able to re-enter a parallel Earth for the first time in the 30 years since that alternate reality was subjected to alien invasion. Plus many more Available at the Kindle Store.
AntiSF contributor "Sean Frost" (not the name he uses when writing), appears in recent demo reel.
See if you can match the face to the written words...
Karen Joy Fowler's fabulous spec-fic novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves was recently long-listed for the "Man Booker Prize".
As a child, Rosemary used to talk all the time. So much so that her parents used to tell her to start in the middle if she wanted to tell a story. Now Rosemary has just started college and she barely talks at all.
More info here
Online Since Feb 1998
I have been a sore-headed occupant of a file drawer labelled ''Science Fiction'' and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal.
Guy Faux Books
A defamed and exiled Outland scientist must grapple with his sanity as he fights to harvest and burn the evil he's sown. With the clock ticking down to Doomsday, he must join forces with a crew of gnarled and talented cyberpunks to bring down the Californian noosphere, as well as the technocrat who'll stop at nothing to protect his empire.
The Book Of Life
THE EXCITING THIRD INSTALLMENT IN THE ALL SOULS TRILOGY FOLLOWING THE NO.1 INTERNATIONALLY BESTSELLING A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES AND SHADOW OF NIGHT.
Fall under the spell of Diana and Matthew once more in the stunning climax to their epic tale, following A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES and SHADOW OF NIGHT. A world of witches, daemons and vampires. A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future. Diana and Matthew - the forbidden love at the heart of it.
The Stars Like Sand - Australian Speculative Poetry
Edited by PS Cottier & Tim Jones
From Interactive Publications
Speculative poetry from historic times to the finest contemporary poets working in Australia today.
Exhaustively researched and compiled by experienced Australian and New Zealand editors
Generous selections of work from a variety of speculative genres including fantasy, science fiction, horror
More than 80 poets are represented
A sequel to IP's previous anthology Voyagers: Science Fiction Poetry from New Zealand, which was a Listener Magazine Book of the Year.
'Poetry has never been so mind-bending or so entertaining'