You're about to launch into an adventure at AntipodeanSF, the online magazine that's devoted to the regular monthly publication of fabulous and original science-fiction, fantasy, or horror mini-stories of about 500 words each, with occasional features of 1000 words and beyond.
AntipodeanSF will entertain you, yet won't take hours to read.
Please spend a few moments to read this month's stories, reviews, and other information about down-under SF. Alternatively, listen to all of the stories on the AntipodeanSF Radio Show, weekly.
AntipodeanSF is also optimised for reading on your i-phone, i-pod, other mobile phone, or PDA device. Read us anywhere!
You couldn't ask for more in one month. Twelve stories on the edge of fantasy, science, fiction, horror, and disbelief. Twelve stories of what if. Twelve now — and twenty plus one next issue.
Almost exactly, within the limits of our self-defined error bars, seventeen years ago was born the seed issue of AntiSF, Issue Zero. No copy remains. It's lost to the zippy flash of electrons of a failed hard drive that probably didn't incorporate the principles of Giant Magneto Resistance.
Issue Zero, from memory, urged writers with internet connections to contribute flash fiction to this very site. Why flash? Why only five hundred words? Because the screens of 1997-1998, flickering Cathode-Ray-Tube behemoths of power-suckage, weren't really that good for reading on.
Things have changed since then, but AntiSF is still here, with a vengeance, on a platform to suit you.
Go to it. Read these stories, feast, rest and prepare your mind for the ascendence of Issue 200...
Klinko, the King of Klowns, looked around in shock. A second earlier, he and Mung Bean the Dwarf had been attempting to repair the fractious popcorn machine in Hernandez’s Circus of Terror. One shower of sparks and a temporal displacement later, the clown stood alone, screwdriver in hand, in what a real estate agent might have described as a post-apocalyptic landscape close to the ruins of schools and public transport.
Before he could ponder the possible causes of such chronological shenanigans, the roar of a crowd behind him ripped him out of his reverie. ‘Brains!’ came the roar of a nearby zombie horde.
Like I was telling my buddy Zeke the other night, “Considering all the risks we take, you’d think the Buggers would be a little more generous.” Zeke’s an old friend and if you can’t gripe to your friends who can you gripe to? Besides, griping about money is the oldest gripe there is.
Zeke’s an arms dealer like me. I have no idea where he gets his stuff. Nobody in this business asks. It’s not considered good manners. Not that I’d believe him anyway. I get my stuff from my brother-in-law who gets it from a guy who gets it from a guy in the army.
“I can smell his liver cirrhosis from here. Why can’t I eat him? I’ll be doing the world a favour.”
“The human world maybe, but it won’t make any difference to us.”
“Right now I’m hungry enough to suck the blood from a three-day old corpse. What about her then? She smells healthy. She’s beautiful. Sexy. She’s got it all.”
“Why? Because she’s young and pretty?”
Sedna was the ice queen, but all she wanted was to be admired or better still, to be loved, perhaps even cherished. Instead, Sedna was alone. She was always left in the dark, kept far out in the cold, and away from the rest of society. Snubbed at the Celestial Ball by Jupiter for being a dwarf, she responded by appearing distant and icy toward him. She had wanted to tell him that she still had feelings, but he wouldn’t have it. Jupiter had laughed.
She vowed she would have her revenge.
The sun is shining, the sky blue. Impossible. Long Shot’s medical centre has no view like that — nor the capacity to simulate it. The bed I am on looks more familiar: narrow, metal frame, thin mattress. I have been thawed, but where? Did the whole attempt fail? Are we all back on Earth?
At first glance, it looks like a hospital room should. There is machinery at the head of my bed, and two lightweight cots from the ship, mine closer to the window, the other one empty, unmade. The walls are crudely plastered, though, and I cannot see any glass in the window.
“No, my dear, it’s not necessary to drive so close to the edge. Keep your eyes in the centre of the lane and look ahead, at where you’re going. Keep moving your gaze ahead of where you want to be.”
“But if I do that, how can I look around like you said I should, to be aware of everything?”
The instructor sighed. “It only takes a second to let your eyes glance around. Always keep your eyes moving, never stare.”
“But if I don’t look ahead, how will I know where I’m going?”
Male-gendered robot — MED40 — hovers around the anaesthetised body of Morrison his human owner and patient. One of Morrison’s kidneys needs replacing, and MED40 is here to do it.
MED40 knows he is capable of removing Morrison's kidney in half the time allocated, but decides undue speed would constitute showing-off. Morrison is the show-off not MED40. He boasts about his power. He can recycle any of his robots without question. Morrison believes robots are inferior, because their systems have inbuilt failure — progressive obsolescence — making way for newer models.
The yellow here is my least favourite colour; it cascades over the plexiglass like piss. Quantum piss, perhaps, since the storm stretches all matter into the craziest of shapes.
Artist residencies are not unlike religious retreats; I am the Stylite, behold, atop my Venusian tower, blind as a bat and closer to God than ever . . .
The carefully chosen team trained hard together for nearly a decade. Relationships formed, and in Kelvin and Cecilia’s case love blossomed.
On completion came cutbacks. Project director Hite dropped Cecilia from the programme.
“I’m not going without her,” shouted an outraged Kelvin.
Darren Hite was unmoved. Political pressure was mounting to have the Alpha Centauri mission scrapped, and the resources reallocated to more pressing local problems.
“Listen up, you scum suckers,” screamed the guy in military fatigues, “None of you should even be here. In fact, if it wasn’t for the difficult economic times we’re facing, I reckon you wouldn’t be. No, you’d all be swanning it somewhere else, enjoying the easy life.” He strutted along the line-up, catching his breath. “You probably think that having passed your medicals and gotten this far in the selection process, you’ve already made it, with better times to come waiting just around the corner.
Maria knew that she had made the right decision. Obviously she was terrified — who wouldn't be? Absolutely anything could happen here, but it was the right thing to do. Maria travelled along the brutally cold inter-connector tube towards a real alien spacecraft. As the first human ever to do so, Maria was scared — but still right. For sure.
Coming In Issue 200
by Mark Webb
A Giant Leap For A Man
by Sean Williams
The Meat From The Butcher
by Shaun A Saunders
Where The Last Humans Went
by Edwina Harvey
Closer To God
by Martin Livings
by Rob Bleckly
When No One Remembers
by Kathryn Flaherty
Masses to Masses
by Liz Heldmann
by Christine Gladstone
The Kangaroos of Sicily
by Michael T Schaper
by Simon Petrie
When Hope Is All You Have
by David Kernot
The Return Of The Were Bat
by Tony Owens
by David Scholes
by DW Walker
By Derek Smith
Kevin J. Phyland
by Paul Sheringham
by Wes Parish
One More Deja Again
by Tom Grayhorse
A Lively Discussion Over The Merits Of Flash Fiction
by PS Cottier
Online Since Feb 1998
Atria January 3
The Over Class - by Zeb Carter
News Just To Hand - by Simon Petrie
Blang!- by Harris Tobias
Koo She January 10
Of Fields, Half Sown - by Kurt Hunt
HAD - by Shaun Saunders
Polaris January 17
Perceptions 3 (Reunion) - by Christine Gladstone
Pogonophobia - by Paul Hughan
Mirzam January 24
Deserted Village - by DW Walker
Words On A Page - by Tsana Dolichva
A Terminology Dispute - by Wes Parish
Alphard January 31
Books To Look Out For - by Rob Hood
Soon The Teeth - by Kirstyn McDermott
Prime Cuts - by Jason Nahrung
All podcasts at:
Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology.