The Stories

By Tim Borella

A Prayer to Saint Bibiana

sfgenreWhen I walked in, Alex was perched on the ratty old sofa we’d liberated the previous semester, a picture of concentration.

“The fuck you doing?” I said, dumping my bag and suitcase.

He glanced up with a little nod and turned right back to the strange object on the coffee table in front of him, some bizarre, lumpy, misshapen doll.

By Malina Douglas

A Quizzical Occurrence

sfgenreA pulse of alarm rippled through me — that sound.

I was sitting at my desk when I heard it — a strange kind of scraping. We'd long since put the children to bed, my wife had departed with a kiss on the cheek and the servants had retired to their quarters. It was only the light of my study that glowed in the dark dreaming house, like a ship on dark waters ablaze with a single lantern.

I continued writing — enjoying the tactile scratch of quill on parchment, my books stacked around me like old companions, sometimes flipping open a volume, extracting a line from a marked page, closing it.

By Shane Griffin


sfgenreWalter stood up out of the plastic hospital chair and waved a hand directly in front of his daughter's face. She didn’t even blink. It was like he wasn’t even there.

Beside him, his wife, Aspatia, gave a whimper. She reached for and clung to Walter’s hand like a lifeline. He sat again, suppressed tears welling in his eyes.

“We’ve lost her,” Aspatia cried.

“No, not yet,” he said. “The doctors here are supposed to be the best.

By Mark Towse

Five Years


sfgenreWith headlights off and through the rain-lashed windscreen and blackness of the night, Don didn’t see the tree across his side of the road until it was nearly upon him. He put his foot hard on the brake and instinctively yanked the steering wheel, sending the car fishtailing until it spun out from his control. He continued to wrestle with the wheel but couldn’t even see where the road was anymore and, finally, the tyre caught the edge of the ditch.

As Don braced for impact, he found himself back in his rusty old Ford with Christine, and in the background, the stereo pumping out a tune from their special road trip cassette.

By Russell Kightley

sfgenre“Never stare into mirrors,” I shout at my wife, who’s sitting in the lounge room, leafing through a magazine.

“I don’t,” she yells back. “You’re the narcissist.”

“Mirrors make demons,” I mutter, but get no reaction.

The mirror in the hallway is full-length, with a heavy gilt frame. Its surface is wavy and time-speckled, and its silvered back is breaking down.

By Kevin J. Phyland

sfgenreWhen the alien is spotted walking through the shopping mall food court, the barely contained panic is a palpable living thing.

The woman in front of me bends quickly and whispers a curt instruction to the child holding her hand: to be silent and watch the floor, if I am any judge. Keep walking as you were. Make no sudden changes in what you are doing as that will inevitably attract its attention.

I freeze the look of bland indifference that I'd been wearing as I'd idly perused the various shop windows, but my mind rattles around inside my head like a gibbering monkey, wondering if I've done anything out of the ordinary.

By Laurie Bell

sfgenreFire filled the sky. A unique phenomenon and still frankly terrifying. Flames as long as my finger dance above my head, sparks swarming in numbers too vast to count. If you don’t walk in a crouched wobble you risk setting your hair ablaze.

“Momma, why?”

It’s a familiar refrain. Suppressing a sigh, I sit on the hot concrete and pull Ruby into my lap, readjusting my breather so the comm will activate in her mask. “Because of the poison in the sky.”

“Sky sick?”

“In a way, yes. Not that long ago there was a terrible fight.

By Anderson Fonseca (Tranlsated from Portuguese by Toshiya Kamei)

sfgenreThe TV is tuned to the Worldwide News Channel.

The reporter says, “The moment the idea of God came across our minds, we thought he was our creator, and a question began to haunt us — ‘How will we react when we meet God?’ Today we will have the answer. Sent by NASA in 2048 on an exploratory mission to the Saturnian moon Titan, South Korean scientist Chin Hae and his American colleague Samuel Johnson found our creator after five years of search. This marks the most important moment in human history. In a few seconds, thanks to the Interplanetary Communication System (ICS) — a network of satellites positioned along the path from Earth to Saturn — we will watch live Samuel reveal us God.”

Twenty seconds tick off.

By George Nikolopoulos

The Horn of Amalthea

sfgenreAs I crawled over the ridge, I saw the goat.

I knew it was The One; the blind old priest told the truth in the end. The goat was huge, closer in size to a cow, and it had but one large, curved horn. It was worth the climb halfway up Mount Olympus, just to look at it.

I approached the goat upwind, as stealthily as I could, so as not to alarm it. It stood there, indifferent, grazing forlornly on the small grassy plateau.

I finally reached it. I unsheathed my knife. Made of cold iron, it could cut through bone like it was butter.

On impulse, I stepped in front of the goat before killing it.

By Zebuline Carter

sfgenre“We've finally hit the luckpot!” said Joe, senior research engineer at UniSync

“And that is?” I asked, between chews of my salad sandwich. I sometimes crossed the lot at lunchtime for a break from my own work in human factors. Although I was senior on the staff roster, Joe's office was quieter than my own, and larger. And his gadgets seemed far more interesting than my relentless number crunching and screen projections of social indices.

Joe's eyes twinkled. “Benjamin, I think you of all people should appreciate this: a universe which scores extremely high on all meaningful cultural indices.” 

He was right; my friend had my full attention.

Issue 250 Print Edition

AntipodeanSF Issue 250 is now ready via print on demand.


All profits donated to Australian Science Fiction Foundation fan funds.

Ebook version also now at Smashwords


Download AntiSF E-Book

Epub version:

Kindle version:

AntiSF & The ASFF

AntipodeanSF supports the ASFF

ASFF logo 200

Please visit the ASFF website and consider joining for up-to-date info about Australian SF cons, awards, competitions, and to receive the Foundation's newsletter, Instrumentality, and more.


The AntipodeanSF Radio Show

AntiSF's Production Crew

nuke conflux 2017 200Ion Newcombe is the editor and publisher of AntipodeanSF, Australia’s longest running online speculative fiction magazine, regularly issued since January 1998, and conceived back around November 2007. He has been a zealous reader and occasional writer of SF since his childhood in the 1960s, and even sold a few stories here and there back in the '90s.

“Nuke”, who it turns out loves editing more than writing, lives in the New South Wales North Coast holiday destination of Nambucca Heads, where he is self-employed in IT training, computer support, desktop publishing, editing, writing, and website implementation. He is also the resident tech-head, skeptic, and board member of community radio station 2NVR, where he produces a number of shows including The AntipodeanSF Radio Show.


mark web 200Mark Webb's midlife crisis came in the form of attempting to write speculative fiction at a very slow pace. His wife maintains this is a good outcome considering the more expensive and cliched alternatives. Evidence of Mark's attempts to procrastinate in his writing, including general musings and reviews of books he has been reading, can be found at

One of Mark’s very best forms of writing procrastination is to produce the eBook series for AntipodeanSF, which he has been doing since issue 175.


In The Next Issue...

Coming In Issue 252

by Botond Teklesz

Bring Back the Night
by Robin Hillard

Closed Shop
by Kevin J. Phyland

by Kim Rose

Sex and the Single Cosmonaut
by Ishmael A. Soledad

The Harshest Sentence
by Zebuline Carter

by Roger Ley

The Red Orchestra
by Ovidiu Bufnila

The Rental
by Victoria Chapman

The Second Law of HAVOC
by David Kernot

The Contributors

mconlyMichael Connolly lives in Bowraville NSW, Australia. He has worked as an art teacher, music teacher, printer and illustrator among other things (such as chicken de-beaker), and has a keen interest in science-fiction and the natural sciences. He has illustrated for the magazine Tabula Rasa, which specialises in the horror genre, and is a regular contributor to AntipodeanSF.



anderson fonseca 200 2Born in 1981 in Rio de Janeiro, Anderson Fonseca studied literature at the Universidade Estácio de Sá.

He is the author of the short story collections Notas de pensamentos incomuns (2011), O que eu disse ao general (2014), and Sr. Bergier e outras histórias (2016), as well as the novel A ARCA (2018).

His short stories have appeared in Idle Ink and Middle House Review.

russell kightley 200Russell Kightley has been a scientific illustrator for nearly forty years and a writer for the last five. His stories generally involve time travel and the nature of consciousness. After leaving school, he spent two years studying dentistry before moving into art. English, but now officially antipodean, he lives in Canberra with his Italian wife, who’s an astrophysicist, and his two daughters.

You can see his graphics and animations here: <>

And his books here: <>


malina douglas 200Malina Douglas enjoys spinning stories to thrill and delight.

Her publications include: Metamorphose V2, Indigo: A Western Australian Journal of Writing, Every Second Sunday: A Seoul Writers' Anthology, and the Jungle Age, a website for writers, Writing Writers, Foilate Oak, and the tenth anniversary edition of Consequence Magazine. Her poems have appeared in Sobotka Litmag and will be in the June 2019 issue of Rhythm & Bones.


tim borellaTim Borella has never lost his childhood passion for SF and writing in general and has been lucky enough to have worked most of his life as a pilot — in other words, he’s never properly grown up.

He lives in country Far North Queensland, has won awards for songwriting, and has had various other writing achievements, the most recent being an honourable mention in the 2018 international Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition.

He also has bachelor degrees in science and teaching, and has completed a couple of as-yet unpublished SF novels. He’d dearly love to spend more time writing, but will have to continue juggling for another couple of years until the kids have fully left the nest.


mark towse 200Mark has only been writing short stories for a few months now, but his passion and enthusiasm are unparalleled, and this has recently resulted in paid pieces in many prestigious magazines including Books N' Pieces, Artpost Magazine, Flash Fiction Magazine, Page & Spine, Montreal Writes, Antipodean SF, The No Sleep Podcast and seven anthologies.

Mark resides in Melbourne, Australia with his wife and two children.

Tweet him at: <>.


George Nikolopoulos is a speculative fiction writer from Athens, Greece, and a member of Codex Writers' Group. His short stories have been published in Galaxy's Edge, Daily Science Fiction, Factor Four, Grievous Angel, Helios Quarterly Magazine, Unsung Stories, Best Vegan SFF, The Year's Best Military & Adventure SF, Bards & Sages Quarterly, Havok, SF Comet, Mad Scientist Journal, Truancy, Digital Fiction QuickFic, The Centropic Oracle, StarShipSofa, 600 Second Saga, Antipodean SF, Manawaker Studio's FFP, Fifty Flashes, 9Tales from Elsewhere, Event Horizon 2017, and many other magazines and anthologies.


lauriebell 2 200Laurie Bell lives in Melbourne, Australia. She was that girl you found with her nose always buried in a book. She has been writing ever since she was a little girl and first picked up a pen. From books to short stories, radio plays to snippets of ideas and reading them aloud to anyone who will listen.

She is the author of The Butterfly Stone (YA/ Fantasy — available now) and White Fire (Sci Fi — available now)

You can read more of her work on her blog Look for her on Facebook <> or Twitter: <@LaurienotLori>


Zeb writes:

Last week, on a whim I submitted some of my own musings to ‘Nuke’, and when I checked back today — my time in my ‘verse, which is plus six years comparative to you — I saw that he had published some of them! I wasn’t even sure the contrived email and attachment would get through, let alone end up published on your internet of things. (BTW — We have nothing quite like your ‘net, but we’ve gone far further into the solar system than you have. Figure that!) Now that I know a connection is possible, I thought I’d tell you a little more about myself and where I’m from. So, from the beginning…

Hi. My name is Zebuline Carter — that’s Zeb for my friends or Zeb-you-leen if you want to get formal — and I’m a forty-two year old former astronaut now working as an administrator at Farside, on Luna. Farside is a research base, where innerscopes are just starting to peel back layers of our sheath of the local multiverse. Because our work is so sensitive to em influences, Farside is situated within a one hundred klom diameter exclusion zone.

In my late teens I earned a double major in aerospace and business but passed over grad school for civilian astronaut training. As a kid I collected coupons from cereal boxes until I had enough for my first telescope, and built scale models of all the commercial shuttles and orbiters. Growing up, I’d always felt slightly out of place, like I was meant to to be somewhere else and part of me already was — until, that is, I had my first trip into low orbit aboard a high-riding intercont-cruiser, or ICC. That was a high-school graduation present from my Uncle Jim, and during the fifteen minutes of freefall I found that other part of myself, grabbed it tight, and never let go since.

Did I also mention I’m 180 cents tall with bobbed chestnut hair? Or that because of heart damage from a bad landing, I’m also marooned in low gravity? But heh, there are now six bases around Luna, supporting a permanent population of around twelve thousand Lunans, and a transient population of several thousand tourists and stopovers returning form the outer system, so it never gets boring and I don’t get lonely. And living in low G means I won’t age or sag as fast, either.

Until next time —


Shane is an ageing scientist, cricket fanatic and long term indie writer. He lives in Australia at the foot of the Blue Mountains with one phone obsessed teenager. He has completed many short works, several novella's and one novel. Shane also now publishes via his own independent publishing label —Poupichou Press via Smashwords.

His other works can be found here;



Kevin J. PhylandRetired after 33 years of teaching, Kevin now indulges his passions full-time: weather, reading and writing. His fiction usually embraces darker themes or the new weird, but lately he has gone back to more traditional old school SFF. He has set himself the task of reading every Stephen King novel, in order, and all of the recommended SF reading lists of Locus magazine for the last 35 years <>. His eyes hurt.


AntipodeanSF August 2019


Speculative Fiction
ISSN 1442-0686

Online Since Feb 1998

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AntiSF's Narration Team

garry dean narratorGarry Dean lives on the Mid Coast of New South Wales Australia, and has been a fan of SF for most of his natural life. Being vision impaired, he makes good use of voice recognition and text to speech in order to write. Many of his stories have appeared in AntipodeanSF over the years, and his love of all things audio led him to join the narration team in 2017.

You can read examples of Garry's fiction on his website <>

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timonthy gwyn 100Timothy Gwyn is a professional pilot in Canada, where he flies to remote communities. During a lull in his flying career, he was a radio announcer for three years, and he is also an author.

In addition to short stories at AntipodeanSF and, his SF novel is available internationally in print and ebook formats. "Avians" draws on his love of alternative aviation to tell the tale of a girl who runs away from home to join a cadre of glider pilots on a world without metal or fossil fuels.

On Twitter, he is @timothygwyn, and his blogs are at <>.

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pixie willo 100Pixie is a voice actor, cabaret performer & slam poet From the Blue Mountains in NSW.

She enjoys writing short fiction, plays for radio and stage as well as her own brand of weird poetry.

She hosts the 'Off-Beet Poetry Slam' held bi-monthly in Katoomba,

And is a theatre reviewer for 2SER FM in Sydney.

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marg essex 200Margaret lives the good life on a small piece of rural New South Wales Australia, with an amazing man, a couple of pets, and several rambunctious wombats.

She feels so lucky to be a part of the AntiSF team.

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david whitaker 200David Whitaker is originally from the UK though has travelled around a bit and now resides in India. He has a degree in Journalism, however decided that as he’s always preferred making things up it should ultimately become a resource rather than a profession.

His stories, covering everything from sci-fi to philosophy, have been published across the globe and links to each can be found at <>

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mark english 100Mark is an astrophysicist and space scientist who worked on the Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn. Following this he worked in computer consultancy, engineering, and high energy research (with a stint at the JET Fusion Torus).

All this science hasn't damped his love of fantasy and science fiction. It has, however, ruined his enjoyment of rainbows, colourful flames on romantic log fires, and rings around the moon. He has previously been published in Stupefying Stories Showcase, Everyday Fiction, Escape Pod, Perihelion and also on AntipodeanSF where he is part of the narration team.

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lauriebell 2 200Laurie Bell lives in Melbourne, Australia. She was that girl you found with her nose always buried in a book. She has been writing ever since she was a little girl and first picked up a pen. From books to short stories, radio plays to snippets of ideas and reading them aloud to anyone who will listen.

She is the author of The Butterfly Stone (YA/ Fantasy — available now) and White Fire (Sci Fi — available now)

You can read more of her work on her blog Look for her on Facebook <> or Twitter: <@LaurienotLori>

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carolyn eccles 100

Carolyn's work spans devising, performance, theatre-in-education and a collaborative visual art practice.

She tours children's works to schools nationally with School Performance Tours, is a member of the Bathurst physical theatre ensemble Lingua Franca and one half of darkroom — a visual arts practice with videographer Sean O'Keeffe.

(Photo by Jeremy Belinfante) 

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SF News

Upcoming Cons

Worldcon Dublin 2019 — An Irish Worldcon 15/08/2019 till 19/08/2019, The Convention Centre Dublin (CCD). <More info here>.

Conflux 15: What Lies Beneath (2019) will be held in Canberra from Saturday 5 October through to Monday 7 October 2019. Conflux is Canberra’s longest-running spec fiction (sci fi, fantasy & horror) convention including all things speculative and have a strong program for writers of the genre, as well as all the usual panels, discussions, cosplay & social stuff. <More info here>. AntipodeanSF will be at Conflux!

For more up-to-date Aussie SF info join the ASFF: <>.

The AntipodeanSF Radio Show

AntiSF Radio Show

antipod-show-50The AntipodeanSF Radio Show delivers audio from the pages of this magazine.

The weekly program features the stories from recently published issues, usually narrated by the authors themselves.

Listen to the latest episode now:

The AntipodeanSF Radio Show is also broadcast on community radio, 2NVR, 105.9FM every Saturday evening at 8:30pm.

You can find every broadcast episode online here: 

SF Quote

Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories.

Isaac Asimov

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