The Stories

By Jolie Lindholm

sfgenreBroque’s earthly ensemble fit like a glove, so comfortable, in fact, that he decided to leave it on for the entirety of our rendezvous. I followed suit. Feeling green and anticipating my first report, I’d already begun peeling at the pale flesh covering my left index finger. I hoped he didn’t notice.  

My eyes settled on cheaply painted black bedposts as he spoke, chosen in lieu of real wood. 

By Anonymous

sfgenreOut of nowhere he is engulfed by the stinging realisation that if he were a tree he would be a tight manicured ball of leaves atop a bare, slender trunk. He would not even have a proper trunk, really, just a perfect wooden stem no higher than a lady’s shoulder. Every second day he would require delicate pruning to ensure not a leaf fell out of place, not even in a strong breeze. At best he would evoke feelings of ambivalence from passers-by. At worst, someone would lop off his foliage - just for fun. He would simply be a naked stick then. Just one of many naked sticks all in a row lining an endless estate driveway.

By Harris Tobias

sfgenreBe here now. That was what was written over the door of the Zen Center. Where or what exactly “here” was was never explained, but that was the whole point of Zen. To be so in the moment you were the now.  Alexander Morris understood the now to mean paying attention to the world outside himself. But, as a scientist, he was sceptical that the Zen ideal of being in the “now” was even possible. What exactly was the damn now anyway? It bothered him. The more he thought about it, the less “now” he became. Wasn’t that ironic? Purposeful thinking about something, even the now, took you further from its essence. He wondered how physics would explain the now, or was it merely a mental state?

By C. Kohl

sfgenreWe give this testimony in memoriam to an era long since succumbed to iridium dust. Mors immatura. Our geologic time was cut short, abruptly and mid-spiral, yet this oracle survives, through what becomes your history, perhaps your future. Do with it as you will.

To say that the Earth was paradise back then might mislead you. It was untouched, yes, unfettered even, but it was also dangerously unpredictable. We had no worries about greenhouse gases. Warm, peninsular breezes and plentiful, tropical rains kept us comfortably in our Goldilocks Zone. But the ground could split and shatter without warning, or heave molten rock in a moment’s desire. Despite this, Earth’s wrath stayed mostly contained and we thrived.

By Chris Karageorge

sfgenreIn the light of the sunrise a little idea spawned, as I lay on my bed early one morning. One hour later as the warm sun came up — POP, out of my coffee came a bigger, better, greater idea. I started looking for a pen and began writing in my den.

I jumped up to my feet in a moment: I looked up, but it was all dark overhead; before me was the clock, and while the hour hand was still in sight, it was hurrying down towards closing time. There was not a moment to be lost — away I went like the wind, and was just in time to hear it say, as the hour turned a corner, “It is now five o’clock.”

By Robin Hillard

sfgenreRosalie nipped my ear and I swatted her, just as Dad came in. He waved a vase of roses to thump me. Mum’s favourite vase. She screamed and he lost focus. The vase crashed, Rosalie Buzzed off and the parents turned on me.

“Leave your sister alone,” Dad said. “You have a special gift…”

By Bethany Tatman

sfgenreThe first call came while Stephen was halfway through giving Deanna his coffee order, which displeased him greatly. He tried to mouth large skim cappuccino at her while putting on his headset and flipping switches as his computer screen lit up. 

‘Hello, you have reached the Hero’s Journey Hotline my name is Stephen how may I direct your call?’

By Kevin J. Phyland

sfgenreIt could be argued that what happened was the result of me being a cheapskate. It could also just have been an oversight. Either way, it was a disaster.

Packing a tesseract suitcase is not quite the same as packing a regular suitcase. For a start, the T-case's contents hang outside normal 3-space, via a wormhole throat, to an n-space rental warehouse. To put it in a nutshell — I can carry a LOT in a T-case.

sfgenreDear Editors of AntipodeanSF,

I need your help. I don’t know who else to turn to in order for me to get back to my own time.

Mainstream media outlets refuse to print my request, probably thinking it a hoax. As you’re an SF publication and my request has to do with time travel, I hope that you’ll be more sympathetic, and will recognise that this is no prank.

By Laurie Bell

sfgenreOne step takes me into the portal. Pain rips the air from my lungs but I don’t have time to stress about the lack of oxygen. Every part of my body stretches and shrinks in continuous waves. I pop out the other side, sucking in great gulps of icy air and bend to put my head between my legs. I’m mostly successful in not vomiting and sit up, wiping a trembling hand over my sweat drenched face. I’ve done it before, travelled via portal, and every time I react the same way. They say you get used to it. I never have. I regularly defy expectations that way. Should’ve died ten times over by now. Very few portal jumpers are as old as me. I’ve got mileage. It means experience. They send me in when there is no one left to send and I get only the worst, most deadly missions.

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.

<https://asff.org.au>

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.

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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 www.markwebb.name.

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.

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In The Next Issue...

Coming In Issue 285

A Babbler from Door-toDoor
By Leon D Furze

A.I. — Ay, Aye!
By Col Hellmuth

Conception
By Jon Michael Emory

The Implausible Rise of Z-97R
By Ed Errington

In the Perpetual Dining Halls of Vallhalla
By Michael T. Schaper

Lady Killer
By Diana Grove

Summer Solstice
By Kevin J. Phyland

The Alarm
By Harris Tobias

The Return of the Drongo, Reborn
By William Kitcher

Two Sons
By Botond Teklesz

AntipodeanSF May 2022

ISSUE 284

Speculative Fiction
Downside-Up
ISSN 1442-0686

Online Since Feb 1998

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Download AntiSF E-Book

Epub version:

Kindle version:

AntiSF's Narration Team

tim borellaTim Borella is an Australian author, mainly of short speculative fiction published in anthologies, online and in podcasts.

He’s also a songwriter, and has been fortunate enough to have spent most of his working life doing something else he loves, flying.

Tim lives with his wife Georgie in beautiful Far North Queensland. For more information, visit his Tim Borella – Author Facebook page.angle mic

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 <https://garrydean.wordpress.com>

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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 and The Tiger's Eye (YA/Fantasy) White Fire (Sci-Fi) and The Good, the Bad and the Undecided (a unique collection of short stories set during the events of White Fire/Sci-Fi). 

You can read more of her work on her blog <www.solothefirst.wordpress.com> Look for her on Facebook <www.facebook.com/WriterLaurieBell/> or Twitter: <@LaurienotLori>

Rambles, writing and amusing musings

Smile! laugh out loud! enjoy the following

<www.solothefirst.wordpress.com>

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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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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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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 NewMyths.com, 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 <timothygwyn.com>.

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ed erringtonEd lives with his wife plus a magical assortment of native animals in tropical North Queensland.

His efforts at wallaby wrangling are without parallel — at least in this universe.

He enjoys reading and writing science-fiction stories set within intriguing, yet plausible contexts, and invite readers’ “willing suspension of disbelief.”

He believes stories might also contain an element of humour — however small — to enrich the plot and/or heighten the drama.

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alistair lloyd 200Alistair Lloyd is a Melbourne based writer and narrator who has been consuming good quality science fiction and fantasy most of his life.

You may find him on Twitter as <@mr_al> and online at <alistairlloyd.com>.

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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.

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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: http://antisf.libsyn.com 

SF Quote

Niven's Law: There is no cause so right that one cannot find a fool following it.

Larry Niven

The Contributors

jolie lindholm 200Jolie Lindholm grew up in small towns on Long Island, NY, later moving to Florida for college.

When not writing fiction, she is acting frontwoman for South Florida rock band The Darling Fire, along with her husband of twenty-three years. They share two chihuahuas — one attack and one docile — that rule the roost.

Sci-fi and horror are her biggest influences, and she has fond memories of playing adventure games on floppy disk. She holds an MA in Criminal Justice and a BA in Communication.

(Photo credit: Billy Cessna Jr)

Chana Kohl works in Jerusalem in clinical trials and research, trotting the globe and writing speculative fiction in her spare time.

An avid sci-fi reader since adolescence, Chana only recently turned this passion towards writing, frequently incorporating cultural and religious elements from West and North Africa, Southern Europe, and the Middle East.

Her flash stories have previously appeared or will appear on 365 Tomorrows and the upcoming anthology Planetside: Science Fiction Drabbles.

chana kohl 200You can follow her creative writing journey on Twitter: <@chanakohl> or on her blog: <www.chanakohl.wordpress.com>.

chris karageorge 200Chris Karageorge is a lover, brother, son, neighbour and a keen observer of all things in sight. 

He reads, writes and cooks in his spare time and dreams of coffee darker than a moonless night. 

He is from Melbourne, Victoria and can be found walking his pug Monty during the weekends.

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bethany tatman 200Bethany Tatman is an aspiring writer who currently resides in one of the more hipster suburbs of Melbourne, Australia.

She has previously been published in Lot’s Wife.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading a variety of genres of books — but fantasy will always be her favourite.

She can be found at <@bethany_writes> on Twitter.

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william kerr 200William Kerr is a self-professed science fiction enthusiast. He was born and raised in Tasmania but now calls Canberra home.

His personal preference is hard science fiction and dystopian-style stories which definitely influenced his first published piece ‘The Burning’.

He is looking forward to publishing more flash fiction and is hoping to become a regular contributor.

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Robin Hillard has had a number of stories published in magazines and ezines including AntipodeanSF.

She now lives in Melbourne with a bossy little dog who takes her to the off leash park.  

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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 and The Tiger's Eye (YA/Fantasy) White Fire (Sci-Fi) and The Good, the Bad and the Undecided (a unique collection of short stories set during the events of White Fire/Sci-Fi). 

You can read more of her work on her blog <www.solothefirst.wordpress.com> Look for her on Facebook <www.facebook.com/WriterLaurieBell/> or Twitter: <@LaurienotLori>

Rambles, writing and amusing musings

Smile! laugh out loud! enjoy the following

<www.solothefirst.wordpress.com>

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Harris Tobias lives and writes in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is the author of two novels: The Greer Agency & A Felony of Birds. He has written dozens of short stories many of which are available on line at <quantummuse.com>. He is the author of many children’s books including At The Robot ZooMoonRivet Saves His Skin and An Alphabet Book of Bugs available in print from CreateSpace and as ebooks for Nook & Kindle. You can find links to his writings here: <harristobias-fiction.blogspot.com>

ps cottier 200PS Cottier is a poet who lives in Canberra, with a particular interest in speculative poetry.

She has been published widely at home and in Canada, England, New Zealand and the USA.

Two of her horror poems were finalists in the Australian Shadows Awards for 2020. Her latest books are Monstrous, which is a volume of speculative poems, and Utterly, which is non-genre.

PS Cottier is the Poetry Editor at The Canberra Times and blogs at <https://pscottier.com>

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kevinjphyland 200Old enough to just remember the first manned Moon landing, Kevin was so impressed he made science his life.

Retired now from teaching he amuses himself by reading, writing, following his love of weather and correcting people on the internet.

He’s been writing since his teens and hopes he will one day get it right.

He can be found on twitter @KevinPhyland where he goes by the handle of CaptainZero and his work is around the place if you search using google or use the antisf.com.au archive.

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