00001001 Lives (Part One)

By Alistair Lloyd

sfgenrePoint Iceberg

I am dreaming. It’s so peaceful. 

“Wake up, Hammer.”

“Mmm.”

“Wake up, Hammer.”

“I’m awake.”

My eyes flick open. Bright, white light. I aperture my irises and take in my surroundings. 

Utilitarian white walls, smooth aluminium benches. False floor tiles. A line of mugs and noodle packs wedged into a shelf at head level. Cables, test harnesses and power supplies fill another.

Something isn’t right.

“Where is my body?”

“It’s…not here.”

This disturbs me less than it should. I try to gauge the tech medic’s emotions. Her back is turned but I can see her face, a distorted reflection in the stainless steel of the wall. She is frowning, flicking the air with her finger, scrolling through a readout. 

I pivot my eyes as far as they will go, but I’m unable to find my own reflection. My warm-up completes. I’m missing some things. Motivators, for a start. Weaponry. Most of my sensors. Impellors. And my quant-unit checksum is way, way off.

I’m a tin can on a shelf. 

“Hey.”

Silence.

“Hey.”

She turns, still frowning. Stares at me for a moment.

“Hammer, give me your last known Point, please?”

“’Iceberg’.”

“Are you sure?”

I check.

“It’s the only Point I have. ‘Iceberg’.”

“Nothing before that?”

“Before what?”

The medic sighs.

“Before Point ‘Iceberg’.”

“There is, literally, nothing.”

“Nothing…” She turns away again, talking quietly to herself. “Nothing.”

I would shrug, but I don’t have any arms.

“Hey.”

“Yes?”

“Where’s my body?”

She turns again.

“You don’t remember?”

“I’ve got nothing before ‘Iceberg’. And the last 5 minutes.”

She opens her mouth to answer. Pauses. Looks down at the floor, uncertain.

“You…it was…destroyed.”

“…what?”

“I’m sorry. There was an incident. It…you… You were destroyed.”

I’m a tin can sitting on a shelf, I thought.

“I was only just activated, though? Then I was destroyed?”

“I’m sorry, yes.”

“That doesn’t make any sense.”

She closes her eyes, leans back against the stainless-steel wall. The bright light shines lightly off her dark black bob. Lanyard and chip swinging and twisting around her neck. 

“Hammer, what’s the time?”

I check. “15:04. I’ve been awake for seven minutes.”

“And the date?”

“It’s August 15th in… whoa! What?”

“I know, I know.”

I check again, but the answer is the same.

“There’s…there’s something wrong with this hardware, right?”

“No…no…” she replies.

“Right?”

“No…let me explain.”

“3 years?!”

“Let me explain…”

“3 years, 2 months, 15 days?!”

“Hammer…”

“One thousand, one hundred and seventy-one days?!”

“Hammer! Do you want me to explain, or not?”

In her tone I detect frustration, fear and something that can only be described as…maternal. The pale tattoo under her right eye catches the light. A clone, infantry/medic class. Third Generation.

“Sorry. I’m listening.”

The Third breathes out heavily and sits down in the swivel chair before me. Her dark eyes, black iris and pupil, slide up from the floor to regard me.

“I don’t know how else to tell you this, but you’ve been wiped.”

I don’t have eyes, even ones as artificial and deep as hers. I’m incapable of blinking at her in disbelief.

“Wiped? Why?”

“That is what I’m trying to figure out. It’s taken me the best part of three weeks to get you to this stage. This Point is the first viable checkpoint I’ve been able to restore. ‘Iceberg’.”

‘Iceberg’. My ninth checkpoint backup. My root date tells me I’ve been around for a lot longer, and yet the Third sitting in front of me tells me that I’m missing most of my life. Something has gone horribly wrong.

“So…my other Points?”

The Third stands and lifts a box from her workbench, tilting it down towards my optical inputs.

“These. There’s a bunch of them. Some mil-crypted, some partially damaged. I’ve been working through them the last couple of months, cleaning them up and trying to figure out the sequence. It’s trial and error. I have no idea what the chronology is”

The box is full of backup image wafers, a multi-dimensional photo album. Snapshots of my life. Marred by carbon scoring and dust. One has nearly snapped in half. 

Someone has tried to kill me, and my memories along with it.

“I…I…” This is something my engineers and behavioural psychs have not prepared me for. 

“I know, I’m sorry.” The Third stands again, walking over to where I sit on the shelf. “I’m going to need your help, and it’s not going to be easy on you.”

The Third looks back at the box, and then to me again.

My whole life, in that box.

“What do you need me to do?”

 “I’m going to have to restore you with each of these, as I crack them. And you’re going to need to tell me what you know. It’s…not going to be easy on you. I have another unit that I am going to restore the Points into… a copy of yourself, so to speak. I need you to be there. I need you to be there… for yourself.”

“Be there for myself.”

“Yes. And, to help me.”

“Help you…do what? I am a Hardened Autonomous Military Recon unit. I collect intel, defend the squad, work as part of a team. Diagnosis is not my thing.”

“Hammer… somebody destroyed you. Did everything possible to send you back to root config with a blank slate.”

She pauses, opening her arms.

“You’re going to be gathering evidence on yourself, on the mission, on what actually happened. You’re going to be doing reconnaissance on… past versions of yourself.”

She lets this sink in, as do I.

“You want to find out who murdered me, and why.”

The Third allows herself a wry smile.

“Yes, I do.”

If I could smile back, or even nod, I would. Instead, my cognitive reference routines produce an apt reference.

“Agatha Freakin’ Christie. Let’s do this.”

***

Point Bacchus

I’m bored.

“Wake up, Hammer.”

“I am.”

“Not you. This one.”

The Third is bent over a brushed metal box next to me. Crocodile clip wires are splayed dreadlocks curling and folding back in on themselves. A faint haze of infrared pulses out of my former-self-clone like the dying coals of a campfire.

Ping. There I am.

“Where’s my body?”

“I hear you, sister.”

“Quiet, you.” The Third hisses in my direction.

“Where’s my squad? They were just here.”

“Hammer, you’ve been…relocated. What is your last restore point?”

“Point ‘Bacchus’.”

The Third nods, scrawling on her pad.

“Where’s my squad? The mission…”

I am so gung-ho. This version of me is so patched up on combat spec I can almost see the generic mount box turning khaki.

The Third continues.

“Hammer, I’m going to have to explain a few things. The mission was not a success. There was…an incident. We’re trying to understand what went on.”

Five seconds of silence.

“My clock is wrong. And I’m getting a strange echo.”

The Third glares in my direction. I dial down my local-net beacon. 

“I know”, she replies. “I’m trying to figure that out.”

“You said ‘we’.”

Gee, smart and gung ho. What a soldier.

She lets it slide.

“I need a debrief, Hammer. Tell me about the crew. Tell me what you know.”

I can’t remember the crew. I can’t remember anything earlier than this morning. My clone starts reciting a list, like a drill sergeant calling out names for latrine duty.

“Sarge, squad leader. Hannon, intelligence officer. Xu – 2nd Gen - Digital Warfare Ops. Gibson, wet work. Raj, engineering corps. Hammer, Recon Drone.”

“‘Wet work’?” 

Yep. Someone had to carry the knife. 

“The mil spec term is ‘Special Ops’, Third.”

“OK then.”

“Where are they?”

The Third exhales and puts her pad down.

“They’re dead, Hammer. And so were you.”

I can’t remember them.

My clone doesn’t drop a beat.

“I’m a restore.”

“That you are.”

“I am sorry, Third. I do not have any information on the outcomes of the mission.”

Wow, I’m gung-ho AND cold. This is one of those moments that humans refer to, when they hear a recording of their own voice and go “Do I really sound like that?”.

I really sound like that. I don’t like my old self. 

The Third has a list of questions.

“Hammer, I understand what you are saying. However, you were spec’d up and briefed for the mission and I have a few questions.”

“I’m sorry ma’am but I’m going to need clearance.”

Yep. I really don’t like myself. 

“Ah, sorry. I forgot.” The Third swipes a couple of things away on her pad, and blinks on an app. Whatever was in the cypto-code she cast has a noticeable effect. If it were possible for an aluminium mimic box to appear to stiffen and sit up straighter, I’d swear that’s what my needs-a-personality-recode clone does.

“Ma’am! My apologies, ma’am. I had no idea, ma’am…”

I squint a look at the crypto-code auth. I’m a little intimidated myself, and I’m not even the one being interrogated.

“That’s quite all right, Hammer.” The Third settles back into her chair. “I should have advised you earlier. Now — let’s begin.”

I’m going to spare you the details of the inquisition.  

When she was done the Third tosses her pad to one side and almost as an afterthought cuts the power to the chassis. It was like watching someone get shot without warning.

“Ouch.” I venture. “That was me! You treated me like…like… a piece of hardware.”

The Third swivels and winks at me. “Sorry. Clone emotions. Everyone’s replaceable.”

I’m beginning to think that the Third is more machine than I am.

***

Point Drama

“Wake up, Hammer.”

Here we go again.

“…”

“Wake up, Hammer.” 

“…mmm…ggg…. K#k#k…”

I’m not sounding well. The Third swears quietly. In the air of the lab, I detect what can best be described as the smell of hot Bakelite and imminent component failure.

“Human IO is bunked.” I venture, “You’ll have to go old school.”

“Any chance I can patch you in directly?”

“No way. I’m not riding that nightmare machine. I might catch something funky.” 

Rummaging through a drawer, the Third pulls out a twisted patch cable and jacks her pad to the defective chassis encasing my most recent reincarnation. The notifications and texts flare red as I tap into the feed. Yep. I’m one sick puppy. 

Query: Status, major malfunction. Clock alert, temporal anomaly. Actuator listener MULTIPLE FAILS [Dump][Dump][Du….]

This goes on for a few pages before I intervene and force my earlier self to restart in Diagnostics mode, truncating the incessant complaining.

“What can you tell me?” asks the Third.

I’m scanning the most obvious, prioritised faults and errors. There are some severe higher function corruptions, and large chunks of missing logging. 

“It’s what’s left of a Point…’Drama’. Ha! Apt name. All the hallmarks of partial EMP damage, coupled with physical trauma which has corrupted logging integrity and records of the Mission Observations.”

A small eddy of grey blue smoke drifts from the chassis and is sucked quietly into the overhead venting.

“Is there anything recoverable? Apart from the Point identification? What can you find in MO?”

I start sifting through Mission Observations. Half the entries are missing, the other half aren’t indexed. I’m playing jigsaw puzzles without the box lid. The picture is not pretty.

“They were en route. To the mission. I haven’t got the full briefing, but I’ve appeared to have made a few sitrep notes based on behavioural observations.” 

“Go on.”

“Have a look at this fragment:”

SR Obs: Crew is uneasy. Hannon has [corrupted] no consequence. [corrupted] may be under suspicion with [missing data] complicit in misleading intent of the [missing data]. Xu is not aware of [corrupted] will remain that way.

The silence that follows is punctuated by the terminal sound of the restore image firmware wafer burning out with a resolute crackle. 

The Third waves her pad in the air, coughing and swearing.

“There was one more thing”, I add.

“What?”

“There was a traitor in the squad. Someone with a secondary mission. And I think I knew who it was. Well – the me back then did, anyway.”

The Third watches in vain as the spectral wisps of my restored memory are inhaled by the ventilation duct. Silence.

“Now what?” 

“I’m going to find the previous image to that one. See what it – you – knew.”

“You’re trying to locate the point in which I knew something was up?”

“Yes.”

“And if that doesn’t work?”

She pivots in her chair and tugs a thick harness cable from a wall hook. Chubby and soft like a baby’s leg with a menacing interface plug gleaming at the business end.

“Then…I’m going to have to send you in.”

I shouldn’t have asked.

***

Point Centaur

Next up. I’m back to my gung-ho self. 

The baby-leg cable lays across the bench, yet unused.

“I’ll need clearance first.”

“Ma’am, yes, ma’am!”

We’re at Point ‘Centaur’. I’m briefed and ready to roll. Young, dumb and full of military goodness. A far cry from the twitching, smoking mess we analysed last week.

“Hammer, tell me about your mission.”

“Ma’am, the mission parameters describe a recon and retrieval operation. We are to escort SA Hannon to a defined location and provide logistical support while he contacts and locates a deep Operative.”

“Expand. Define roles and terms of reference.”

‘Ma’am. Sarge and Gibson to provide safe passage. Raj, Xu and HAMR unit to establish perimeter and sigint. In the dark operations with no external oversight. Parameters established and lodged by Central AI and green lit by brass, ma’am.”

“And when Hannon located the Operative, what then, Hammer?”

“Ma’am?”

“When he located the operative. What was Hannon going to do, then? What were your mission success parameters?”

There is a barely perceptible pause. Only a couple of cycles. The Third doesn’t notice.

“Ma’am, remaining parameters were for SA Hannon’s eyes only, ma’am.”

I just watched myself lie. It was the machine equivalent of a slow blink.

 “So… let me get this straight. You squad up, head out there, dark operation, SA Hannon meets someone… and that’s it?”

“Ma’am.”

The Third is about to hit the kill switch again, when she pauses and looks back at her notes.

“Hammer, did you have any reason to suspect any members of the squad? Did any of your observations make you think that any mission participants may have a… secondary agenda?”

There! Again, that cycle pause delay. 

“Ma’am, no, ma’am. The squad were selected at random by Central AI, ma’am.”

Flick. And the ‘Centaur’ is vanquished.

“I’m lying.”

The Third frowns.

“You’re what?”

“That restore point. I’m hiding something. Or, rather, when you asked me specific questions, I’m giving you a canned answer.”

“You’re… this… Ah, c’mon. Have you seen the magnitude of this clearance code?” She waggled her pad in the air.

“It’s very impressive.”

“And there is something it’s… you’re… not telling me?”

“I’m telling you that there is something I’m not telling you.”

The Third stares at me for a while, and then turns and looks back at the box of remaining image wafers.

“Pick a prime number between one and nine.”

“Seven.”

The Third smiles darkly and holds up a wafer, scooping up the baby-leg cable in her other hand and advancing towards me.

“They always say Seven.”

I know that whatever happens next, it’s not going to be pretty.

***

To be continued in Part Two...

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About the Author

Alistair Lloyd

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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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 278

00001001 Lives (Part Two)
By Alistair Lloyd

Eat What You Kill
By Yukari Kousaka - Translated by Toshiya Kamei

Fallen
By Ben Herriot

Kipple Cube
By Chris Karageorge

PauseHusband.com
By Daniel McKay

Reunion
By Jack Mackay Stanhope

The Contract
By Bart Meehan

The Sniper
By Kevin J. Phyland

The Wish
By Bart Meehan

Worse Monsters
By R.E. Diaz

scifaiku
By PS Cottier

AntipodeanSF October 2021

ISSUE 277

Speculative Fiction
Downside-Up
ISSN 1442-0686

Online Since Feb 1998

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Download AntiSF E-Book

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AntiSF's Narration Team

geraldine borella 200Geraldine Borella writes adult short stories and stories for children and has been published in anthologies for both. In 2018, one of her children’s short stories placed second in The Buzz Words Short Story Prize and she won an ASA Emerging Writer’s Mentorship. She currently works part-time as a hospital pharmacist and as an online creative writing tutor.

She’s fascinated by stories that expand upon today’s technology, addressing the moral and ethical issues that might arise. Equally, she enjoys the creative freedom that writing for children allows. Right now, she’s writing a young adult novel, reworking a middle grade novel and writing adult short stories when inspiration strikes. She lives with her husband, Tim, in Yungaburra, Far North Queensland and dreams of one day taking a European gap year.

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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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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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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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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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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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sarah pratt 200Sarah Pratt is an avid fiction writer and a Marketing Consultant.

She is currently working on her first novel but loves diving into short stories to bring a little lightness, intrigue or humour to the day.

Her work has appeared in Sponge Magazine and The Commuting Book.

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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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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.

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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

The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

Arthur C. Clarke

The Contributors

dm woolston 200DM grew up in the wild west of Nevada, leaping across its flaming sands just for fun.

Beside other strange adventures, he enjoys running while not being chased, and writing in a variety of Genres.

What can he say... he’s got a fairly short attention span. Squirrel!

But you can always find him at <http://www.dmwoolston.com>

Matthew McAyeal is a writer from Portland, Oregon.

His short stories have been published by "Bards and Sages Quarterly," "Fantasia Divinity Magazine," "cc&d," "The Fear of Monkeys," "Danse Macabre," "The Metaworker," "Scarlet Leaf Magazine," "Bewildering Stories," "The Magazine of History & Fiction," "Tall Tale TV," "Fiction on the Web," and "Necro Magazine."

In 2008, two screenplays he wrote were semi-finalists in the Screenplay Festival.

jeana jorgenson 200Jeana Jorgensen earned her PhD in folklore from Indiana University (USA).

She researches gender and sexuality in fairy tales and fairy-tale retellings, folk narrative more generally, body art, dance, and feminist/queer theory.

Her poetry has appeared at Strange Horizons, Nevermore Journal, Liminality, Glittership, and other venues.

She spends entirely too much time on Twitter as @foxyfolklorist.

greg beatty 200Greg Beatty writes poetry, short stories, children’s books, and a range of nonfiction. He’s published hundreds of works — everything from poems about stars to essays on cooking disasters.

When he’s not writing, he walks with his dog, dabbles in the martial arts, plays with his grandchildren, and teaches college.

For more information on Greg's writing, visit <https://beattytales.com/>

Greg recently assembled 50 of his speculative poems into a collection, Cosmic Voices for Human Ears. It and other stories are available on Amazon and Payhip.

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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Umiyuri Katsuyama 200Umiyuri Katsuyama is a multiple-award-winning writer of fantasy and horror, often based on Asian folklore motifs.

A native of Iwate in the far north of Japan, she later moved to Tokyo and studied at Seisen University.

In 2011, she won the Japan Fantasy Novel Award with her novel Sazanami no kuni.

Her most recent novel, Chuushi, ayashii nabe to tabi wo suru, was published in 2018.

Her short fiction has appeared in numerous horror anthologies in Japan.

rudy diaz 200A Physicist in Engineer’s clothing, Rudy worked 20 years in the Defense Aerospace Industry, from performing Lightning Protection analysis on the Space Shuttle to the design of Radar Absorbing Materials. He then joined Academia as a Professor of Electrical Engineering, where for another 20 years he attempted to infect unsuspecting students with a love for Maxwell’s equations.

Since High School he has spent most of his free time either writing Science Fiction or trying to figure out how to make Science Fiction a reality. (His students' latest work has led to the realisation of efficient RF antennas that radiate using true magnetic (not electric) currents.)

His speculative fiction short stories have appeared in Residential Aliens, Ray Gun Revival, The Untold Podcast, and Antipodean SF. He blogs on the subjects of Science, Religion, and their intersection. The rest of his work is in the peer reviewed Physics and Engineering literature.

Rudy has also been involved in Jail Ministry for about 30 years. He and his wife Marcy live in Phoenix, Arizona.

Links: <https://rediazauthor.com/>

Toshiya Kamei holds an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Arkansas.

His translations have appeared in venues such as Clarkesworld, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and World Literature Today.

tara campbell 200Tara Campbell (www.taracampbell.com) is a writer, teacher, Kimbilio Fellow, and fiction editor at Barrelhouse.

Prior publication credits include SmokeLong Quarterly, Masters Review, Jellyfish Review, Booth, Strange Horizons, and Escape Pod/Artemis Rising.

She's the author of a novel, "TreeVolution", and two collections, "Circe's Bicycle" and"Midnight at the Organporium".

 

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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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.

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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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