A Hand Full Of Sand Can Save Your Life

By Laurie Bell

sfgenreTerrie sat in his cell. Terrie stared at the wall. Then for something different Terrie stared at the floor. After a while, he glanced up at the camera port in the corner. The red light burrowed into his brain. The suddenly icy steel floor bit into the skin of his bare feet, forcing him to pull them up under his body. He returned his gaze to the wall and counted twenty marks scratched by his chipped and bleeding fingernail.

Only twenty days.

He’d been sentenced to three years. Terrie’s shaking fingers clutched at his oily hair. He pulled hard enough to feel his skin stretch. They’d promised to get him out, the two criminals he’d hired for the original heist. The one he’d been arrested for. Oh come on, Terrie. You planned it all. What did you expect? You hired them because they were good.

But they’d promised.

Hadn’t they?

The last message he’d seen replayed in his mind like it had every day for the past twenty. We care — hold tight — we’ll see you soon. Terrie pulled harder on his hair. Hard enough for the headache to surrender to worse pain. You fool! The woman’s icy, cold stare appeared before his eyes. As did her magnificent figure.

The vision didn’t bring warmth to his blood, only more chill to his already frozen body. The man’s drawl, her partner or lover — Terrie had never worked it out — told him to quit staring. He blinked the woman away.

A rattle drew his attention to the door. A cell on a ship was no more or less secure than on land. Old fashioned bars, a tumbler lock — designed so that you couldn’t escape. Codes and key cards could be hacked, but a manual lock needed a manual key, which meant you had to get in to get out.

Escape was simply impossible.

Terrie scowled. Instructor demoted to doorman, turned prisoner. His codes had let the criminals steal a fortune. That was why he’d been caught. It’s why he was stuck here. Twenty days. Jesit!

The rattle came again, heralding another visit from the warden — or the head doc. They could demand answers all they liked, torture him for longer if it would make them feel better, but Terrie couldn’t break. He knew nothing. The two criminals he’d hired told him zip about their escape plan or where they’d stashed their loot. Terrie’s cut had been stolen by the government upon his sentencing.

Footsteps sounded in the corridor. Too fast, too light. Terrie climbed to his feet. What now?

A suited guard, hips and chest all wrong for a regular gatekeeper, appeared at his door. Blond hair wisped from the guard’s cap. A crystal gaze locked onto his.

“How?” The word popped out of his mouth before he could stop it.

“Shhhhh.” She stood before the lock and twisted a metal object inside. Terrie’s eyes darted up, his gaze locked on the camera port. Its ever-present burning red light was off.
A dull thud echoed inside the door and the guard — she — the woman whose face he’d always remember, turned and strode away without further words.

Terrie stared at the empty corridor. Was she just another apparition of his bored mind? The door swung open on his push. Do I follow her? Is that what I’m supposed to do?

The corridor stood empty. Eerily so. At the secondary gate Terrie paused. A loud electronic beep preceded the slide of the heavy door. Terrie kept walking, heart thundering. If he were caught now, if this was a trap, they wouldn’t just put him back in his cell, they’d kill him.

Another guard appeared. “This way, babe.” That voice. Terrie didn’t need to see his face to know who it was. Terrie raced to the man’s side. The woman appeared on his right. Flanked by criminals dressed as officials, Terrie walked clear of the prison wing.

“Tell me who you are,” Terrie whispered, wiping sweat from his eyes, desperate to know their names.

“Whoever you want us to be.” The man’s voice held a subtle laugh. Terrie’s blood thrummed, excitement made his hands shake.

The man thrust a taser into Terrie’s fingers, butt-first. “We’ve another job. A planet shield is in our way. Big score. Are you with us?”

Jesit. They’d come back for him. “Absolutely,” Terrie said.

rocket crux 2 75

About The Author

Laurie Bell

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 (available now).

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

aus25grn

Download AntiSF E-Book

Epub version: 

Kindle version: 

AntiSF & The ASFF

AntipodeanSF supports the ASFF

asff img

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.

<http://asff.org.au>

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.

aus25grn

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.

aus25grn

The AntipodeanSF Radio Show

In The Next Issue...

Coming In Issue 239

Alea Iacta Est
by Chris Cole

Critters
by Kevin J. Phyland

Gathering At The Bubble
by Robert W. Caldwell

History Comes Alive
by Ken Schweda

Leading The Swan
by Hari Navarro

Stupid Robot
by Col Hellmuth

The Centaur
by Salvatore Difalco

The Circus Act
by Ferne Merrylees

Touch
by Robert David

War On Terror Just Blows Me Away
by Wes Parish

Get Dimension 6

D6sidebar

Get Dimension 6 Speculative Fiction

From Coeur De Lion Publishing

Here at AntiSF
Download D6 Now!

"Trust me, you want this free speculative fiction e-zine."
(Rob Hood)

AntipodeanSF May 2018

ISSUE 238

Speculative Fiction
Downside-Up
ISSN 1442-0686

Online Since Feb 1998

rocket crux 2 75

AntiSF's Narration Team

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.

old style mic flat 25

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 (available now).

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

old style mic flat 25

 

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.

old style mic flat 25

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 <wordsbydavid.com>

old style mic flat 25

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>

 old style mic flat 25

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>.

old style mic flat 25

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.

old style mic flat 25

SF News

SF News

Vale Tony Plank

AntiSF contributor Tony Plank was a computer programmer, web designer, SF writer, active member of the Australian SF community and an all-round good guy.

He passed away peacefully on 21 March, 2018. A kind, fun-loving man, he contributed a lot to the Aus SF scene and will be sadly missed.

(Edwina Harvey).

<Read More>

Congratulations Edwina Harvey

Edwina Harvey, a contributor to AntipodeanSF since the very first issue, is a worthy recipient of this year’s A. Bertram Chandler Award.  She has been an active member of Australian science-fiction fandom: writing, publishing and with her amazing artwork for 40 years.

Read more information about Ed's Award here at the ASFF.

Ishmael A Soledad Publishes "Hawking Radiation"

Ishmael A Soledad, a recent AntiSF contributor (and more to come in our future pages) has recently published a collection of his SF short stories. Love, telepathy, suicidal androids, purple dragons, and machine-gun-toting rabbits. More information here.

Dimension6 Issue 13 - Mark Webb

AntipodeanSF is an affiliate site for Dimension6 from Coeur De Lion Publishing, the best in Australian Speculative Fiction, free every April, July, and October. In the latest edition (#13), long term AntiSF contributor Mark Webb has a novella length story, “The Reclaimers”, about Ulanda, who travels the edge of civilisation, cleansing border towns of a deadly residue that lingers from the magical weapons of mass destruction that ended the war. It’s the only job still allowed for the paranormally-inclined and life is adequate, until an old girlfriend appears with a questing opportunity that Ulanda knows she absolutely should refuse… Dimension6 can be found free on the AntiSF website here in both mobi and epub formats.

For more SF news why not join the ASFF and get the ASFF newsletter “The Instrumentality” delivered straight to your inbox!

 

Aussie Awards News

2018 Norma K Hemming Finalists Announcement
The Australian Science Fiction Foundation (ASFF) is delighted to announce the 2018 shortlists for the Norma K Hemming Award, which covers works published in 2016-2017. Finalist list is here.

The winners of the 2018 Norma K Hemming Award will be announced at a ceremony taking place on the evening of Friday 8 June, 2018, at Continuum in Melbourne, with citations and a monetary prize being presented.

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

 

Upcoming Aussie Cons

Continuum XIV: Conjugation. Melbourne’s SF Convention. 8th – 11th June, 2018. More information: <http://www.continuum.org.au/>.

Conflux 14 - The Unconventional Hero — Vibe Hotel, 1 Rogan Street, Canberra Airport ACT 2609. 29/09/2018 - 01/10/2018. More Information: <https//conflux.org.au>

Nullus Anxietas VII: The Australian Discworld Convention – will be held in Melbourne on April 12-14, 2019, and is themed on Going Postal. More information: <https://ausdwcon.org/>

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

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 

S5 Box

Login Form

S5 Register

You need to enable user registration from User Manager/Options in the backend of Joomla before this module will activate.

SF Quote

We should grant power over affairs only to those who are reluctant to hold it and then only under conditions that increase the reluctance.

Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune