AntipodeanSF Issue 309

By AE Reiff

Bio: Can’t say what I do. It is too important to be noised about.

The new catalogue of Avatar Books just online makes available what we celebrate as the Grand Canyon. True collectors can imagine the situation. You think nobody can top it, that the day is over when batters and golfers have come in from the South Rim while spectators are still throwing loose change in appreciation, but then the hunchbacks start to sneak in the dark. What am I talking about?  The shadows of spines sweeping east! Incineration saved once again by ocean! We fall back from this podium in disbelief into the cauldron of ourselves. That’s what I’m talking about. Evening.

Evening can also be purchased online, but the mumbling, bumbling, tumbling and stumbling flood that comes like Pisacacathus cholerectus, o’er reaches the brim. It was just a flash pericard where entry had it lodged. Cloud streaks pumped a flood in the rusty bowl, but then came this memory of the Edabbitis avatar solitaries. He marked the spot where our entry to catalogue number seven begins. He had got out the hose and sprayed down a stump.

Still don’t get it? Idiot, we have the stump! It is #7 in the catalogue. Imagine what excitement that prospector had who located the very stump on which Ed Abbey first scried the Grand Canyon. This is better than a Bukowski hair that clings to his signature in a limited edition, better even than the print of Ai’s red lips upon the uncorrected proof of Sin (#17).

Polymer Bookstore, in concert with Avatar Books, made this a bookman’s shrine. Mr. Polymer had worried that the moderns could not outquash the ancients, that his next offering would not pale.  In his own mind he thought it equal to Trelawney’s snatch of Shelley’s heart from his waterlogged stump upon the bier, plump in its pericard, as great and even greater than that, that is, until Evening.

We had worried for years that those Indian travellers who brought down the desiccates disembodied from high Tonto would grow scarce. Besides these Mummies in their sun bleached wrappers, what indeed would Mr. Polymer not have given for Hector’s torso? Yes it was spine bumped, tattered and frayed. But what had he not already given for that worthiest incunable of all, the adamantine King Tut, #1 in this offering, even if discoloured in the pastedown. Our worship of the book was never that so complete, even if the extremities were spotted. It lacks only repetition over time.

We thought, “Who will show the  direct line from Shelley’s heart to the impervious runoff.”  I kid you not. But do not ask what impervious whatchmacallit. Look out! Some bystander has run to his cabin and returns with a ball and bat. He smashes a towering Macdonald drive over the heads of the rocks. It is as if the Avatar gives direct orders in the mystery of nature.

We of Avatar Books have come to expect and to cherish these circumnavigations of the physical, for the Grand Canyon is a midden of what’s hidden. Been here before, say, won’t it be likely again? Anyway it is big enough to hold more, if too big to move. So from the arcane fields ecommerce speculates the bourgeois clouds that tee up behind Hopi House, to drive out into Evening. We draw the line, however, at activities that may harm. When Neolithic clouds, like golfers, cling to the lips of stone and claim that the whole thing needs filling in, we take such claims as seriously as the double-breasted coat from Sears a nearby youth was wearing. His name was Jack Boomb.

Hardly the words out when overcome with the moment, like the cry of a mad cow, he grabbed the little pencil light from his wife’s hand that she used to read maps with at night and hurled it high and wide. So shall it be for what’s to come. Maybe he had been drinking. He bellowed that cry over the wide-world server, that cry such that the age-old conductor would sound on a train, he bellowed again and again. Or, as they say in the native, BETEL GEUSE! ALDEBAREN! ANTARES! Next stop, everybody out! With a lot of drinking and honking, we looked up FOR THE GEESE but it was too dark to see.

It is our pleasure at this time to report the little munchkin light that circled at the All Aboard. It was panting to itself, I think I can, I think I can. It orbited El Tovar like an E. Pluribus Unum for all to see, a light to boomerang back to themselves, back to the source like good avatars. And now can we report that the little light reached equilibrious orbit around the TV antenna, waited there for the mother ship to come and take the ET lovekin home? It is good to be high minded. But that visionless and premonitionless decayed in its orbit. It tumbled through air like our Pisacacathus cholerectus calling to the lost, COME BUY, COME BUY,  to the college of avatars.

In our country the inebriant is king. Jack Boomb whistled those stops again, but added: LOOK OUT BELOW. It did not win him honourable mention, except by dispatch to 211. They came to get him. When once, long ago, Carl Sagan spread out over the solar system like some eco-man on a table to leave the solar system laying down, all that has changed. Now we go straight up, head first.

Say then how things connect where their little lady in Taiwan runs the show. She pricks her finger in the web and a woof erupts. We avatars know. Who ever stops to think that rising action falls? Who thinks that call is not but the beginning. That light in orbit is now a classic, put to sound:

Stay, stay, stay, stay,

Just a little bit longer.

That penlight too had studied the connectedness. It did its part, arched high to shoot the moon, maybe mistaken for another government project. Extending a clip as rudder, then, it was just catching the next best drift when malfunction forced its landing on the side of Moon Canyon wall. Moon ledges need no definition. Flattening its nose in the all consuming dark, it bounced off a soft stone and lay stunned.


Don’t we all get to fall? Pay no mind.

Meanwhile down below, Mr. Polymer was leading his expedition of book mongers into the Grand Canyon ever deeper in Egyptian mysteries. Did he not see the object begin to fall? Had he read nearly everything by Tony Hillerman? Leo, that is Polymer’s pseudo Indian white scout and guru, had his open mouth. Dr. Rebots of the Transhuman Research and Signal Labs was journaling. Mrs. (Happy) Dogson-Dugan (they were taking different last names) had interposed third-world alternate speakers as found poetry with the datum, “fire,” and deconstructed a proem, recognised among the Poetic Peerage as among the shortest in the world, that being of course the famous,





Mr. Dogson, conversing his flesh drive, which, if you wonder at the transposition of e with a, may be just the influence of his wife, or it could be that the new iPod and flask in one have not been marketed in your area. Miss Lipsy Russell, more in tune with this Evening’s events than most, imagined herself Bathsheba in the warmth of Nubian arms. Mr. Partridge and his wife were examples of just how much the normal couple was so much in demand among space kidnappers who travelled all the way from Levittown to Grand Canyon to find them. He, as an architect, made a pile of dirt. It sifted between his feet and silkily down. His wife had her head on his shoulder. TidB, or to use the full name Tidbetter, an astro-zombic tuned to which zodiac the penlight was playing, was getting “I get a kick out of you” on the high wire. Wind chats and migratory birds fidgeted their wheatened tops on downless pillows and the zodiac devolved upon a plain.

Leo had only just finished the first of his promised Indian tales of Arizona, a thing where wildlife was infected with pathetic fallacy and anti-Darwin sentiments, like Burbank spines wheedled out of prickly pears.

Spiny or spineless I can’t make u up my my y ynd.

Also remember, up on the ledge we’re talking Dodo egg, not Einstein. You don’t get a Ph.D. by misunderstanding Newton. Dodo, he read, he dead, which means Dodo cannot read. Dodos elected a frog the mayor of Austin. Think about it, interpose your favourite. But remember it’s not a real Dodo egg, it just looks like one. And with that glorious fact it can now be told, that whether it was rock, egg or stone (our party has yet to know the known), and that even if they did not invite the rock, the rock came. The little lady in Taiwan, right? Blame her for that meteorite. One web to another. Have you not heard those grinders fall? Sure poetry.

The rock above

hit the rock below.

Why am I on a mule’s back going down the BAT? Maybe I just like the climate and the scenery. Maybe I want that T-shirt they promised after the trip — I RODE THE MULE — with a picture of Mr Ed on the back. Maybe I’m writing an article for AZ Highways, call it self discovery? Dust thou art so eat more dust. Course the Karchan outside Yuma did that geophagy, and it wore their teeth right out of their mouth. Tell you what for I don’t believe in this Hopi business. Near as to figure I’m Basque Irish from Yemen, Texas. I mean recently, cause I worked for this outfitter called Touring Prairie Brides. The part of this story that  is mine to tell anyway is this: that the great rock thrones make me think of the invisible throne and all this great redness and violet shadows of abandoned lost OT cities are fortresses, as though you can yet near the dirge, the Kiyai yeh-hey, the mourned loss of virginal dress soiled by Adman the Red. But I like the red and yellow ochres too, farrow though they be of the falling pig. Who’s the fallen pig? The unsanctified and all these colours magenta and vermillion work the sticky red ironised blood

Bio: Can’t say what I do. It is too important to be noised about.

rocket crux 2 75

About the Author

Myth PoliticBio: AE Reiff has recently published two works, the first a non fiction, Myth Politic: Ongoing Reports of the Extinct Red Fez Empire, a  Meltwurst smoked with garlic, salt, pepper and bacon ends in the Brazilian savor of Machado withal, and Argentinian Borgwurst. These essays of myth journalism, join with others of like content after years in Phil Schneider's Back Country. They rappel down the Archuleta to General MacArthur's saying "the next war will be an interplanetary war," all the way to Antarctica!

sculpture reiff 200The second work is The True Light That Lights With a Glossary & Appendix of Additional Poems where a person who leaves the house of the poem to walk before dawn will hear the songs like poems, that roost under a bridge nearby, begin to circle as a flight breaks off to fly north as we stand silently and begin to hear and feel their voice.


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Issue Contributors

The AntiSF Radio Show

antipod-show-50Our weekly podcast features the stories from recently published issues, often narrated by the authors themselves.

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Meet the Narrators

  • Laurie Bell

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    Laurie Bell lives in Melbourne, Australia and is the author of "The Stones of Power Series" via Wyvern's Peak Publishing: "The Butterfly Stone", "The Tiger's Eye" and "The Crow's Heart" (YA/Fantasy).

    She is also the author of "White Fire" (Sci-Fi) and "The Good, the Bad and the Undecided" (a

  • Ed Errington

    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

  • Emma Gill

    Emma Louise GillEmma Louise Gill (she/her) is a British-Australian spec fic writer and consumer of vast amounts of coffee. Brought up on a diet of English lit, she rebelled and now spends her time writing explosive space opera and other fantastical things in

  • Barry Yedvobnick

    barry yedvobnick 200Barry Yedvobnick is a recently retired Biology Professor. He performed molecular biology and genetic research, and taught, at Emory University in Atlanta for 34 years. He is new to fiction writing, and enjoys taking real science a step or two beyond its known boundaries in his

  • Michelle Walker

    michelle walker32My time at Nambucca Valley Community Radio began back in 2016 after moving into the area from Sydney.

    As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I recognised it was definitely God who opened up the pathways for my husband and I to settle in the Valley.


  • Tim Borella

    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

  • Geraldine Borella

    geraldine borella 200Geraldine Borella writes fiction for children, young adults and adults. Her work has been published by Deadset Press, IFWG Publishing, Wombat Books/Rhiza Edge, AHWA/Midnight Echo, Antipodean SF, Shacklebound Books, Black Ink Fiction, Paramour Ink Fiction, House of Loki and Raven & Drake

  • Sarah Jane Justice

    Sarah Jane Justice 200Sarah Jane Justice is an Adelaide-based fiction writer, poet, musician and spoken word artist.

    Among other achievements, she has performed in the National Finals of the Australian Poetry Slam, released two albums of her original music and seen her poetry

  • Sarah Pratt

    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

  • 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 <...

  • Merri Andrew

    merri andrew 200Merri Andrew writes poetry and short fiction, some of which has appeared in Cordite, Be:longing, Baby Teeth and Islet, among other places.

    She has been a featured artist for the Noted festival, won a Red Room #30in30 daily poetry challenge and was shortlisted for the

  • Marg Essex

    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.


  • Carolyn Eccles

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    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 —

  • Mark English

    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