By Monica Carroll


I wrap the cold toast in a piece of fresh paper. They can do a drawing on the packaging after they’ve eaten. Sometimes I dream of getting a card in the mail. A home-made job with a scratchy zebra drawn in charcoal on the front. I don’t know how much Australian they’ve got, but a thank you inside couldn’t be too hard to muster.

Truck’s in Dave, says the intercom.

That’s my summons to get the morning loading done. I push back my chair from the mess of the warehouse kitchen-table and start the day.


Mum rests the hot dish on the cork trivet. Tuesday is cannelloni night. She cuts the meal in half, like she does every night. She puts half in a plastic container, like she does every night. The lid atop at an angle to let the steam out, like every night I’ve ever known.

Holding hands. Closed eyes.

This is family. This is food.

Instead of looking for the feelings of gratitude and humble thanks, I think about how I’m going to get my sister to lend me her pink jumper for the disco on Saturday night.


In the darkness of the unlit room the fridge light screams guilt as she breaks the seal of cold, opening the door. It’s harder to say no when her husband is away. She’ll have to lie to him. Again. She lets the future sleep as she takes another cold sausage between her teeth. She bites into deception, minced pork. Maybe she can send her breakfast instead and spare herself the white lie.


Number 92, Mark yells over the din of Monday morning, Customer number 92.

Monday morning is peak. It’s as though the excess of a weekend causes a mass penance of giving to start the week off right. Mark is already exhausted and sick with the stink of generosity.


Been to the depot yet, asks Linda as the coffee machine hisses into the steel jug of milk.

Nah. Go at lunch, Joe replies bouncing the milk up and down, Sugar today?

Linda shakes her head, eyeing-off the display of Verry-Berry muffins. She wonders if she ought to buy a couple, one to eat, one to send.


Righto, Dave calls waving his arm for Rick to stop. Rick watches in his side-mirror unable to hear over the morning radio ramble. It’s those Enviros again. Brow-beating the good nation over giving too much.

It costs five sandwiches to transport half a biscuit.

Hungry kids need to grow maize – not dependency.

If we don’t stop there’ll be nothing left to give.

Righto, Dave calls again giving the truck a thwack on her metal flank as the roller door cranks shut. Rick rolls out and commits to give all his lunches for a week just to spite the Enviros.


But I’m hungry, Emma says driven by the rumble in her stomach.

So are the children in Africa, says her mother, plastic-wrapping the remains of her daughter’s cheese and apple.

Fine. Moving to Africa, she mutters rising from the table.

Ignoring her daughter’s insolence Helen hums with the high of good works as she pops the snack into the box marked Depot.

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About The Author

Monica Carroll

monica carroll 200Monica Carroll used to hold the hose for the concrete mixer but now she writes. If you like creepy poetry read her book Isolator (Recent Work Press 2017).

Or find her slightly less creepy essays listed on <monicacarroll.com.au>. On <monica-carroll.com> she writes hard and clear about philosophy and creative resistance.


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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.


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 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.


The AntipodeanSF Radio Show

In The Next Issue...

Coming In Issue 248

A Taste For Salt
by Noel Osualdini

Better Ballers
by Salvatore Difalco

First Choice
by Vanessa Kittle

Forever In Time
by Shane O'Halloran

Frozen Moments, Stolen Out Of Time
by George Nikolopoulos

That Monster Show
by Bart Meehan

The Last Word
by Roger Ley

The Tower
by Mathew Nelson

by Ishmael A Soledad

Wet Paint
by Simon R. Gardner

Get Dimension 6


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From Coeur De Lion Publishing

Here at AntiSF
Download D6 Now!

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

AntipodeanSF February 2019


Speculative Fiction
ISSN 1442-0686

Online Since Feb 1998

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AntiSF's Narration Team

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 <www.facebook.com/WriterLaurieBell/> or Twitter: <@LaurienotLori>

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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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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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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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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>

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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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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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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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SF News

SF News

"White Fire" by Laurie Bell Published

That's right, AntiSF author and narrator, Laurie Bell, is the author of "White Fire" available for your reading pleasure now at booksellers online in paperback and ebook. <Booktopia> or <Amazon>.


Upcoming Cons

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/>.

Swancon 2019 — 18/04/2019 - 22/04/2019,  Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges 46-54 Marine Terrace, Fremantle WA 6160. Swancon is Australia's longest-running science-fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction convention, and is the premiere event in Perth for fans of all forms of speculative media. More information: <https://swancon.com.au>.

Continuum 15 Other Worlds (Natcon 58): Continuum 15 is the Australian National SF Convention, to be held in Melbourne on June 7–10. More information and memberships <https://continuum.org.au>. AntipodeanSF will be at Continuum 15 and celebrating Issue 250 of AntiSF!

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

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 

SF Quote

Any sufficiently advanced ETI is indistinguishable from God.

Michael Shermer