AntipodeanSF Issue 309

By Wes Parish

April 9 202X

My father on his deathbed had laid on me a solemn charge, to visit Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, to pay my respects to his maternal grandmother's family, the Einsteins of somewhere in Bavaria, who had all died in the Holocaust. So on my way to my new programming job in Rotterdam, I stopped over in Israel to visit it.

One thing I was not prepared for was the number of headless people wandering around. The news from Israel had been sketchy in the extreme, ever since the final Gaza War or the Gaza Genocide as people more usually called it. I had expected a certain number — the 40 Headless Horsemen of the IDF were after all famous, since they had been enlisted after being beheaded as children, in spite of their pre-existing condition of not having existed in the first place.

At least the taxi was self-driving, though I did worry about the quality of its programming. It found sidewalks without any trouble, and the road with great difficulty.

After the visit, I stopped at a cafe, and somehow managed to get the waitress — headless as many were — to serve me. Coffee in hand, and an afternoon to waste, I asked her, "Why are so many Israelis headless?"

"Oh," she signed in International Sign Language, "that was a result of the last war. When an army general was arrested and tried for genocide in Paris in the last month of the war, the country's leaders and the army lost their heads and decided to take drastic steps to prevent that happening again. So they made all soldiers and reservists go headless, so they could not be identified — covering your face wasn't enough — and hoped it could be reversed after the war. It couldn't, so we've just adapted."

I spilt my coffee in surprise, and all apologies made and accepted, I sat and pondered. Would I be able to bring this up as a reason for ignoring unreasonable demands by management? I did not wish to lose my head over their losing theirs.

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About the Author

sf pedal steelWesley Parish is an SF fan from early childhood. Born in PNG, he enjoys reading about humans in strange cultures and circumstances.

His favourite SF authors include Ursula Le Guin, Fritz Lieber, Phillip K. Dick, J.G. Ballard and Frank Herbert.

Wes lives in Christchurch, NZ, is an unemployed Java and C programmer, and has recently decided to become a mad ukuleleist, flautist and trombonist, and would love to revert to being the mad fiddler and pedal steel guitarist..  "Where oh where has my little pedal steel got to ... ?"

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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.

Listen to the latest episode now:

The AntipodeanSF Radio Show is also broadcast on community radio, 2NVR, 105.9FM every Sunday evening at 7:00pm.

You can find every broadcast episode online here: http://antisf.libsyn.com 

Meet the Narrators

  • Carolyn Eccles

    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 —

    ...
  • 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

    ...
  • Laurie Bell

    lauriebell 2 200

    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

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  • 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

    ...
  • 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.

    ...

  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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.

    Within

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  • 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

    ...
  • 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

    ...
  • 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 <...

  • 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

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  • 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

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