Issue 300

By William Kitcher

The videophone in the hotel room buzzed and Manning answered it. There was the grinning face of the idiot front desk clerk. “Yes?”

“Your sex machine is here,” said the clerk.

“Don’t call her that!” barked Manning. “She’s a...” He checked the photo on his tablet. “She’s an SW-3000.”

Michael D. Davis Sex Machine“Yes, sir. I’m sorry, sir. No disrespect intended. Shall I send her up?”

“Yes,” he said, and hung up.

Why was everyone like this, he thought. Why was there such disregard for common decency? Had things changed in the eight months he’d been gone or had he just never noticed it before?

Manning had recently returned from a project in the Arctic, researching the effects of oil drilling on the thawing of the permafrost. He’d been by himself the whole time, not trusting anyone he knew to be competent enough to work with him. He’d been lonely at times but that just helped him to focus on the work and get it done two months early, activating a bonus. He was airlifted to Churchill, then took a flight to the Soo, and on to Toronto. He planned to spend a couple of days there before he returned to San Diego, where the moral laws were stricter.

Checking in at the hotel earlier that day, the idiot clerk had immediately offered him “company, at a good rate, guaranteed beauty and satisfaction and realism.” Manning thought that was too crude. He passed on the proposition, went to his room, took a shower, and dressed in his best clothes.

He went to a restaurant, ate by himself, then went to an upscale bar where he thought he might find someone suitable.

The women were stuck-up, he thought, and he returned to the hotel, where he went to the bar for a couple of drinks as the night was still early. He attempted to talk to a couple of women but they, too, rebuffed him.

The front desk clerk had seen Manning return early, and approached him at the bar. He put a business card in front of Manning. It had a web address, phone number, and a simple logo which meant nothing to Manning.

“No pressure, Mr. Manning, sir. Just a suggestion. I noticed you didn’t do so well here.”

“Is that any of your business?”

“No sir, it’s not. I’m just saying. It’s an option. They’re not like us, but it’s pretty realistic. From personal experience—”

“Leave me alone!”

“Yes, sir.” The clerk left, sporting a leering imbecilic grin.

Manning picked up the card, twiddled it in his fingers, then took out his tablet.

Now, he sat on the bed and waited for the 3000. This wasn’t so bad, he thought. Besides, no one else would know. Except for that grinning monkey.

There was a knock and Manning opened the door. In glided the 3000. She was more beautiful than her photo, and so life-like.

“Well, hiya, Robbie,” she said.


“Robbie. Robot. That’s what we call ya.”

“I’m not a robot. I’m an android.”

“Whatever.” She took her coat off, threw it on the bed, and sat beside it.

“How do we do this?” he asked. “I’ve never been with a human.”

“Cash only,” she said. “Up front.”

“Sure. No problem.” Manning took his wallet out of his back pocket. “A thousand, right?”


Manning took a thousand out and held it out to her. She put her hand out. He came closer and put the money in her hand.

From under the coat, she pulled out a hatchet and swung it at the side of his head. It caught him flush on his ear and buried into the main processor. He hit the floor. She turned him over, and smashed into his other ear. Then she hammered twice into the back of his neck, severing the connection from his head to his body. Liquid gurgled out. He lay still.

She put her coat on, put the thousand in a pocket, and picked up Manning’s wallet. She put another thousand in her pocket.

She went to the door, opened it, and handed the wallet to the clerk.

He grinned at her. “One at a time, yes?”

“With a little profit thrown in.” She kissed him and went to the elevator.

The clerk threw Manning off the balcony, put three hundred on the bed, and called Housekeeping

rocket crux 2 75

About the Author

bill kitcher 200 snookerBill’s stories, plays, and comedy sketches (and one poem!) have been published, produced, and/or broadcast in Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Czechia, England, Guernsey, Holland, India, Ireland, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, and the U.S.

His stories have appeared in Fiery Scribe Review, Ariel Chart, New Contrast, The Prague Review, Shotgun Honey, Once Upon A Crocodile, Pigeon Review, Yellow Mama, Slippage Lit, AntipodeanSF, and many other journals.

His novel, “Farewell And Goodbye, My Maltese Sleep”, will be published in October 2023 by Close To The Bone Publishing.

About the Illustrator

Michael D. Davis Sex Machine

Michael D. Davis was born in the late nineteen hundreds.

His origins rumored to be an egg, a mad scientist’s laboratory, or a manger, was, in reality, more mundane having been born and raised in a small town located somewhere in Iowa.

Descended from criminals, farmers, lunatics, oddballs, kooks, crackpots, and strangely the bigfoot Michael somehow turned out to be a semi-normal child. (Depending on who you asked.)

Grown up, he’s considered an eccentric by the locals as he goes around town in a top hat, tie, and hand painted shoes.

Michael started drawing cartoons when he was ten, and his skill has improved with his humor, which isn’t saying much. He is for the most part self-taught, only ever crediting the help of one great high school art teacher.

His art has been shown at his local library for multiple years only during October due to its odd macabre nature.  

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: 

Meet the Narrators

  • 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

  • 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.


  • 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 <...

  • 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.


  • 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

  • Timothy Gwyn

    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, his SF novel is available internationally in print and ebook

  • 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

  • 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

  • Juliette Cavendish

    juliette cavendish 200Juliette Cavendish was born in Liverpool UK and is of Welsh and Norwegian heritage. Juliette has an interest in Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Science and writes in both Science Fiction and Contemporary Fiction genres. Juliette was fascinated with space as a

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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