AntipodeanSF Issue 309

By Edwina Harvey

“You’ve got some more requests,” her husband told her, ten slips of mismatched paper arranged fan-like in his hand.

“Oh, really?” She sounded peeved, put-upon, as middle-aged ladies often do, even though she was already seated at her antique writing desk. “I thought I’d retired from all that sort of thing when…you know…”

“Oh, come on Cabbage! It shows you’re still popular!” He picked a path through a lifetime of corgis to hand her the latest requests.

“As if I have the time for this sort of thing…” she muttered even as she produced her personal monogrammed writing paper in a flourish.

He’d tried explaining to her how time wasn’t linear, but having spent a long career where her days were organised down to the minute she still found it hard to grasp that notion.

Einstein had explained it to him when they’d played polo. Perhaps they could invite Einstein around for tea and let him describe the matter to her? Though in her dotage now, her mind was still razor sharp. 

He looked over her shoulder as she started to write:  “To  …” It always amazed him how she knew who to address the letter to without consulting his notes. Almost like Santa Claus.

“I am writing to congratulate you on the auspicious occasion of your 100th — “

His hand flew across her left shoulder, his finger stopping her fountain pen on the page.

“Heavenly” he reminded her.

“Heavenly” she wrote on dutifully, glad of his intrusion. With decades of practice she’d grown so accustomed to writing it the usual way that it was hard to adapt to the simplest change in script. “Birthday. With best wishes,” And another flourish as she signed with her usual moniker. 

At least they’d dispensed with the photo as no one could agree what age she should be depicted at.

The tenth request dispatched, she was in a much better demeanour, a girlish smile playing around the corners of her lips. She was still sought-after, useful, respected.

“How long before I turn 100, Phillip?” she asked him.

He shrugged dramatically, looking at the young woman he’d married in her twenties. “Time isn’t linear. Especially not here.”

“Let’s go for a ride. Balmoral or Windsor, do you think?”

“You decide,” he indulged her. She may not have grasped the notion of non-linear time, but being able to move from one destination to another at a whim she’d readily adapted to.

“Balmoral, I think. Tell the groom to saddle the ponies, will you?”

“He already has.”

rocket crux 2 75

About the Author

ed-harveyEdwina Harvey is a writer and editor, specialising in speculative fiction.

Her urban fantasy flash fiction, 'Party' appeared in AntiSF Issue 1 and went on to take its place in her urban-fantasy novel, "The Back of the Back of Beyond" published by Peggy Bright Books.

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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.

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Meet the Narrators

  • 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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  • 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

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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

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  • 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

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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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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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  • 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 —

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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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  • 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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  • 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 <...

  • 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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