Issue 293

By Ashley Cracknell

News is filtering through from the outer edge of the System that the Teleporter’s Union has voted to strike. The news comes as millions of families travel across the System for the Earth New Year holiday. 

Speaking on behalf of AI system KeepMoving, which operates the transport network, Franco Waterman said that, “too many sites across the system are operating with limited power resources. They [The Department of Quantum Transport] are asking Keep to move people with outdated fission reactors. For the safety of customers we have no choice but to shut down the network until the authorities come to their senses and upgrade our equipment.”

But not everyone in the Union agrees with the decision to strike. At a waystation on Titan a collective entity that works the ticket barriers agreed to speak on condition of anonymity: “We did not vote to strike. We want to see our families too. The operators never think of us grunts out here working the barriers. It’s us who cop the flak from the public when they decide they want a day off.”

At the same station, we spoke to commuters who shared their frustration. 

“Typical, isn’t it?” Tanya Helix said as she joined the long queue only to find the teleporters had been switched off. “Why can’t they get their act together?”

We put the same question to the government authority. They did not comply with our request for comment but later issued this press release:

“Once again the Teleporter’s Union have shown their disregard for families across the System, and at the busiest time for the network. Their claim that we have failed to properly resource the network is nonsense. The fact is we have spent the past decade upgrading power resources at every single station.

This is nothing more than a pathetic attempt by Union thugs and their rogue AI enablers to improve their own conditions at the expense of everyone else, at a time when people are still recovering from the solar-flare-induced recession. 

We will continue to negotiate for the good of our customers but if the Union will not engage in good faith discussions then we will be forced to engage in mediation.”

During the previous Union-Department mediation, requested by the Union, six operators were killed, along with three mid-ranking bureaucrats who were assassinated while they travelled from Mars to Luna. The Union still denies they tampered with the teleporter. The results of an inquest are pending. Three AI powered systems were also taken offline and later restored when it became apparent the network couldn’t run without them. 

Back on Titan, Tanya Helix was unimpressed. 

“They are all as bad each other. I just want to get to work.”

To ensure impartiality this article was generated by TruthAI, Journalist Guild member 002. If you are a corporate officer or bureaucrat and wish to leak anonymously, please contact the nearest Guild member at your location. TruthAI is not liable for damages or costs that result from angry or adverse actions taken as a result of reading this article.

rocket crux 2 75

About the Author

ashley cracknell 200Ashley Cracknell is a Northern Irish-Australian writer who lives in Sydney.

His short fiction has featured in AntiSF, the Honest Ulsterman and two University of Sydney Student Anthologies.

He has also dabbled in editing and audio narration.


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 Saturday evening at 8:30pm.

You can find every broadcast episode online here: 

Meet the Narrators

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 —

  • 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

  • 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

  • Laurie Bell

    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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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 <...