The Stories

By Harris Tobias

sfgenreIt was a dream come true for Geraldine Fisher. All her girlhood fantasies, her dreams of a fairy tale romance had happened. She met Hans. She’ll never know what made her answer that classified ad, but the fate that led her to it was a strong force and made the impossible happen.

On their first meeting, when Hans rolled his wheelchair to her door, she would be be first to say that her heart sank. But he was so beautiful and charming and funny and quirky that his disability was soon forgotten. After ten minutes she was thinking “keeper” and after a half an hour they were confessing their love for one another.

By Malena Salazar Maciá — Translated by Toshiya Kamei

sfgenreMother and daughter were alone. Dull-grey, insignificant specks lost in the vast expanse of the universe. Confined in the hydrogel-filled capsules, with food printers hooked up to their navels, breathing tubes inserted in their mouths to convert adverse elements into oxygen, free from the ravages of zero gravity, not ageing even a second, cocooned within a drifting matrix. Alone, they had been dreaming for a long time.

Lili chatted with her mother via the umbilical cord. With her lips sealed to prevent respiratory arrest, Lili couldn’t converse in a conventional sense. Her glued eyelids and the deep stillness of sleep blocked her view of her mother. Lili couldn’t hear her mother because of sphincters grafted in her ears to prevent the gel from flooding her. Yet a series of images and emotions flashed through Lili’s mind, which she imagined her mother had sent to comfort her during their intergalactic journey. Her mother cradled her without grazing her skin and sang to her in silence. Lili smiled in her dreams and tried to let her mother know that she, too, loved her.

By Tim Borella

sfgenreI thank my backside for alerting me to the fact that something was very wrong. I’d been a long-haul pilot for over thirty years, and though the triply-redundant flight management system said everything was fine, my bum’s numbness meter disagreed.

The FMS had us on track, on time, nine hours out over the Pacific with another eight to run. It’s hardly precise, time estimation by seat of the pants, but I knew over ten hours must have elapsed since departure from Sydney. Barring some physiological change in the downstairs department since last roster, onboard time and real time were diverging.

By Col Hellmuth

sfgenreOutsiders, for some reason, seem to find us a little strange, here in 'F**k Nowhere; though they never have the intestinal fortitude to say it to our persons: maybe it's our looks. We're all ruggedly handsome and ruggedly built, male and female alike; a respectable average five-five in height by the time we own a full set of chompers (however briefly); sun-tanned and fit. Not like the pale, sullen (or sometimes flushed and angry) personages, who turn up here (lost usually) from time to time.

They show up here in their fancy infernal combustion engined automobiles — boasting ever-new, increasingly bold and garish ornamentations on their radiator grilles that seemingly bear no relation to Henry Ford whatsoever — exclaiming surprise, re: the town's erstwhile folklore status. B.F. Nowhere doesn't appear on any known map, you see — but everyone's heard of it.

By Yuki Fuwa — Translated by Toshiya Kamei

sfgenreI’m a precursor to a great lineage. Even though I’m fleshless, I’ve still got bones. And wings, too. Even so, they don’t melt like those of Icarus. I grew up speaking French, and I learned Japanese at a later date. My siblings are scattered around the world, but nobody is so treasured as I have been here in Japan.

Let me see now. Oh, it was more than a century ago.

By Myna Chang

sfgenreMy twin sister, Amy, drowned when we were six. I’d been convinced she would kill me, like she’d killed the goldfish, and I suspected, the hamster. When our beagle disappeared, I knew I’d be next. So I shoved Amy into the deep end of the pool.

As I got older, I began to wonder if I’d misjudged the situation, been misled by an overactive imagination. I mean, kindergarteners don’t murder their siblings, do they? I decided I’d made a horrible mistake. Amy’s sweet little-girl laughter rang every night across my dreams.

By Althea Hughes

sfgenreWhen a small spaceship landed in my backyard, I was more afraid for the alien than I was of the alien. I had been half-washing dishes looking out the window when I saw a small, black beetle-shaped spaceship land in my backyard. Hands still wet, I took off my housecoat. I grabbed my man’s raggedy Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl XLVII jersey off the back of a kitchen table chair and threw it on over my bra and panties. Holding my housecoat, not wearing any shoes, I raced down the back steps.

By Marc Ruvolo

sfgenreAhem. Cadets! My name is 3rd Sub-Commander Nguyen. Let me send up a big Texas welcome to y’all for your tour of duty on Hortus III. Now, look at all you scrubs grinning ear-to-ear, sure you hit paydirt — two full cycles on the beach planet, the flower planet, the waterfall planet, the posting every grunt dreams about. And really, ain’t it the most beautiful dang thing you ever seen? We think it is, at least. I always say, you haven’t lived until you’ve fallen asleep to the twin sunsets over Tranquility Lagoon with a margarita in your hand. You should be happy you’re here. Know why? ‘Cause we’re happy you’re here! Welcome, welcome, welcome!

Michael T. Schaper

sfgenreWhat really does lie out there?

Hieronymus leans back, cricks his long neck, and sighs. It’s a question the mapmaker continually ponders. The great unknown lands, the uncharted oceans. No one’s ever returned from a flight over such vast reaches.

The script on the document in front of him is only half inked: Here be…

By Andrew Dunn

sfgenre1 – Alone 

There are two-hundred souls on board, fifty in B-ring. When I tour corridors drenched in light dimmed by the Pacific above, I see no one. I don’t hear anyone either, only the low groan of Inverness colony and my stomach’s pleas for sustenance. Beyond hunger I feel alone, but I’m not. Proof? A baby doll is proof there are others in Inverness I haven’t seen in weeks.

Or months.

AntiSF & The ASFF

AntipodeanSF supports the ASFF

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Please consider joining the Australian Science Fiction Foundation, a prime supporter and promoter of speculative fiction down-under.

<https://asff.org.au>

The AntipodeanSF Radio Show

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.

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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.

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In The Next Issue...

Coming In Issue 287

Celts All
By Bryan Keon-Cohen

Back From the Dead
By Natasha O'Connor

First Contact
By Harris Tobias

I Am The First Law
By Jessica Atkin

Just Fine
By Brian C. Mahon

Like
By Ed Errington

408 Kilometres Up
By Deborah Sheldon

Save the Bees
By Zachary Reisch

The Dollhouse
By Kevin J Phyland

The Frog in the Well
By Roger L Wang

The Monk...He's Poor
By Tony Owens

Scifaiku
By PS Cottier

AntipodeanSF July 2022

ISSUE 286

Speculative Fiction
Downside-Up
ISSN 1442-0686

Online Since Feb 1998

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Download AntiSF E-Book

Epub version:

Kindle version:

AntiSF's Narration Team

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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 — a visual arts practice with videographer Sean O'Keeffe.

(Photo by Jeremy Belinfante) 

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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 <alistairlloyd.com>.

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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 Book.

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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 and The Tiger's Eye (YA/Fantasy) White Fire (Sci-Fi) and The Good, the Bad and the Undecided (a unique collection of short stories set during the events of White Fire/Sci-Fi). 

You can read more of her work on her blog <www.solothefirst.wordpress.com> Look for her on Facebook <www.facebook.com/WriterLaurieBell/> or Twitter: <@LaurienotLori>

Rambles, writing and amusing musings

Smile! laugh out loud! enjoy the following

<www.solothefirst.wordpress.com>

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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 North Queensland. For more information, visit his Tim Borella – Author Facebook page.angle mic

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.

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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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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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geraldine borella 200Geraldine Borella writes adult short stories and stories for children and has been published in anthologies for both. In 2018, one of her children’s short stories placed second in The Buzz Words Short Story Prize and she won an ASA Emerging Writer’s Mentorship. She currently works part-time as a hospital pharmacist and as an online creative writing tutor.

She’s fascinated by stories that expand upon today’s technology, addressing the moral and ethical issues that might arise. Equally, she enjoys the creative freedom that writing for children allows. Right now, she’s writing a young adult novel, reworking a middle grade novel and writing adult short stories when inspiration strikes. She lives with her husband, Tim, in Yungaburra, Far North Queensland and dreams of one day taking a European gap year.

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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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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

When I die I’m going to leave my body to science fiction.

Steven Wright

The Contributors

Marc Ruvolo is a queer writer/musician living in Portland OR.

His poems and stories have appeared via Misery Tourism, The Best of Abyss & Apex Vol. 4, and Sledgehammer Lit.

Over the course of a thirty-plus year music career, he’s released fifty-four records on over a dozen record labels.

His debut speculative poetry chapbook “Creep & Crow” is currently available from Alien Buddha Press. Twitter: <@RuvFur>

yuki fuwa 200Yuki Fuwa is a Japanese writer from Osaka.

In 2020, she was named a finalist for the first Reiwa Novel Prize.

In the same year, her short story was a finalist in the first Kaguya SF Contest.

Translated by Toshiya Kamei, Yuki’s short fiction has appeared in Litro USA, New World Writing, and World Literature Today, among others.

althea hughes 200Althea Christina Hughes is the award-winning novelist of Walking the Line (YA).

Her fiction has appeared in The Linguistique Mystique, Sanctuary, and the sci-fi anthology Grandpa's Deep-Space Diner.

She is a MFA Creative Writing student at Reinhardt University in Georgia, USA and an Adjunct Professor of English at Towson University in Maryland, USA.

She loves to sing and cook (usually at the same time). Karaoke is her jam.

Instagram: <@msmochaangel>.

myna changMyna Chang (she/her) is the host of Electric Sheep SF.

Her work has been selected for Flash Fiction America (Norton), Best Small Fictions, Best Indie Speculative Fiction, Daily Science Fiction, and MicroPodcast’s special science fiction edition.

She has won the Lascaux Prize in Creative Nonfiction and the New Millennium Award in Flash Fiction. 

Read more at <MynaChang.com> or find her on Twitter at <@MynaChang>.

malena 200Malena Salazar Maciá was born in Havana, Cuba, where she still lives today.

A winner of multiple literary awards, she has authored several books, including Nade (2016), Las peregrinaciones de los dioses (2018), and Aliento de Dragón (2020).

Translated by Toshiya Kamei, Malena’s short stories have appeared in Clarkesworld, The Future Fire, Mithila Review, and elsewhere.

 

Toshiya Kamei holds an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Arkansas.

His translations have appeared in venues such as Clarkesworld, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and World Literature Today.

andrew dunn 200Andrew writes science-fiction and fantasy from the state of Maryland on the eastern coast of the United States, often drawing ideas from jogs through forest trails at sunrise or a tasty beer at sunset. 

Andrew writes each story with the goal of giving readers something they will enjoy, without relying on the typical, predictable, or cliche'. His work has previously appeared in AntipodeanSF, 365 Tomorrows, and soon Daily Science Fiction

When Andrew isn't writing chances are he's playing guitar or bass, exploring abandoned places, or spending quality time with a bulldog. Andrew hopes you enjoy this story, and he will continue to try and write stories that you'll love to read! 

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 North Queensland. For more information, visit his Tim Borella – Author Facebook page.

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col hellmuthCol Hellmuth lives a quiet, uncomplicated life, off-grid in the Daintree rainforest of Far North Queensland.

He has scratched out a living in a variety of different jobs (and locations) over the years; these days he scratches out words in various sequences, and dreams of a day when he might be able to convert some of these ramblings into food.

When he is not writing or enslaved at work he is usually found bumming around his local beach dodging crocs in his kayak or jamming on the blues-harp.

He doesn't have any fancy letters after his name, or a pet cat, but does read a lot.

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ed-erringtonEd is interested in reading, writing and narrating stories of the sci-fi persuasion. In particular, he appreciates those narratives that immerse readers’ imaginations, engage human emotions, and focus on one or more dilemmas.

Ed believes that technology may indeed change human behaviour over time — smart phones being a case in point. But, humans are born with a universal set of emotions, so stories need necessarily engage these to relate to the audience, and render characters believable.

However, stories can turn out to be even more interesting when the emotions and behaviour of characters become incrementally unpredictable — resulting in horror and/or (black) comedy. Then the fun begins!

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Harris Tobias lives and writes in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is the author of two novels: The Greer Agency & A Felony of Birds. He has written dozens of short stories many of which are available on line at <quantummuse.com>. He is the author of many children’s books including At The Robot ZooMoonRivet Saves His Skin and An Alphabet Book of Bugs available in print from CreateSpace and as ebooks for Nook & Kindle. You can find links to his writings here: <harristobias-fiction.blogspot.com>

ps cottier 200PS Cottier is a poet who lives in Canberra, with a particular interest in speculative poetry.

She has been published widely at home and in Canada, England, New Zealand and the USA.

Two of her horror poems were finalists in the Australian Shadows Awards for 2020. Her latest books are Monstrous, which is a volume of speculative poems, and Utterly, which is non-genre.

PS Cottier is the Poetry Editor at The Canberra Times and blogs at <https://pscottier.com>

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Where you see strange dreams, cockatoos and other nonsensical nostrums congregate, there’s a good chance you’ll also come across our author.

By day he’s all manner of mundane things: a board member, business association manager, policy adviser, researcher and scholar - in Canberra.

At night he lets those wild ideas of his run, well, wild.

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