The Stories

By Brian C. Mahon

sfgenre“Oh no,” Deimos Ur groans in the pounding bass and rhythmic crescendos hyping the dance floor, “here it comes.” 

Azura Prime shrugs and plays with a straw. Deimos Ur was having a bad day, and Xuatl finding their table through the crowd did not help.

“Hey X. Strange seeing you here, you know, in my personal bubble, while I’m off the clock,” Deimos mutters, refusing to look up from his drink out of some sense of owed politeness. 

By Nick Petrou

Isfgenre must admit, I was hesitant to take the job on Ida IV's jungle moon when I heard about the brain slugs. But now I can't imagine my life without my little guy.

Saprilla was one printed dinner or "I'm not in the mood" from picking me up with her forelegs and chewing off my head. I figured we could use some time apart (and some cash), so I holo'd my colleagues from the old days and asked if they could use an extra pair of hands on any jobs this side of the galaxy. They told me about their next big target, and then the brain slugs. With a bounty like that, I could've kept Saprilla from ritualistically killing me for another rotation or so, maybe even rented us a shoebox topside. When she asked if I was getting myself into trouble again, I made up something about some prospectors who needed protection from the moon's endemic fauna. She wasn't vibrating her underwings, but she seemed to buy it. As I climbed into my skiff, she scuttled up to the passenger-side window. I saw myself a thousandfold in her eyes — my head a caterpillar-protein sausage sticking out of a bun.

By Col Hellmuth

sfgenreI eschewed the coach service at the last stop on the outskirts of Copacetic and wished the driver a pleasant journey; determined to complete my own on foot. It was an agreeable day, ideal for a genial ambulation through charming scenery, and Copacetic’s hinterland fitted this scenario most amply.

Gently undulating at a rate not at all taxing for someone as recently rested as I, the main road wended the last kilometres into town through remnant bushland — gradually transformed into domesticity by more exotic, less random plantings as it wound its way through a valley — roughly following and offering occasional glimpses of a river; flowing clean, clear and sometimes wide. The road transversed the river by means of an ancient-looking yet well maintained stone bridge upon entering the town proper.

By Umiyuri Katsuyama as Translated by Toshiya Kamei

sfgenreOn a Thursday afternoon, I ransacked the bargain bin at a second-hand bookstore near my college. I didn’t have the slightest idea what I was looking for. Then something shiny flashed in the corner of my eye. I thought a yellow ginkgo leaf had flurried down, but when I crouched, I found a golden, pinky-sized Eiffel Tower.

Somebody must’ve bought it back from Paris, I thought, picking it up.

“The tower must be somewhere near here. The GPS shows that we’re getting closer,” a woman’s voice passed behind me.

By Chad Bolling

sfgenreGakov knew about spark addiction. Mostly because his moisture bots were a top commodity among spark addicts, or sparkers, as they were often called. Sparkers were cyborgs who would get a rush from absorbing the energy of a small robot or “bot”. After the sparker was finished with a bot, and relaxing from their high, the bot was left a charred mess.

His job had been sparker-free until the large colonies began to pop-up all over. The new colonies weren’t all bad. He liked the increases in business they brought, but each new colony meant more people and more people meant more people problems.

Gakov was re-programming some of his bots one day when he saw the unmistakable, boxy silhouette of a cyborg in the distance. 

By Stanlei Bellan

sfgenre“Sorry, your honor. I was unwillingly delayed by some matter.”

“You are here now, that is all that matters. Will you state your name for the record, please?” Lord Chance requested.

“Wouldn’t you agree that more relevant than telling my name would be stating what I have to tell?”

“No telling what that could be if you are not known to the court and, therefore, recognised as the one who can tell,” Lord Chance replied.

By Wes Parish

sfgenreNew Shanghai, Earth-Sun Lagrange Five

I had just hit that sweet spot between drowsiness and full relaxation, when my phone buzzed, then rang, loud enough to wake me.

My wife, Liang Anita, slumbered peacefully besides me. The phone didn't bother her at all. I sometimes wondered who'd manage the baby — when we decided to have one —  at night-time, but her dad always laughed and said, "Don't you worry, boy. She won't be able to not hear it."

At this moment, I was being jarred awake by the phone. I picked it up and thumbed in the regulation pattern and it unlocked. An annoyed face stared back at me. No, it was not a phone call as such, just a bulletin board announcement from my workmates at the Institute: "Calling John Mao! Are you worried about the recent spike in high humidity? Please join me in requesting that the Central Control Board do something to tone it down. We at New Shanghai Lagrange Five can afford better humidity control!"

By Julian Roberts

sfgenre“Crutch, come look! Quick! Hurry, boy!”

His father Patch was rarely ever happy, let alone excited, so Crutch dropped his toy stick and ran into the hut. Inside, Patch sat with a small candle in his hand, its wick constantly lighting and extinguishing. Crutch was confused but quickly realised what was happening. 

The rumours were true, magic did exist. And his own father had figured it out.

Decades later, it was this memory that encouraged Crutch. Just because the most complex spell discovered was turning soup into stew, Crutch saw no reason why magic couldn’t be used for other things. He just hadn’t figured out how magic worked yet. Being kicked out of the short-lived Magic Guild of PieTown just fueled his determination. 

By Rick Kennett

<If you haven't read part one yet, please read it here at the NLA>

<If you haven't read part two yet, please read that here at the NLA>

sfgenreShe woke into darkness and the feeling of lying horizontal in a sleeping bag. But it was so cold. She could feel it on her upturned face.

It'd been warm that afternoon. After their basketball game, they'd set up a portable barbecue while Cy had helped move the plasma arc from the tomb entrance, rigging it to light their impromptu camp as dusk steepened in. She'd chowed on half-burnt meat with no comment from anyone about Martian vegetarianism, and had sampled wine fermented by chemists working among the wrecks back east. They'd toasted this enterprising group, then the mysterious aliens whose suspected art had made their expedition possible.

Afterwards Cy had regaled the company with stories of deep space: the Battle of Procyon where a dog long dead helped win a victory; the action off the gas giant Cue Ball where she vaporised a damaged Martian troopship in which lay someone she had once loved; observing aliens exploring the Mars-like world New Hell that ended in her slamming an asteroid into the planet.

By Greg Foyster

sfgenreTo: General Oberton
12 July, 2075

I regret to inform that the esteemed professor Edgards was correct in his hypothesis. The warmer water has indeed established a more fertile marine environment for the aquatic species. Unfortunately, our learned professor underestimated the result of the sea creatures’ vastly accelerated breeding; they are now not simply reproducing, but evolving, and I am convinced these gilled monsters have in their minds the goal of clambering up the cliffs, taking over the land and, indeed, our very civilisation.

It seems that with every new day more and more of these scaly amphibians are growing near their bellies small nubs — precursors of fully formed legs — and propelling themselves sluggishly up the beach. Together with Private Timothy, the lone man under my command, I sit on the precipice of the cliff with my semi automatic, plunging round after round into the bulbous bodies of these deformed beasts, only to watch them lumber on unperturbed. We are now having to resort to using the rocket launcher, when in the past a shot from a simple pistol would suffice.

AntiSF & The ASFF

AntipodeanSF supports the ASFF

ASFF logo 200

Please visit the ASFF website and consider joining for up-to-date info about Australian SF cons, awards, competitions, and to receive the Foundation's newsletter, Instrumentality, and more.


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.


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

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.


In The Next Issue...

Coming In Issue 277

00001001 Lives (Part One)
By Alistair Lloyd

Adaptation: A Dialogue in 10 Parts
By Greg Beatty

Claim Jumper
By D. M. Woolston

By Tim Borella

In the City of Swordfighting Robots
By Tara Campbell

Moral Module 6: Urashima Taro
By Jeana Jorgensen

Once Again on the Beach
By Umiyuri Katsuyama Translated by Toshiya Kamei

Soggy, Soggy Nights
By Wes Parish

By Chris Karageorge

The Life of a Computer
By Matthew McAyeal

The Return of Rahab
By R. E. Diaz

AntipodeanSF September 2021


Speculative Fiction
ISSN 1442-0686

Online Since Feb 1998

rocket crux 2 75

Download AntiSF E-Book

Epub version:

Kindle version:

AntiSF's Narration Team

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.

angle mic

ed erringtonAlthough a writer of the baby boom persuasion, Ed has not boomed for quite a while.

He lives with his wife plus a menagerie of non-domesticated — native Australian animals intropical North Queensland.

His writing within the ‘real’ science fiction context of COVID-19 is intermingled by long night sky vigils — searching for pesky aliens intent on maintaining their social distance to the nth degree.

angle mic

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 <>

 old style mic flat 25

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.

old style mic flat 25

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

(Photo by Jeremy Belinfante) 

old style mic flat 25

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.

old style mic flat 25

tim borellaTim Borella has never lost his childhood passion for SF and writing in general and has been lucky enough to have worked most of his life as a pilot — in other words, he’s never properly grown up.

He lives in country Far North Queensland, has won awards for songwriting, and has had various other writing achievements, the most recent being an honourable mention in the 2018 international Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition.

He also has bachelor degrees in science and teaching, and has completed a couple of as-yet unpublished SF novels. He’d dearly love to spend more time writing, but will have to continue juggling for another couple of years until the kids have fully left the nest.

angle mic

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.

old style mic flat 25

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 <> Look for her on Facebook <> or Twitter: <@LaurienotLori>

Rambles, writing and amusing musings

Smile! laugh out loud! enjoy the following


old style mic flat 25

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 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 <>.

old style mic flat 25

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: 

SF Quote

We should grant power over affairs only to those who are reluctant to hold it and then only under conditions that increase the reluctance.

Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune

The Contributors

brian mahon 200Brian Mahon is a former cook, wanderer, lab technician, submariner, and present day now-and-then writer.

He splits his remaining energies seeking knowledge, fighting age, doing laundry, attempting to join the 1,000 pound club, and using flash fiction as a creativity relief valve.

Further information is available on his website, <>.

greg foyster 200Greg Foyster is a writer, illustrator and author of the memoir Changing Gears.

His stories and cartoons have appeared in The Age, The Saturday Paper, ABC, Meanjin, Eureka Street and others.

His fiction has appeared in The Big Issue, Page Seventeen and Verandah.

He currently works in communications for an environment charity and is finishing a book of short stories. Website: <>.


StanleiBellan 200Stanlei Bellan, like any respectable time traveler, has many stories to tell. Some of the most fun and witty are in his book T is for Time Travel.

In other timelines, Stanlei has been a physics professor, an engineering graduate, a start-up entrepreneur, and a winner of six Cannes Lions awards for his creative work in advertising and entertainment.

An immigrant from Brazil who was adopted by California, Stanlei is still learning how to bend time to fit his wife, two sons and a daughter, a cat, his business partners, and his many hobbies (like playing Dungeons & Dragons and uncovering fascinating historical facts).

Stanlei’s writing is inspired by an unquenchable desire to transcend reality into fantasy. You can chat with Stanlei on twitter at @stanlei or visit <> to get a FREE STORY!

julian roberts 200I grew up in Elizabeth, SA but have fallen in love with Adelaide's southern coastal suburbs (there's just so much more nature down here).

I live with my wife, The Boss, and my toddler who's a sentient squeal obsessed with dinosaurs and going to the zoo.

We have four cats. They're not awful, but they could be more helpful around the house.

I have a long-distance relationship with depression and have Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Cycling is my favourite way to get around and I'm pretty into basketball too (go 36ers).

Cartoons are my favourite thing to binge.

"Be excellent to each other"


Chad has a B.S. in Biochemistry from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

His fiction has appeared in Farther Stars Than These, Larks Fiction Magazine, 365 Tomorrows, Verdad Magazine, and AntipodeanSF.

nick petrou 200Nick Petrou works as a freelance writer out of Perth, Western Australia, where he likes to read unsettling fiction and complain about the sun.

His short fiction is with or forthcoming with The Arcanist, Ghost Orchid Press, Quill & Crow, and others.

You can find out lots more about him at <>.


Umiyuri Katsuyama 200Umiyuri Katsuyama is a multiple-award-winning writer of fantasy and horror, often based on Asian folklore motifs.

A native of Iwate in the far north of Japan, she later moved to Tokyo and studied at Seisen University.

In 2011, she won the Japan Fantasy Novel Award with her novel Sazanami no kuni.

Her most recent novel, Chuushi, ayashii nabe to tabi wo suru, was published in 2018.

Her short fiction has appeared in numerous horror anthologies in Japan.

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.

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.


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 <>


Wesley 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. He 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 ... ?"


rick kennett 200I'm a life-long resident of Melbourne, Australia, where I work in the transport industry. I like to explore graveyards, an odd hobby I call necrotourism, although I believe the correct word is taphophile.

I've been writing since 1979 and have had SF and ghost stories in many magazines, anthologies and podcasts. In 2008 my story "The Dark and What It Said" won a Ditmar, and in 2013 my podcast stories "Now Cydonia" and "The Road to Utopia Plain" won two Parsec Awards. I'm presently the podcast reporter for the M.R. James journal Ghosts & Scholars.

"The Gods in their Galleries" is a sequel to my novel "Presumed Dead", available on Amazon.