The Stories

By Kevin J. Phyland

sfgenrePhilo was born at an average weight in an average suburban neighborhood to average parents.

His father was Indian and his mother was a mix of Chinese and European, giving Philo a pleasant mix of mocha coffee and cream skin and the barest hint of epicanthic folds around his eyes. He was an average human in all measurable respects and had the appropriate external equipment to be classified as male.

By Harris Tobias

sfgenreThe guy next to me seemed nervous. He kept making jerky motions. I got the feeling he was wearing a mask and it was slipping. I get ideas like that all the time. I’m a science fiction writer and I see aliens everywhere. It’s an occupational hazard, I guess. Otherwise the guy looked perfectly ordinary, but you’d have to admit he was full of tics.

After a while, my curiosity got the better of me and I leaned over and said, “Hey buddy, can I buy you a drink? You look like you can use one.”

By Chris Gladstone

sfgenreDew on grass rainbow sparkled in the morning sun in my favourite hollow. It was peaceful and calm until I heard a swish behind me and a familiar voice.

'Gidday Shadow, haven't seen you for a while.'

My tranquillity leached down my legs and into the grass as I turned. 'Hello, Sky. Been busy with my mate feeding the latest batch of young ones. Only just got them off our hands, one yesterday and the other two today.' 

By Bart Meehan

sfgenreI turn on the bedroom light. I turn on the tap in the en-suite so I can hear it dripping. I open the window so I can hear the traffic on the freeway. I set the alarm to go off in a half hour. 1.30am.

I close my eyes and drift into the nightly conversation.

Don’t sleep.

By Wes Parish

sfgenreI visited the sole surviving Porker brother today. I had put the visit off quite successfully for quite some time, but eventually I had to go. He rang on Boxing Day to demand my presence. Some character had intruded again. My negotiating skills were needed. Urgently.

I never professed to like the Porker brothers. They can be rude and obnoxious. But after the home invasions by the equally obnoxious Wolf brothers, and the unfortunate demise of the oldest Wolf after he tumbled into a pot of stew Mr Porker had left on the fire bubbling away, I figured out that they could be tolerated. The other two Wolf brothers gave up their plans to either invade his home, or take him to court, after I had pointed out to them that nobody had forced their brother to jump down the chimney. Mr Porker frequently cooks up to nine days in advance. Consequently his cookpot is huge. Any Wolf stupid enough to venture into it deserved what he got.

By Myna Chang

sfgenreThe spaceport agent glared at me, foot tapping a staccato rhythm. “Can we hurry this up?”

I can be petty when pushed, and this asshole was definitely pushing. I slowed my pace.

He huffed out a breath. “Look, Detective, we’ve got a tight schedule. Just sign off so we can get the body out of here, okay?”

By Zebuline Carter

sfgenreAt 3.79am, four masked agents in black from the Ministry of Personal Freedom & Liberty kicked in the front door of a hitherto unknown writer's home. 

They moved quickly, knowing just where to go in the darkness. 

'Zebuline Carter,” the lead agent barked, as the other three pointed assault rifles with flash-scopes at a middle-aged male with thinning hair who lay sprawled and alone in the only bed in the small house.

By M J Wilkins

sfgenreThis train ride is taking forever.

My eyes open to focus on the empty carriage. Streaks of light break the darkness outside and cut through the space in flashes. There’s something comforting about a lonesome train ride at the end of a long shift washing dishes. I can sink into my seat, pop on my headphones and zone out. I’d do that just now, but I notice that I am no longer alone.

By Leo X. Robertson

sfgenreFriday evening at the airport’s business lounge, where the executives luxuriate.

He has arrived far too early for his flight, to avoid catching a taxi with the manager. Had he cab-shared, he might never have made it to the airport, might have barrelled out the taxi on the motorway to escape the manager’s chat about, say, the company’s regulations on printer paper usage.

By Sarah Pratt

sfgenreanother fuckin field trip to another fuckin museum. like we haven’t seen enough paintings and shit. does anyone really want to turn the corner and see another tiny dick right at face level on some oddly muscular guy? well, except for Mr. Carlson, who gets very excited every time there’s another marble dick. 

“And now we’re entering the ancient cuisine exhibition, which features a range of…”

of really boring food. oh and it’s all dried. shrivelled and dried like Mr. Carlson’s love life.

AntiSF & The ASFF

AntipodeanSF supports the ASFF

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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.

<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 268

An Unfortunate Series of Coincidences
By Tony Owens

Another Day On the Frontline
By Kevin J. Phyland

Beetle-Skull
By Andrew Dunn

Lessons for a Battallion Commander in the Post-Event World
By Matthew Doherty

LTNG Ltd of Hull Diversifies
By Wes Parish

Taila2
By Geraldine Borella

The Cove
By Jake Dean

The Dog in the Walls
By Tim Borella

The Light of Distant Fires
By Evan James Sheldon

The Lunchbox
By Yen Ooi

The Oldest Soldier
By Harris Tobias

The Zaratan Queen
By Robin Hillard

There Will Come Warm Rains
By Simon Petrie

Topek and Me
By Joanna Barrett

Whisps of White Smoke
By Natsumi Tanaka - adapted from the Japanese by Toshiya Kamei

The Contributors

Aden is a writer from Boorloo/Perth.

He is currently undertaking an English Honours degree at the University of Western Australia with a dissertation focusing on the fantasy of Ursula Le Guin.

He likes to grow his own food.

Author Pic Girish Kamplimath3Girish is a management consultant by day and writer by night. He has written articles on business management published on professional networking sites. His business blogs are on https://exandor.com/blog and personal musings on his recently launched https://kamplimath.com 

An avid reader of crime thrillers and now savouring his entrée to fantasy, he started dabbling in short fiction – science and transgressive being his current favourites. One of his flash fiction has been published on 365tommorrows. 

He has travelled across five continents as part of his work and loves to discover the places through their cuisines. He has been running regularly for the last five years, after he discovered that his belly tended to dominate his torso.

He has just begun writing his first adventure-thriller novel. He would love to write a dystopian thriller novel soon.

With the rising of the sun, Brad steps aboard a bus, head nodding to pounding rhythms.

He draws forth his tablet, ready to extract the essences of imagination...and stares out of the window at the scrolling streets until he is delivered to another day of little-cog-in-big-machine toil.

Set sun and repeat.

Somehow, through this ‘technique’, Brad has managed to get one short story fully written and even published in Andromeda Spaceways Magazine.

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daniel gaoDaniel Gao is a 16-year-old student currently studying in Melbourne, Australia.

Having grown tired of writing to meet the insatiable demands of school teachers, he decided to try creative writing.

As an avid public speaker, he finds joy in debating and has travelled to America and Singapore to compete in their ‘Model United Nations’ contests.

He hopes that after graduating, he will find the time and freedom to renew his love of writing.

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myna changMyna Chang writes flash and short stories.

Her speculative fiction has been featured in Daily Science Fiction, Mad Scientist Journal, Twist in Time, and Enchanted Conversation, among others.

She also writes historical fiction, comedy, and creative nonfiction.

She lives in Maryland, USA, with her family.

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

mitch wilkinsMitch Wilkins is a writer and aspiring stay at home dog dad based in the leafy north-western suburbs of Brisbane.

He works as a freelance journalist, writing on all things pop-culture, and writes speculative fiction.

He is also working on his first novel.

You can follow Mitch on Twitter and Instagram <@mitchscrawls >.

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leoxrobertsonLeo X. Robertson is a Scottish process engineer, writer and filmmaker, currently living in Stavanger, Norway.

He has work published in Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Best of British Science Fiction and Flame Tree Publishing, among others.

Follow him on Twitter <@Leoxwrite> or check out his website, <leoxrobertson.wordpress.com>.

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. She has completed writing courses at Stanford University and graduated Cum Laude from the Hagley Writers’ Institute in 2019.

Her work has appeared in Sponge Magazine and The Commuting Book.

Sarah loves writing young adult science fiction. She believes there’s something so incredible about science fiction in that it takes you to other worlds, introduces you to new technology, and offers you a chance to consider complex issues in a fun, fascinating way.

You can learn more about Sarah and her work at <https://www.sjpratt.com>, or follow her at her instagram page <https://www.instagram.com/sjpratt_writer/>.

victoriachapman 200Victoria has worked in the metal manufacturing industry as an industrial chemist since leaving school but views those past 33 or so years as merely a stop gap until she figures out what she really wants to do when she grows up. She discovered the joy of words after encountering “Ode to Autumn” by Keats in 1985, and has been jotting down anecdotes, short stories and essays to amuse herself ever since.

A self-identified ‘nerd’ with an insatiable curiosity towards whatever attracts her attention, she also enjoys drawing, yarn crafts and learning new things. Victoria lives in Melbourne with her husband, son and too many cats.

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Zeb writes:

Last week, on a whim I submitted some of my own musings to ‘Nuke’, and when I checked back today — my time in my ‘verse, which is plus six years comparative to you — I saw that he had published some of them! I wasn’t even sure the contrived email and attachment would get through, let alone end up published on your internet of things. (BTW — We have nothing quite like your ‘net, but we’ve gone far further into the solar system than you have. Figure that!) Now that I know a connection is possible, I thought I’d tell you a little more about myself and where I’m from. So, from the beginning…

Hi. My name is Zebuline Carter — that’s Zeb for my friends or Zeb-you-leen if you want to get formal — and I’m a forty-two year old former astronaut now working as an administrator at Farside, on Luna. Farside is a research base, where innerscopes are just starting to peel back layers of our sheath of the local multiverse. Because our work is so sensitive to em influences, Farside is situated within a one hundred klom diameter exclusion zone.

In my late teens I earned a double major in aerospace and business but passed over grad school for civilian astronaut training. As a kid I collected coupons from cereal boxes until I had enough for my first telescope, and built scale models of all the commercial shuttles and orbiters. Growing up, I’d always felt slightly out of place, like I was meant to to be somewhere else and part of me already was — until, that is, I had my first trip into low orbit aboard a high-riding intercont-cruiser, or ICC. That was a high-school graduation present from my Uncle Jim, and during the fifteen minutes of freefall I found that other part of myself, grabbed it tight, and never let go since.

Did I also mention I’m 180 cents tall with bobbed chestnut hair? Or that because of heart damage from a bad landing, I’m also marooned in low gravity? But heh, there are now six bases around Luna, supporting a permanent population of around twelve thousand Lunans, and a transient population of several thousand tourists and stopovers returning form the outer system, so it never gets boring and I don’t get lonely. And living in low G means I won’t age or sag as fast, either.

Until next time —

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I began writing in 2011 after discovering accurate speech recognition software and my first story 'What If" was published in AntipodeanSF in Jan 2012.

I enjoy the creativity of writing and my stories reflect my passions, namely science, nature, and all things sci-fi.I am a senior citizen, and live in sunny Western Australia with my husband.

Sadly the 'Queen of Cats' – Tilda, is no more, but we now have Tigress, who well and truly lives up to her name.

My Science Fiction novel, 'Upload' is available from Amazon, Smashwords and Lulu. Check out my website where you can find a complete list of my stories at <http://christaleyes.com>.

Living in a Covid19 world has felt like living in the middle of a science-fiction novel where I have had no control over the plot. Hopefully a vaccine will eventuate soon. In the meantime remember kindness and consideration and help others whenever you can.

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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>

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Bart Meehan is a Canberra writer who has published a number of short stories in publications such as Hello Horror, Aurealis and AntiSF. He has also had a number of radio plays produced for national community radio — now available as podcasts at <https://podcast11793.podomatic.com/> as well as stage plays performed in Canberra and Sydney Short and Sweet Festivals.

Bart recently published a novella called The Parting Glass, about the experiences of 5 men and women during World War 1.

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kevinjphyland 200Old enough to just remember the first manned Moon landing, Kevin was so impressed he made science his life.

Retired now from teaching he amuses himself by reading, writing, following his love of weather and correcting people on the internet.

He’s been writing since his teens and hopes he will one day get it right.

He can be found on twitter @KevinPhyland where he goes by the handle of CaptainZero and his work is around the place if you search using google or use the antisf.com.au archive.

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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 ... ?"

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AntipodeanSF December 2020

ISSUE 267

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

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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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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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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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 (YA/ Fantasy — available now) and White Fire (Sci Fi — available now)

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

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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.

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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) 

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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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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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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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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.

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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

Any dogma, primarily based on faith and emotionalism, is a dangerous weapon to use on others, since it is almost impossible to guarantee that the weapon will never be turned on the user.

Isaac Asimov, Foundation

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