A Day In Caaatahlona 1 City Beneath The Waves

By Robert Caldwell

sfgenreWeeano swam in darting motions side to side, studying her reflection in the mirror. Unsatisfied with the degree from which she deviated the dolphin ideal of perfection, she rubbed her head against the make-up wall. She jerked over toward the mirror to take another look and — slightly more satisfied with her complexion than before — decided that that was the best she could do, so she squiggled over to the perfume shower and pulled the lever to let a fine mist fall on her.

Weeano jumped over the wall to the main room where her father Ahnhoor was at work on a computer, hitting typewriter-like keys with his snout.

Weeano said, “Good morning, father!”

The large, dark and scarred patriarch squalled, “Pollution levels have gone up another hoor! If this keeps up we might have to do an intervention.” When he hit keys, gears moved causing numbers to change on dials.

“I don’t understand why they haven’t done that already,” said Weeano.

“‘Give them time,’ says the council, a bunch of hoopjumpers. But those despicable humans just keep getting worse.”

“I’m going to have lunch with Veeluny. We are going to greet Knieebo when he lands.”

Weeano dashed out the swinging door into a chute where the fast stream of water carried her along. She chose left, right or centre at a few of the forks and ended up at the plaza. Swimming out into the wide expanse of water with the blue of the glass dome far overhead, Weeano moved swiftly toward Northen Park where she found her friend Veeluny already propped on a scute looking out through the glass toward the spaceport. Weeano envied her friend’s perfect color, the shape of her fin, the overall sleek dolphin lines and when she turned around to squeak a hello — those dark eyes.

“You’re up early,” said Weeano.

Veeluny looked at her with eyes like sandy water, “Of course. I can’t wait to see Knieebo. I hardly slept.” Both girls blew steam out of their blowholes.

“I wish he could stay longer,” said Weeano.

“I wish he would take me to Halleeesee,” said Veeluny.

Weeano remained in the water so that she could look up and watch Knieebos descend. Out of sight above her, his flying saucer could be landing on the surface that very nee before diving and sinking toward Caaatahlona. She didn’t have long to wait. After fifteen glogs of occasional squeaks of small talk Weeano saw a dark spot appear. The dot grew larger as the spacecraft descended toward the city.

Weeano jumped onto the scute next to her friend to continue following its descent. When the craft came to a complete stop they both jumped out of the scutes and dashed to the chute. The fast-moving water carried them to the port.

They waited while the dolphins got off and greeted the crew when they arrived. They greeted Knieebo and four other males with wails.

“Hello, Weeano,” called Knieebo, “Looks like nothing’s changed.”

“Just more pollution in the oceans,” she replied, “That is what my father is always saying.”

“And it is true,” Knieebo replied curtly. “Ah, Veeluny. What’s up with you?”

She giggled and replied, “Phoooinoi is getting wax treatments so that she can swim faster…”

Gnobvuu, a small slightly pale male with a stubbed nose spoke to Weeano, “Hello, Weeano. It’s been a while.”

“Yes it has,” she muttered disinterestedly while she gazed at Knieebo.

Gnobvuu continued, “The pollution is worse. I could sense it as soon as we entered the water.”

“Yeah, right,” said Weeano.

“Well I’m very hungry after the long voyage. I’ll put my stuff away and meet you in the cafeteria in five waves.” Knieebo grabbed his carry box and took off. His whole party followed. Gnobvuu waved his tail at Weeano before zipping away to catch up.

Weeano and Veeluny headed for a chute, got in, and glided along to the cafeteria to wait for them. Soon Knieebo and his party showed up.

They trod water in the middle of a pool while machines tossed fish for them to catch. “Work is going along fine on VaanKoor City,” said Knieebo who jumped into the air to catch a grouper.

“Do you have any images of it?” asked Veeluny. She floated in front of the sardine pitcher machine and caught a tasty morsel.

“Yes, I’ll have to show them to you when I get unpacked.” He shifted so as to catch and eat a sea bass. “Soon all the dolphins will be able to live on Haleeessee.”

“Oh that would be so cool to move to another planet,” said Weeano catching a cod. But Knieebo and Veeluny ignored her, carrying on in animated conversation.

“You’re out of his league.” Gnobvuu swam over next to her. “I know how you feel. I’m in love with Veeluny but she pays no attention to me.”

Veeluny and Knieebo left to go to the ball pool for a game. Weeano and Gnobvuu were left looking at each other in awkward silence.

Finally, Gnobvuu said, “Want to go and play a game of ball with me?”

“Sure, why not?” They both slowly swam to the ball court and picked a pool far away from Veeluny and Knieebo.

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About The Author

Robert Caldwell

robert caldwell 200Robert writes about himself:

I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. I have a cat that sometimes gets in the way of my typing. I am also a photographer. At 48 years of age I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a high functioning form of autism. Recently I have become a self advocate.

I graduated from Huntingdon College in 1981. I studied photography at night classes held at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. I got an MS degree in Journalism at Murray State University. Then I worked at newspapers and publications without much success before I went to Portfolio Center in Atlanta in 1994 to study Commercial Photography. After one year I left because I did not like the teachers or their teaching methods. Not having very much success finding commercial photography jobs I worked at several retail establishments in Atlanta until I decided to move back to Birmingham Alabama in 2002. I got a degree in Web Design in 2007 From Jefferson State Community College and once again couldn’t find work. I have found a new purpose in life since my diagnoses. I am a Governor appointee on the Alabama Interagency Autism Coordinating Council and the Regional Autism Network as well as volunteering for several activist organizations, all well being a caregiver for my Mother.

Growing up autistic I always had a different angle on things. That may be why my stories are so strange.

“The Blossom War,” was published in 18th Wall’s anthology, The Dragon Lord’s Library.

I put together a bunch of stories I had been working on for years into a book called, The Other Side of Forever, which I published on Amazon.


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In The Next Issue...

Coming In Issue 236

Australia, A Story
by Ovidiu Bufnila

Castle Bridegroom Bear
by Michael Richards

Decrypted Message Thread
by Theodore Irvin Silar

Non-Event Horizon
by Kevin J. Phyland

by Nicholas Sheppard

The Traveller
by Robert David

The Twelve Moments
by Eugen Samolin

by David Scholes

You Can Always Change The Past
by George Nikolopoulos

You Can't Always Get What You Want
by Wes Parish

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AntipodeanSF February 2018


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AntiSF Narration Team


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,

And is a theatre reviewer for 2SER FM in Sydney.

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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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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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david whitaker 200David Whitaker is originally from the UK though has travelled around a bit and now resides in India. He has a degree in Journalism, however decided that as he’s always preferred making things up it should ultimately become a resource rather than a profession.

His stories, covering everything from sci-fi to philosophy, have been published across the globe and links to each can be found at <wordsbydavid.com>

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laurie bell 150Laurie Bell lives in Melbourne, Australia. She spent years writing and making audio plays with her sister using an old tape player. Life is a performance! She is a singer and has performed on stage once for her local theatre company. Now she helps out as a volunteer. She loves to read her stories out loud to anyone who will listen. She has recorded several audio readings of her own short stories here at Antipodean SF and is now a member of the audio team.

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

Laurie's debut book The Butterfly Stone will be published in Autumn (Aus) 2018 and another titled Blood Fever will be published in Winter (Aus) 2018.

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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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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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SF News

SF News

AntiSF Author Eugen M. Bacon Publishes Two New Anthologies

Antipodean SF author Eugen Bacon has published two new speculative fiction anthologies:

Dying & Other Stories, <http://www.fiction4all.com/books/b13195-dying-and-other-stories.htm>. Literary speculative fiction that offers up death. Dirges that cross genre.

Thirteen Wicked Tales, <http://www.fiction4all.com/books/b13148-thirteen-wicked-tales.htm>. A collection of literary speculative fiction by Fiction4All

Congrats AntiSF Author Laurie Bell...

Laurie Bell is set to have two new novels published in 2018. One is an adult sci-fi noir thriller novel "Blood Fever" through Incendia Books, and the other is a young adult urban fantasy "The Butterfly Stone" from Wyvern's Peak Publishing.

ASFF Supports The Swancon Short Story Competition 2018 - Entries Now Open

Swancon 2018, the 57th Australian National Science Fiction Convention, is running a short story competition with the support of the Australian Science Fiction Foundation. More information at the Swancon website. Theme: Transformation

For more SF news why not join the ASFF and get the ASFF newsletter “The Instrumentality” delivered straight to your inbox!

Upcoming Aussie Cons

Walker Stalker Convention: Walking Dead convention The Dome at Sydney Showgrounds. 3-4 February 2018 and 10-11 February 2018 Melbourne Showgrounds. <http://walkerstalkercon.com/sydney/>.

Confurgence 2018: Furry convention 23-25 February 2018. Amora Hotel Riverwalk, Melbourne. <http://ausfancons.com/confurgence/>

Swancon 2018 (Natcon): Pan Pacific Hotel, Perth. This is the 2018 Australian National Convention: “Transmogrification”, (Easter) 29  March to 02 April 2018 . Guests: Kameron Hurley, Ryan Griffen, Barb de la Hunty.  More information: <http://swancon.com.au/>

Continuum XIV: Conjugation. Melbourne’s SF Convention. 8th – 11th June, 2018. More information: <http://www.continuum.org.au/>.

Nullus Anxietas VII: The Australian Discworld Convention – will be held in Melbourne on April 12-14, 2019, and is themed on Going Postal. More information: <https://ausdwcon.org/>

For more up-to-date Aussie SF info join the ASFF: <asff.org.au>

AntiSF will be at the National Convention, Swancon (2018).

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:

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Reality is the part that refuses to go away when I stop believing in it.

Philip K. Dick