By Austine Osas

sfgenreHe shoves his left hand into my pocket and roughly removes a couple of tens instead of asking for them as he normally does. I glance at Uyi, a small smile masking my surprise at his atypical behaviour, but he doesn’t smile back. Rather he has a strange look in his eyes which I struggle to interpret. Is it anger? Discontent? I don’t know. My conscience pricks me to ask, but I can only speculate about his thoughts as he remains silent.

Five weeks ago I promised both of us I wasn’t going to do this to him. Five weeks ago I was firm in my resolve and fully committed to seeing it through, but here we are, five weeks later, ready to break my own promise and powerless to stop my capitulation. Self-preservation is a bitch.

As we walk down the road to his new beginning there is an uneasy silence between breeder and product which words cannot penetrate. Words cannot lighten the dire mood that pervades the atmosphere. We both know what is coming.

A cataclysm 100 years ago wiped out almost the entirety of the human race, leaving only a handful of people to roam the earth whilst the animals and plant life remained largely un-harmed. They called it "The Great Plague", a reset by Mother Earth to create balance between humans and other species as we were threatening to overrun the planet. In a bid to recoup losses and populate the world with a more superior race impervious to any surprises Mother Nature may come up with in the future, The Order put in place a new system. Parents (now referred to as breeders) are selected and matched based on specific algorithms to produce a new generation. The children thus produced are raised by breeders to a certain age before their memories (save for certain selected files) are wiped, and they are sent to colonies to live out the rest of their days under strict rules. Omo is my partner, and as a couple our ranking has always been great among fellow breeders. The quality of our products means we’re consistently in the 98th percentile, earning the right to a good life with all the necessary perks.

I try to start a conversation, hoping to get him to at least say something.

"Hope you drew up the list of memories you want to keep?"

There’s no response, so I try again.

"Remember that this has nothing to do with me and your mum? It’s the way of The Order."


"What will you use your money for?"

There is a payment for every acquisition, a kind of seed money to start off a new life.

Still no response. There’s no sign that he can hear me at all, but I know he can.

Since my match-up I’ve had ten kids given up for acquisition, each with his or her own unique traits and abilities, but there’s something about Uyi that’s different, something I can’t actually put a finger on. His name Uyi means ‘grace’ in Bini, a language spoken by a renowned tribe of warriors who lived in Africa before the Plague. I long to call it aloud again one more time, to feel its power, to hear him answer me in that unusually clear voice of his, to have another animated conversation about his favourite cartoon and to feel his trust as his arms wrap around my body in a show of love, but I know that won’t happen today. Not again, not ever.

Today I am going to do my duty as a breeder, and fail as a parent.

Finally we reach the gigantic black gates of the processing centre and stop. I can see a flurry of movement inside the huge compound through the high barbed wire fence, but he shows no interest in the sight. I want to say something, to offer some words of comfort, to apologise for breaking my promise to him, but my lips refuse to part. I try to pat him reassuringly on the shoulder, but he anticipates my action and moves out of reach, looking at the ground. I think to myself that maybe Omo should have come with us, maybe her presence would have made things easier.


“Why did you lie to me?”

His question catches me unprepared, but not as much as the look of pure hate I see in his blazing eyes. Turning abruptly on his heels, he starts walking rapidly away in the direction of the gates without saying another word. His quick steps have a defiance in them, and something tells me memories of our times together will be among the first set he will let go of.


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About The Author

Austine Osas

Austine Osas is a Nigerian who is an executive of Peda Studio, creator of the kickstarter backed Chronicles of the New Born and co-organizer of the Lagos Comic Con 2016, whose writings has appeared on,, Kalahari Review and soon to be published on 600 Second Saga.

You can catch him trekking the landscape of Lagos and Abuja documenting the lives of everyday people through his lenses.


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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.


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.


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In The Next Issue...

Coming In Issue 243

A Cat Amongst
by Louise Zedda-Sampson

A Perfect Plan
By Gary Estcourt

Breathing Space
By Tim Cadman

Date Night
By Kevin J. Phyland

By Debroah Sheldon

Five-Second Button
By Eugen Bacon

Not Glaring, But Certainly Noticeable
By Loren Johnson & Douglas J. Ogurek

By Roger Ley

The Diner
By R.J. Sadler

The Last Supper
By Austine Osas

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(Rob Hood)

AntipodeanSF September 2018


Speculative Fiction
ISSN 1442-0686

Online Since Feb 1998

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AntiSF's Narration Team

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 (available now).

You can read more of her work on her blog Look for her on Facebook <> or Twitter: <@LaurienotLori>

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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 <>

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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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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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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 <>

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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, 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 <>.

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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,

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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SF News

SF News

At Corflu 35 in Toronto (2018) the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Bruce R. Gillespie. Congratulations Bruce.

Read about the Corflu Fan Activity Achievement Awards (FAAns)Awards <>.


Upcoming Aussie Cons

Oz Comic-Con Brisbane — Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Merivale St and Glenelg St, South Brisbane, 22/09/2018 - 30/09/2018.

Conflux 14 - The Unconventional Hero — Vibe Hotel, 1 Rogan Street, Canberra Airport ACT 2609. 29/09/2018 - 01/10/2018. More Information: <https//>. AntipodeanSF will be at Conflux 14.

Oz Comic-Con Sydney — ICC Sydney, 14 Darling Dr, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia, 29-30/09/2018.

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: <>

Continuum 15 Other Worlds (Natcon 58): Continuum 15 is the Australian National SF Convention, to be held in Melbourne on June 7-10. More information and memberships <>. AntipodeanSF will be at Continuum 15 and celebrating Issue 250 of AntiSF!

For more up-to-date Aussie SF info join the ASFF: <>

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

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

Philip K. Dick