Candy Town

By Amy Logan

sfgenreSam had to hide his Halloween stash. The tiny Tootsie Rolls, chewy taffy, rainbow tinted chocolate candies, all had to go into hiding. His sister Anne was relentless, after eating her candy she would go on a mission to find his. In a week hers would all be gone. So his candy was in danger.  

The hiding place would have to be clever, unusual, private yet accessible. He finally decided on a plastic pencil box that he had left over from school. In a bottom desk drawer, it would be safe. And it was, sort of.

After eating all of his favorites the candy stash had been forgotten. The holidays came and went, and the desk drawer was ignored until the school year was to begin. He didn’t give it much thought until he had to clean out his desk. And he found the pencil box was empty. The candy was gone. Sam wanted to confront sister Anne, but the statute of limitations for the theft of last fall’s Halloween candy was definitely over.  

Part of room cleaning was also cleaning under the bed. Scooping out single socks, and soccer balls, out of the corner of his eye Sam thought he saw something move. Move. Then he saw it. A licorice whip tentacle, no a leg, scuttled under a crumpled book report. He didn’t know what to do. Run? Call for help? He was too horrified and curious to do either. He grabbed his baseball bat and a flashlight. On his stomach on the floor facing the bed, he gingerly moved the paper with the bat. With the flashlight he could get a full view of what was going on. He wished he hadn’t. The giant purple jawbreaker spider had 8 black spaghetti thin legs. It was big. It was scary. And it was alive. It scurried back into the corner taking a defensive posture. Clusters of tiny robin egg malt balls were planted in the corners of the legs of the bed, promises of future candy creatures to come. And in the corner closest to him, his flashlight, and his nightmares, was a cotton candy web and encapsulated in pink candy floss, in the center, the tragic figure of an orange gummy bear.  

He panicked and scooted out away from the bed as quickly as humanly possible. He flicked off the flashlight and sat paralysed, his mind trying to comprehend what he had just seen.  Living candy? Under his bed? He didn’t know how it got there but he knew one thing. It couldn’t stay there. He would never be able to sleep again knowing what was going on under his bed.  And he had to deal with it soon, there was no telling when those robin eggs were going to hatch. 

   So. Options.  Broom? Too scary, not lethal enough. Vacuum?  Nozzle too small. Trap?  Yes, that was it.  It would have to be trapped alive, to make sure that it was really gone. So he needed bait. And a trap. And a plan.

So if the gummy bear was any evidence, the thing ate candy. Gummy bear-like candy.  Easy to get, easy to handle. Now the trap. Think like a spider. An intelligent jawbreaker spaghetti licorice legged spider. Where would you go to find candy?  Somewhere dark, somewhere safe.  The trap had to be attractive, yet lightweight and portable so it could be placed under the bed and removed easily. Got it. Can you say piñata?

So from here he had several options. He could make a piñata, he had seen sister do it. But it would take time. Lots of time. Time to cut, layer, goop and dry. Overnight. Maybe several overnights. And while it was drying the malty eggs under his bed may be crackling open, and if they’re anything like real spider eggs each speckled orb could release thousands of candy creatures. He couldn’t afford to wait. Hello piggy bank.  

So off to the store. He chose a traditional donkey shaped model. Since he was not sure what the cultural sensibilities were of the enemy he thought the more traditional route to be the safest.  Once home he modified the opening of the piñata so it was BIG.  It had to be at least 4” in diameter so Spidey (he named it for ease of reference) could easily get through.  So the plan was:  1. Bait with gummy bears.  2. Place under bed.  3. Watch and wait.  4. Plug the holes.  With what?  He decided an old t-shirt would work fine.  5. Find courage. And not just any old courage. This was the big time. Lying on the floor on your stomach next to your bed with a flashlight in the dark waiting for a giant jawbreaker spider to climb into a pinata so you could plug the hole with your t-shirt kind of courage.

So that night he carefully slid the piñata into position under the foot of his bed. Opening angled toward the side where he waited. And waited.  It was hard to see exactly what was going on under the rest of the bed as he had not disturbed his belongings, aka Spidey’s habitat. But he could see the trap. He got sore lying on his stomach. He shifted positions several times, stomach, right side, stomach left side, never talking his eyes off of the piñata.  He had the t-shirt at hand. He was ready. And then he saw it. A licorice legged scuttling spider approached the piñata. Sam held his breath. Spidey entered. 

Sam counted to five then with t-shirt in hand shoved it into the opening of the piñata, trapping Spidey inside. He had him. He had won.

He was exhilarated. And tired. He would take care of the eggs tomorrow. He put the whole piñata into a sturdy paper bag then into a large plastic tub with tight lid. It didn’t have to stay there long. Sister Anne was having a birthday.

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About the Author

Amy Logan

amy logan 200Amy Logan's first work was published on October 29, 1970. It has been a bit of a dry spell since, so  she is very excited to have the opportunity to contribute to AntipodeanSF.

She is a lifelong fan of speculative fiction and the short story and has returned to writing the weird tales that she loves.

She lives in Eastern Washington state, not far from the Canadian border with her human family as well as 2 cats, 1 dog, and a llama.

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 270

333 Years
By Susan Cornford

Evan
By Ian Breen

Golf for Beginners
By Joanna Galbraith

HSC (Hancer School Certification)
By Sue Oliver

Incident at the Yarralumla Shops
By Wes Parish

Karen's Secret Story
By Gillian Polack

Luck - A Matter of Perspective
By Brian Catto

Maelstrom
By Kevin J. Phyland

Name Please
By Elwood Scott

Snuggles
By Ashley Noel

The Birthday Party
By Chris Karageorge

The Box
By James Patrik

Noisy Winds
By Binta Ohtaki - translated by Toshiya Kamei

The Hive
By Botond Teklesz

The Senate Inquiry
By Len Baglow

Worksite Stories
by S. F. Lowe

The Contributors

Of Indian origin, Sultana Raza’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Columbia Journal, and The New Verse News, London Grip, Classical Poetry Society, spillwords, Poetry24, Dissident Voice, and The Peacock Journal. Her fiction has received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train Review (USA), and has been published in Coldnoon Journal, Szirine, apertura, Entropy, and  ensemble (in French). She has read her fiction/poems in India, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, England, Ireland, the US, and at CoNZealand,

Her creative non-fiction has appeared in countercurrents.org, Litro, impspired, pendemic.ie, Gnarled Oak, Kashmir Times, and A Beautiful Space. Her 100+ articles (on art, theatre, film, and humanitarian issues) have appeared in English and French. An independent scholar, Sultana Raza has presented many papers related to Romanticism (Keats) and Fantasy (Tolkien & GRR Martin) in international conferences.

<https://www.facebook.com/sultana.raza.7>

<https://tinyurl.com/yd9j8546>

tim dwyer 200Timothy Dwyer is an American science-fiction writer living in New Zealand.

He has written a novel (The Emergence) and a number of short stories.

He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and was a consulting engineer for 25 years, specializing in Instrumentation and Controls.

Before his engineering career he was a professional musician — and he remembers most of it.

He loves cats.

"Carl grew up on a diet of Stephen King and "The Twilight Zone" - all re-told and (slightly) edited by his mum.

Consequently, he has an aversion to clowns, remote hotels and anyone who says they are 'your biggest fan'.

In and around teaching English, he writes stories, plays games and tries to do enough exercise to avoid ending up like the guy in this tale!"

haneko 200Haneko Takayama is an award-winning Japanese writer. In 2009, her short story “Udon, Kitsune tsuki no” was a runner-up for the Sogen SF Short Story Award. 

Her story collection of the same name was a finalist for the Nihon SF Taisho Award in 2014. In 2020, her novel Shuri no uma won the Akutagawa Prize.

Ashley Noel is a writer from Sydney, Australia. She is currently employed in the Early Childhood sector.

As a keen reader, with a quirky imagination she turned her hand to writing ten years ago and is at present searching for an agent to represent her first novel.

Ashley connects with a wide audience on her social media accounts, Medium and Instagram.

She is excited about being published on AntipodeanSF and looks forward to submitting future work.

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kerrie noor 200Kerrie Noor was born in Melbourne Australia in 1960 but has spent most of her adult life in Scotland.

She has, in the past been a regular on Dunoon Community Radio, taught and performed Belly dancing, ‘done’ a little stand up, performed as a story teller and appeared at the Edinburgh Festival.

She has had one radio script performed on BBC Scotland and has been short listed for the Ashram short story award.

She writes both Sci fi comedy and romantic comedy and is about to publish her fourth book in her Planet Hy Man series The Rise Of Manifesto a Sci Fi comedy with a twist.

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Connor Orrico is a student and field recordist interested in global health, mental health, and how we make meaning from the stories of person and place we share with each other, themes which are explored in his words in The CollidescopeBurning House Presshedgerow, and X-Peri, as well as his sounds at Bivouac Recording.

amy logan 200Amy Logan's first work was published on October 29, 1970. It has been a bit of a dry spell since, so  she is very excited to have the opportunity to contribute to AntipodeanSF.

She is a lifelong fan of speculative fiction and the short story and has returned to writing the weird tales that she loves.

She lives in Eastern Washington state, not far from the Canadian border with her human family as well as 2 cats, 1 dog, and a llama.

keech ballardKeech has been writing fiction and poetry for 40 years, and is currently working on a speculative novel of the Afterlife, focusing on Victorian literature, though it is technically set in the near future.

He recently published a short piece of creative nonfiction in Ellipsis Zine.

This is his first SF story to be published. Thanks for listening!

Bruce photoBruce is an older Australian, living in Adelaide, who enjoys reading and writing, especially short stories and flash fiction.

He has a master’s degree in science, specialising in computer science.

He has over forty years of experience in fields such as software engineering and systems engineering, particularly the development of complex systems.

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Michael Casey is a writer from Melbourne, Australia.

He has had short stories featured in publications such as Colp magazine, Fudoki Magazine, Scarlet Leaf Review, Black Scat Review, and Ash Tales, and he has had articles published in Cracked.com, Poplurker, and Nerdbot.

His novels and short stories areavailable through the following link: <https://amazon.com/author/caseymichael>.

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myna changMyna Chang writes flash and short stories in a variety of genres.

Her speculative fiction has been featured in Best Indie Speculative Fiction 2020, Daily Science Fiction, Antipodean SF, Mad Scientist Journal, and Twist in Time, among others.

She is the winner of the Lascaux Prize in Creative Nonfiction for 2020.

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

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.

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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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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AntipodeanSF February 2021

ISSUE 269

Speculative Fiction
Downside-Up
ISSN 1442-0686

Online Since Feb 1998

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AntiSF's Narration Team

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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

...today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups...So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms...it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.

Philip K. Dick

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