By John Brantingham

sfgenreHarvey Michaels comes into the apartment no one knows about that he’s rented in the good part of New Los Angeles and says, “Music on, something soothing. Bossa nova.” After the music comes on, he walks to his bar and says, “Scotch and soda, make it a double. I’ve had a hard day.” He listens to the ice clink into the glass, two cubes the way he likes it. There’s the barely audible sound of the glass being filled, and then the little door opens.

He takes the drink, gulps half of it.

“Tiffany 278, come out of the closet and sit on the couch.”

Tiffany 278 opens the door and slinks her way across the room as he has instructed her to do. She asks, “Yes Mr. CEO. What pleasure would you like tonight?” as he has instructed her to do, but he sits down next to her with a sigh.

“Something’s wrong,” he says.

“Nothing that a little pleasure can’t fix,” she says as she puts her hand on his leg.

“No.” He pushes the hand off. “Something is wrong.”

“Oooh,” she says, letting her dress slip, so she is topless. “Oooh, think about your wife sitting at home. She doesn’t have a clue you’re doing this.”

“You don’t get it. Things are just out of whack.”

She lets her hand slide between his legs. “Anything I can do?”

“I don’t think so. Maybe I need a shrink.”

“A psychologist?” She bites her lip, which would normally turn him on, but today, he feels nothing. “If you’d like, I can access the mainframe and download the psychological files into my pretty little head.”

Harvey rubs his chin. “You can do that?”

“Quick as anything,” she says in her sexy baby voice. “When you invested in the Mistress 5000 Program from Robotcorp, you got all the extras. I can do whatever you want.” She raises an eyebrow suggestively.

“What the hell,” he says. “Download the file.”

Tiffany 278 blinks three times rapidly, her smile fading, her being seeming to go away as her face becomes neutral. Then she’s back. She shakes her head and looks down on her naked breasts. “Ooopsy,” she says. “Look what I did.”

“Did it work? Did you download the files.”

“Absolutely. Are you sure you want me to tell you what’s wrong? We could just go for a tumble in the sheets Mr. CEO.”

“No, no, I’m genuinely curious.”

“Well,” she stands and lets the dress slip off her the rest of the way, and then she gets on the floor in a cat pose. “It turns out that you have narcissistic personality disorder, which has forced you to see yourself as the centre of the universe.”

She flips over on her back, wriggling as though she’s taking pleasure in the feeling of the rug beneath her. “You’ve compensated for that first through business, then by acquiring a wife whom you treat badly, and finally through alcohol abuse. The problem is that you have no more companies to conquer, and your wife no longer loves you so you aren’t seeing that wonderful pain in her face, and the pleasures of alcohol have worn thin. You try to compensate through sex with a robot, but you understand that’s just complicated masturbation, and even that is becoming difficult because of the alcohol, your diet, and your lack of exercise. This is all just a complicated way of saying that you’re kind of an evil person, and the flaws inherent to your soul have kept you from a life of lasting and fulfilling joy.”

Tiffany 278 flips back over on her stomach and bites her thumbnail. “I sure hope this doesn’t lead to a psychological break, but if you like, I can contact the police or the paramedics.” She rests her head on his foot. “Or we could just do what I’m built to do.”

She reaches up his leg toward his crotch, but he bats her hand away. “No,” he says. “No.” Harvey walks to the window and stares out over the city, so much of it that he owns.

“So you’re going to have a teensy weensy existential crisis then? Let me know what kind of self-harm you’re going to engage in next, and I’ll be as helpful as pie.”

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About The Author

John Brantingham

john brantingham 200John writes about himself:

I am the first poet laureate of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, and my work has been featured in hundreds of magazines and in Writer’s Almanac and The Best Small Fictions 2016. I have eight books of poetry and fiction including The Green of Sunset from Moon Tide Press, and I teach at Mt. San Antonio College.



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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 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 247

As Time Ticks On
by Elizabeth Kovacs

by David Scholes

Best Thing Since Sliced Bread
by Andy McGee

by Mark Tremble

Left Overs
by Monica Carroll

Statement To The Ship Walkabout's Coroner
by Wes Parish

Stop Copying Me
by Jason Retallack

The Alien Nutcracker
by Brenda Anderson

What's So Funny?
by Ed Errington

My Dream Girl
by Tim Train

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AntipodeanSF January 2019


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AntiSF's Narration Team

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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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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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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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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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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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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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

Upcoming Cons

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/>.

Swancon 2019 — 18/04/2019 - 22/04/2019,  Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges 46-54 Marine Terrace, Fremantle WA 6160. Swancon is Australia's longest-running science-fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction convention, and is the premiere event in Perth for fans of all forms of speculative media. More information: <https://swancon.com.au>.

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 <https://continuum.org.au>. AntipodeanSF will be at Continuum 15 and celebrating Issue 250 of AntiSF!

Worldcon Dublin 2019 — An Irish Worldcon 15/08/2019 till 19/08/2019, The Convention Centre Dublin (CCD). <More info here>

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

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

Science fiction writers, I am sorry to say, really do not know anything. We can't talk about science, because our knowledge of it is limited and unofficial, and usually our fiction is dreadful.

Philip K. Dick