The Forgetful Visitor

By Barry Germansky

sfgenreCharles was on his hands and knees, staring down at a mound of overturned soil, when he heard a twig snap. The young biologist whipped his head around and saw something that looked vaguely like a man standing several feet in front of him. Charles gasped and scooted backward up the mound of moist rainforest soil, his eyes struggling to make sense of the strange figure that had come to meet him.

As far as Charles could tell, the figure was a ten-foot-tall mass of perpetually swirling black lines that never deviated more than half an inch beyond the confines of the humanoid outline they formed. The figure was staring down at Charles with its two neon-red eyes.

“I have something important to show you,” the figure hissed.

“What are you?” Charles stammered.

“I’m what you’ve always known was going to come for you one day,” the figure explained. “The recurring dream you’ve had of me since you’ve had consciousness was the promise I had sent you a thousand years before your birth.”

The figure’s explanation made no sense to Charles, but he reluctantly accepted it. He had, indeed, dreamed of the figure for as long as he could remember.

“I’ve had something important to show you since before you even existed. Now you’re ready to see it.”

“See what?” Charles managed to ask through trembling lips.

“I can’t explain it to you,” the figure replied. “You must see it to understand it.”

Charles, who was on a quest for rare soil-dwelling microorganisms, had been reluctant to leave the college biology department for the dangerous and unpredictable rainforest. But that reluctance had been a minor nuisance compared to the fear he now felt toward the figure and its plans for him. In a matter of seconds, the figure summoned a wriggling beam of multicoloured light out of the afternoon sky and all the way down to the ground in front of them, taking particular care to guide the beam through the dense leaves of the jungle canopy. Then the figure led Charles inside the beam, which was roughly seven feet in diameter. The moment they stepped foot inside the writhing tube, they were rocketed up beyond Earth’s atmosphere and into deep space. The journey lasted for an indeterminate amount of time, and when they had arrived at their destination Charles finally had the opportunity to consciously feel his heart pounding in his chest. He had never felt it beat this fast before.

“This is the planet you were born to visit,” the figure announced, fanning its extended right hand across a barren landscape of enormous jagged rocks, all of which were black and purple in color.

“What am I breathing?” Charles asked, as he felt a cold sensation travel through his throat and lungs.

“Elements unknown to human science that function in a manner almost identical to those you breathe on Earth,” the figure explained. “You should be grateful for this treat. In my opinion, oxygen is overrated compared to what you’re enjoying now.”

Charles was not enjoying the new elements, but he did not have time to voice a complaint. He had just begun to register the landscape around him, and the sight of it filled him with a loathsome sense of awe. The giant black and purple rocks that covered the entire visible surface of the planet ranged in size from a two-storey house to a skyscraper. Charles and the swirling figure were standing on a rock the size of a five-storey building.

“Why did you bring me here?” Charles asked the figure.

“I have something important to show you,” the figure replied. “But I have something else to do first. And I almost forgot all about it! Sometimes I have trouble keeping track of time.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I’ll come back for you. I promise. But, right now, I really must be going. A second for me is the equivalent of a thousand years for you, and I have so many new things to do every second! You understand, don’t you?”

Before Charles had a chance to say that he did not, the figure disappeared in a flash of multicoloured light, which Charles thought must have been a wriggling light beam. He began to turn around in a circle, frightening himself with various sights of the desolate planet.

Once he had seen enough, he sat himself down on the surface of the rock and tried to calm his nerves. The figure had told him that it would be back. But how long would he have to wait for it to return? And what was the figure, anyway? Why had it brought him to this horrible place?

Charles felt his stomach rumble, and he wondered whether his immense hunger exceeded his immense thirst. He shuddered suddenly, realising that there was no food or water in sight (and he definitely did not want to search for sustenance on this dark unknown planet all by himself). In the sky above, the pale moonlight of three distant moons seemed to be teasing him.

Charles could only hope that the figure would remember to come back for him. But if the figure had not been exaggerating when it had told him that a thousand human years were equivalent to a second of its own time, he realised that he could be in serious trouble. After all, there had been a vaster than vast number of seconds in his own life thus far, and how many of them could he remember?

He closed his eyes and tried to get himself acquainted with Eternity.

rocket crux 2 75

About The Author

Barry Germansky

barry germasky 200Barry Germansky is a Canadian writer and filmmaker. He graduated summa cum laude from York University in 2013 with an honours BA in humanities. Later, at the same institution, he earned a master's degree in humanities and a master's degree in English. He has written, produced, and directed two feature films, and his plays have been produced Off-Off-Broadway and in Detroit. He is the features programmer for the Pendance Film Festival in Toronto.


Download AntiSF E-Book

Epub version: 

Kindle version: 

AntiSF & The ASFF

AntipodeanSF supports the ASFF

ASFF logo 200

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.


The AntipodeanSF Radio Show

In The Next Issue...

Coming In Issue 250

10 To The Six And The Natural Order Of Things
by Shaun A. Saunders

A Place Of My Own
by Zebuline Carter

A Rift Of No Return
by Laurie Bell

A Witch's Place
by Zena Shapter

Between The Ticks
by Lynda Young

Beware! The Blab
by Tony Owens

Cassini Falling
by Cat Sparks

Cloned + Apocalypse
by Eugen M. Bacon

by Jason Butterfield

by Jason Nahrung

End of Days
by Ray O'Brien

Evidence Of A Dark Transformation
by Phllip Berrie

Frank's Best Friend
by Col Hellmuth

Halloween Party
by Kim Rose

by Trent Jamieson

In A Phobos Garden
by Rick Kennett

In Salt And Starlight
by Pamela Jeffs

by Edwina Harvey

Off Planet
by Tony Steven Williams

Once Upon A Moonlit Clearing
by Rebecca Fraser

Pictures Of You
by Ishmael A Soledad

by Lee Battersby

by Kevin J. Phyland

Science Fiction
by Jackie Hosking

by Chris Gladstone

Sit Up And Beg
by Michael T. Schaper

Slower Than The Speed Of Light
by Kris Ashton

Soylent 7
by Shane Griffin

by Martin Livings

Special Delivery
by Garry Dean

The First Law Of Havoc
by David Kernot

The Forgotten Sea
by Louise Zedda-Sampson

The Optimist
by Simon Brown

The Past Begins
by Jan Napier

The Slow
by Antoinette Rydyr

by Sue Clennell

when Willie came home from the war hoorah hoorah
by Bart Meehan

And more... 

AntipodeanSF April 2019


Speculative Fiction
ISSN 1442-0686

Online Since Feb 1998

rocket crux 2 75

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 (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 <> or Twitter: <@LaurienotLori>

old style mic flat 25

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 <>.

old style mic flat 25

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 <>

 old style mic flat 25

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) 

old style mic flat 25

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.

old style mic flat 25


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.

old style mic flat 25

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.

old style mic flat 25

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 <>

old style mic flat 25

SF News

SF News

AntipodeanSF contributor Douglas J. Ogurek will edit the up-coming UNSPLATTERPUNK! 3 anthology. Call for submissions: Theakers Quarterly.

AntipodeanSF contributor Jason Butterfield has published a novel "Bastion: Holy City", now available worldwide through a variety of channels. Available at at good local bookshops, Ingramspark, Booktopia & Amazon, as well as Foyles in the UK, and as an ebook via various outlets. More information <>.

The Australian Science Fiction Foundation is sponsoring a short story competition through Continuum 15. Junior and open categories are available. The first-place winner will receive a cash prize. Details at the Continuum 15 website.


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: <>.

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: <>.

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!

Writing NSW Speculative Fiction Festival 2019 - Sydney NSW. Writing NSW is excited to announce that their biennial Speculative Fiction Festival will be taking place on 29 June 2019. <>.

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: <>.

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

Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!

Isaac Asimov, Foundation's Edge

Get Dimension 6


Get Dimension 6 Speculative Fiction

From Coeur De Lion Publishing

Here at AntiSF
Download D6 Now!

"Trust me, you want this free speculative fiction e-zine."
(Rob Hood)