The Gods in Their Galleries (Part One)

By Rick Kennett

sfgenrePART ONE

“Spiders? What spiders?”

Naomi Napaltjarri, a twenty-something wearing high-viz work clothes, stared wide-eyed at the younger woman in the seat beside her. 

The truck had growled down the hill from the landing pad and onto a flat, yellow plain, and was now passing in among an array of steamships lying like so much scattered scrap — freighters, tankers, liners. Some were upright and some were on their sides and some were so collapsed into themselves it was hard to tell what they'd been. Scaffolding adorned a few and figures wearing bright safety vests moved about their decks.

“This whole plain was inhabited by creatures part tarantula, part lobster,” said Naomi's passenger. She wore black military fatigues sporting a red ball insignia on the sleeve and lieutenant's bars on her shoulders, though she'd introduced herself simply as Cy De Gerch. “When I was here two years ago I made friends with one after killing it sort of by accident.”

“After?” said Naomi.

“It had the ability to regenerate. That's why I called it Lazarus.”

“Spiders …” said Naomi again. “There's no native animal life on this planet … at least not on this plain. I mean, we've been here months.”

“When I was here they were wandering all over this plain and sometimes clambering over me as I slept.”

A look of revulsion crossed Naomi's face.

“When you picked me up at the landing the pad just now,” said Cy, “you seemed surprised. Were you expecting someone older than nineteen?”

“No. It's just I thought I recognised you.”

“From where?”

“Here we are!”

The truck hissed to a stop beside a freighter sitting upright in the yellow soil. Hull plates petalled inwards from a hole punched amidships. Cy peered up the rust-streaked side, at the corroded deck railing, at the mottled superstructure — a dead ship fast aground on a vast and flat plain. Seeing this ship again was like revisiting a dream streaked with nightmare.

Naomi got out, looked up and shouted,“Hello!

Foreshortened figures in coveralls of blue on the deck above looked down. One, a hefty man with fair hair, leaned over the railing, smiled and waved. “Is our tomb-finder here?”

“Yes,” said Naomi and gestured at Cy alighting from the truck.

The demeanour of the group on the deck abruptly froze. They stared down with shock and confusion as the two women stared up, Cy with uncertainty, Naomi with a knowing smile. Then the faces pulled away from the railing and footsteps rang on ladders within the hull.

Naomi turned and motioned Cy to follow her. “The guy who waved is Zhores Roxbury, our metallurgy specialist. He's ...” She stopped as she realised Cy wasn't with her. She was still by the truck, staring up at a basketball hoop fixed to the side of the ship. “What's the matter?”

“You shouldn't be doing that.”

Naomi looked at the hoop and looked again at Cy. “Playing basketball?”

“No, interfering with the integrity of this ship. It's wrong.”

Three or four faces peered around the edge of the hole in the hull, then quickly whipped out of view again as Zhores Roxbury emerged from within, looking a little more composed than he had a moment before. Eyeing Cy carefully, he said, “Why is it wrong?”

“Because all the ships on this plain are an artwork.”

The man took a slow breath, then smiled at Naomi. “Didn't I tell you?”

“Zhores thinks that too,” Naomi said. “That this whole plain is a massive piece of art.” She turned to the metallurgist. “It seems you have another supporter.”

“And it's apt,” he said, “that support should come from the ghost that haunts this vessel.”

“You've seen me as a ghost?” said Cy, surprised.

“At various times we've all seen you about the ship.”

Cy glanced sidewise at Naomi, then back again to Zhores. “I used it as a shelter when I was marooned here.”

“You wear the same kind of clothing you're wearing now,” said Zhores, “only ragged and dirtied.” He peered at the insignia on her fatigues. “Yes. Lieutenant. Martian Star Corps. Astrogation and gunnery if I read your badges aright. I expect you were stranded here round about the time of the killing spree over at the neighbouring Electra B system.”

“Which is why I've been sent here to advise you on the cryogenic tomb in the west,” Cy said, belying her navigational skills by pointing due south, “while my frigate is undergoing refit in Electra B. I mean, why give me shore leave when I can be doing something else. As to the 'killing spree' ... the Terran Star Corps, supported by our own small fleet, repulsed a Xenoid offensive at Electra B and secured this double star system. If we hadn't stopped them here —”

“Yes, yes, they'd be on Earth now,” said Zhores. “And they're welcome to it. Overcrowded and self-obsessed. That's one of the reasons I'm out here. That's why a lot of us are out here. Eventually Mars will be despoiled the same way once you people finish terraforming it.”

Cy stared at him, thought of the generations it'd take to bring Mars back from the dead and said, “What do you see my ghost doing?”

“You look … lost. You look haunted. Yes, a haunted ghost. How esoteric, if that's the right word. I don't know. I'm a metallurgist not a philosopher.”

“I'd never have guessed,” said Naomi.

“Metallurgy gave credence to the artwork theory,” Zhores continued. “All the ships we've so far examined were built from the same material, a combination of iron and an isotope of carbon we've not yet identified. And all in the exact same proportions as if they came out of the same smelter. Naomi is our marine historian, among other things. By her account they all exhibit similar techniques of design. And as that geologist said …” He turned to Naomi. “You know, whatshisname, the fellow you were bouncing around with a while back.”

Her nose twitched. “You mean Ansel? The shit who went back to Earth and his wife?”

“Yes, Ansel the Shit. He said the surrounding geology could never have been a sea bottom.”

Cy looked back at the basketball hoop bolted to the hull, then up at a technician drilling into a deck railing. “If you consider it art why do you allow it to be treated like this?”

“Because I'm not precious about it. Using bacterial probes and nanotech injections to investigate and discover is more important. As someone once said, 'The art of a people reveals its soul.' This could be the key to understanding the civilisation that made it.”

“Or not,” Cy countered. “Sometimes art has no purpose beyond its own existence — you know, art for art's sake. Or, as someone else once said, 'All art is quite useless'.”

“How is a Martian naval officer acquainted with ideas like that?”

“I try to be more than just a component in the war machine.”

“Do you know who said 'All art is quite useless'?”

“I don't try that hard.”

“Oscar Wilde.”

Cy brightened. “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Then, answering Zhores surprised look, she added, “About a year ago I was dragooned into an interpretative production of Earnest put on by the patients and staff of an Earth-side psych clinic.”

“Trauma Disorder therapy?”

“Something like that.”

“Don't tell me you played Lady Bracknell?”

Cy rolled her eyes. “That gorgon! She was played all too well by the clinic's administrator.”

“So you were one of the girls hoping to marry the fictitious Ernest?”

“No. I was the fictitious Ernest.”

“How did you come to your own conclusions that all this is an artwork?”

“By what I found in the west. Apart from the cryogenic tomb there was the impact site and the fungi funerals.” She stepped through the hole in the hull, leaving Zhores and Naomi to exchange looks before following her inside.

They caught up with her on the deck above, standing at the hatchway to an empty cabin, lost in thought. “This was my home for many days.”

“What was that about impacting funerals?” said Naomi.

“I found the impact site of a crashed alien craft in a fungus forest on an island in the west. Its dead crew were in a cryogenic tomb on a neighbouring isle. Some of the fungus growths re-enacted the removal of the bodies from the crash as part of its pollination cycle. Four grey dwarfish creatures with bulbous heads marched down to the shore with two more on stretchers. Then it exploded with spores.” She threw up her arms. “Whoosh!

Cy entered the cabin. Zhores, following her in, said, “How did you end up marooned over here in the Electra A system five light days away from where the battle happened?”

The Martian considered a moment, then said, “Do you know what the Gartino Experiment is?”

Naomi's expression was blank, but Zhores looked as if he were rummaging through memory. He said, “A Martian military genetics project, isn't it?”

Cy nodded. “Basically I'm a genetically engineered piece of ordnance designed to psychically meld with a ship's weapons system.”

“I see.”

“Do you? I barely understand it myself sometimes. My frigate had been the first Martian ship to join the mostly Terran fleet gathering at Electra B for the expected Xenoid invasion. While we waited, scratching ourselves, Terran Command decided to see how well a piece of Martian biological ordnance slotted into the fire-control of their own ships. So cruiser McMurdo Sound borrowed me for a war game with another Terran ship, Moreton Bay, and we jumped out here to Electra A — where we were ambushed by three Gloop ships.”

“Gloop?” said Naomi.

“Xenoids. The enemy. McMurdo was ripped apart, though we got a few hits in first. Only six of us survived.”

“Jeez!” Naomi whispered. “I can't imagine what it must be like to be in a space battle.”

“It's very —” Cy stopped, conscious of being about to launch into gleeful descriptions of blood and thunder. “It's like my few sexual experiences with males: brief and 'woz that it?' Anyway, we managed to scorch the three Gloop ships, though McMurdo was destroyed and Moreton Bay's subspace gear was smashed. She'd have to return to Electra B through normal space, take maybe eight or nine days. Which was all right for the five other survivors, but I was needed back aboard my own ship now. So it was arranged for me to hitch a ride with a troopship evacuating a garrison station on the edge of this system — out here unsupported it was now deemed too vulnerable. A shuttle collected me, but returning to the garrison it was attacked by a podship — something like an armed lifeboat from one of the Xenoid ships we'd fought. The shuttle crashed into the sea to the east and I drifted ashore in a raft. I came upon this plain and sheltered in this ship a week before hiking out to a survival cairn in the west where I was picked up.”

Cy stepped to the cabin's one porthole and studied the wrecks littering the plain. “Do you know if there's another freighter like this one with a deck-house aft showing laser damage?”

Zhores nodded. “There's another ship similar to this, about ten minutes walk away. But its deck-house is undamaged.”

“They must've fixed it.”

“Who must've fixed it?”

“Your artists. The ones who took the spiders away.” Cy repeated the story of the insectoid creatures she'd found roaming the plain, and Zhores repeated Naomi’s ascertain that no spiders had been found among the wrecks.

“Personally, I believe they were gallery curators,” said Cy matter-of-factly

“Who burnt the deck-house?”

“I did. Day after day it grew on me that I was being watched. So I decided to give them something to watch by letting loose with a laser.” She brandished an index finger. “If you've found no burnt deck-house then they're clearly maintaining this site and I was being watched. But are they still watching? Are they taking offence at what you're doing?”

Zhores caught himself glancing over his shoulder.

“A moving map appeared in the palm of my hand the morning I left here for the survival cairn. It erupted out of my skin and showed the way to a beach about eighty kilometres away where I found the raft I'd originally drifted in. I'm sure both the map and the raft were deliberate efforts by the artists to hurry me out of their artwork. They secreted a spider in my bag to keep an eye on me.” She looked across to Naomi. “The spider I told you about I called Lazarus because it came back to life after I'd sort of accidentally killed with an iron spike days before. I knew it was the same because it had a scar on its back. After I found it I let it perch on top of my head as I hiked west.” Quite unconsciously she placed her hand atop her scalp, fingers splayed.

Zhores, taken aback by this, said, “Um … how about we go shoot some hoops.”

Cy lowered her hand. “I've never played.”

“Granted, it's not easy, but do the best you can.”

At the hoop affixed to the hull she treated the game like a fire-control problem: fast numbers in her head, mass, force, trajectory. At five metres, six metres, seven metres she chalked up goal after goal with mechanical regularity.

Zhores and Naomi, soon joined by others of the crew, watched from the sidelines, at once impressed and disconcerted.

***

She slept that night in the deck-house aft.

In the early hours she awoke to see a figure by the porthole. It wore black fatigues, ragged and bloodied, and appeared to be gazing out onto the plain. As Cy watched the apparition, all the feelings she'd felt back then returned: doubt, confusion, an overwhelming sadness. War's violence had near killed her twice, and she remembered seriously considering remaining lost, abandoning everything she'd been created for, to run away, desert ...

The image melted into darkness and Cy fell back to sleep.

***

Cy woke to the rising sun and padded out on deck to watch the wrecks loom out of the dawn, pushing long shadows along the plain. As she stood there she smelt something at once unknown and extremely appetising.

Following her nose up to the bridge she found the crew busy at breakfast. A few faces turned her way, making her wonder if they were still perturbed by their ship's ghost now in the flesh among them, despite formal introductions all round at dinner the night before.

“I put a request through to corporation management over in the Electra B system last night,” Zhores said as he ladled steaming yellow lumps onto Cy's plate. “We're cleared for a trip to your island in the west with its fungi funerals and cryogenic tomb.”

She peered at what was before her, unsure what it was, though it smelt wonderful.

“I also talked to some of your people,” Zhores continued. “Well, the Terran navy anyway. They say they can't find the wreckage orbiting here at Electra A.”

She looked up sharply from the yellow chunks. “What?

“Using data from the surviving ship, Moreton Bay, the orbits of each wreck were precisely calculated. But deep range scans have found not a nut, not a bolt, not a vacuum-frozen body.”

Cy winced at the image that last conjured to mind. “Four starship hulks don't just vanish.”

“I asked about the wrecks orbiting Electra B. Guess what they said.”

Her mind whirled at the thought of the scattered remnants of those clashing armadas likewise disappearing — then relaxed as his sly lurking smile gave her confidence. “They said it's all still there.”

“The whole mess. Just where you and your colleagues left it.”

“Me, my colleagues and the Gloops.” She nodded to her plate. “Are those eggs?”

“Mars,” Naomi said. “Yes. Scrambled eggs. Full of cholesterol. You'll love 'em.” Then, frowning she added, “Wait a minute. Aren't all Martians vegetarians?”

“A popular misconception.”

“You were vegetarian enough last night at dinner.”

Cy armed herself with a spoon. “Only because you cooked lentil ragu. Martian vegetarianism is based on pragmatism not ethics. Raising animals for consumption is impractical on a planet still in the early stages of terraforming. To tell the truth, we're all frustrated carnivores.”

“Probably explains why your military's so feared, small though it is,” said Zhores.

“It's what crawls out of our genetics labs that's so feared,” said Cy, shovelling. “Definitely gives me the heebie-jeebies.”

After breakfast they trucked out to the landing pad, driving aboard the transport that'd brought Cy the day before. The vessel purred into the sky and curved into the west.

To be continued in PART TWO...

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About the Author

Rick Kennett

rick kennett 200I'm a life-long resident of Melbourne, Australia, where I work in the transport industry. I like to explore graveyards, an odd hobby I call necrotourism, although I believe the correct word is taphophile.

I've been writing since 1979 and have had SF and ghost stories in many magazines, anthologies and podcasts. In 2008 my story "The Dark and What It Said" won a Ditmar, and in 2013 my podcast stories "Now Cydonia" and "The Road to Utopia Plain" won two Parsec Awards. I'm presently the podcast reporter for the M.R. James journal Ghosts & Scholars.

"The Gods in their Galleries" is a sequel to my novel "Presumed Dead", available on Amazon.

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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 275

Big Yellow Taxi
By Ishmael A. Soledad

Heart of Lightness
By Gary Griffith

Hunting in the Dark
By Marcelo Medone

Hydra
By R. E. Diaz

Lunch
By Jenny England

On the Brink
By Ed Errington

The Gods in Their Galleries (Part Two)
By Rick Kennett

Shadows of Icarus
By Stephen R. Brandt

The Letter
By Robin Hillard

The Story of the Match Between Areseth the Magnificent and Noj the Invincible
By William Kitcher

This Time, For Sure
By Rex Caleval

AntipodeanSF July 2021

ISSUE 274

Speculative Fiction
Downside-Up
ISSN 1442-0686

Online Since Feb 1998

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AntiSF's Narration Team

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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The Contributors

Dan McNeilDan McNeil's short fiction and reviews have appeared in a plethora of publications, including Alienist Manifesto, Antipodean SF, Bewildering Stories, Fantastic Metropolis, Fugitives & Futurists, Ink Magazine, Laura Hird’s Showcase, Mad Hatter’s Review, Outsider Ink, Redsine, Sein und Werden, The Short Review, Whispers of Wickedness and Word Riot.

Dan's website is at <www.dan-mcneil.com>; he can also be found on Twitter as @TheMcVariations, and Instagram as <@thedanmcneil>.

pv andrews 200P.V. Andrews lives in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs with her husband, children, and cat.

Past jobs have included karaoke hostess, English teaching in Tokyo and assessing ethics applications for research projects.

She has a master’s degree in bioethics, loves travel and is currently fascinated by CRISPR.

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chris karageorge 200Chris Karageorge is a lover, brother, son, neighbour and a keen observer of all things in sight. 

He reads, writes and cooks in his spare time and dreams of coffee darker than a moonless night. 

He is from Melbourne, Victoria and can be found walking his pug Monty during the weekends.

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Len BaglowDreams of worlds that might be, and the clash that brings them into existence.

In past lives he was a policy advocate in Canberra and an environmental activist in Queensland.

In awe of such great Australian SF authors as Glenda Larke, Garth Nix, Trudi Canarvan and Kate Forsythe, he dares to dabble in the arcane art.

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kyosuke higuchi 200Kyosuke Higuchi writes science fiction, speculative fiction, and literary essays. His debut novel, Kōzōsōshi [Structure Elements], won the fifth Hayakawa SF Contest in 2017. 

His short fiction has appeared in Syosetsu Subaru, S-F Magazine, and Bungei, among others. 

His latest book is a collection of essays entitled Subete namonaki mirai (2020). 

Kyosuke lives with his wife and young daughter in Nagoya, Japan. Find him on Twitter at <https://twitter.com/rrr_kgknk>.

william kerr 200William Kerr is a self-professed science fiction enthusiast. He was born and raised in Tasmania but now calls Canberra home.

His personal preference is hard science fiction and dystopian-style stories which definitely influenced his first published piece ‘The Burning’.

He is looking forward to publishing more flash fiction and is hoping to become a regular contributor.

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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.

col hellmuthCol Hellmuth lives a quiet, uncomplicated life, off-grid in the Daintree rainforest of Far North Queensland.

He has scratched out a living in a variety of different jobs (and locations) over the years; these days he scratches out words in various sequences, and dreams of a day when he might be able to convert some of these ramblings into food.

When he is not writing or enslaved at work he is usually found bumming around his local beach dodging crocs in his kayak or jamming on the blues-harp.

He doesn't have any fancy letters after his name, or a pet cat, but does read a lot.

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kim rose profile pic 200Kim Rose has been a professional ghost writer for five years, specialising in paranormal and sci fi romance. She has her own self-published romance series which is her answer to the restrictions of the current market, pushing the idea of what happily ever after really means.

Kim is also an accomplished photographer and model, creating a wide variety of digital art. 

She lives in Central NSW on a large property where she runs Crescent Moon Lodge Animal Refuge, supporting the animal rescue effort. 

You can follow Kimrg666 on these pages: 

The New Recruit (Tales from the MadHouse Book 1) eBook: Rose, Kim: Amazon.com.au: Kindle Store

<https://www.deviantart.com/kalikapsychosis>

Kim Rose (@kimrg6_6_6) • Instagram photos and videos

Crescent Moon Lodge Animal Refuge - Home | Facebook

<https://www.facebook.com/Kimrg666-Artist-112433517156278>

<https://www.patreon.com/kimrg666>

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ProfilePic 2Natalie has tried everything from Air Traffic Control to Zoology, but writing has been the one constant across all the years.

She had her first publication in Antipodean SF and can still remember the heady excitement of that first acceptance.

She is eternally grateful for that first flush of encouragement, and is proud to be one of the regular contributors.

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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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rick kennett 200I'm a life-long resident of Melbourne, Australia, where I work in the transport industry. I like to explore graveyards, an odd hobby I call necrotourism, although I believe the correct word is taphophile.

I've been writing since 1979 and have had SF and ghost stories in many magazines, anthologies and podcasts. In 2008 my story "The Dark and What It Said" won a Ditmar, and in 2013 my podcast stories "Now Cydonia" and "The Road to Utopia Plain" won two Parsec Awards. I'm presently the podcast reporter for the M.R. James journal Ghosts & Scholars.

"The Gods in their Galleries" is a sequel to my novel "Presumed Dead", available on Amazon.

aus25grn