The Price of a Manospondylus Sandwich

By Wes Parish

sfgenreThirty years of planning had gone into this. Planning, begging — grants applications, without the fancy excuses — experimenting, reading and re-reading and re-re-reading of all the available literature ... assembling a team of people who, like me, were crazy about the topic. And it had come down to this — one half-grown dinosaurian replica, dead because of heart problems we had no way of knowing about before we grew it.

"A sacred work of art," my partner Rossignol Nachtigall had called it, "the restoration of a branch of the tree of life..." — he was a frustrated would-be poet. Thankfully not a wannabe, just a sidetracked would-be.

And indeed — the cladistic reconstruction of the bird species' genomic histories —  the sole surviving dinosaurs, the sole surviving therapods — the assigning of features to one or t'other of the genes, the unravelling of the way the genes interacted in the forming of a bird's embryo, the timing of each individual gene's activation... I could go on. Fully as deep-ranging and focused as Michaelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel, or Rembrandt painting The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp, or deaf Beethoven writing the Ninth Symphony...

Then the rolling back of the modern genetic features, back to uncover the previous ones, then comparing the genetic features of that time across the bird species, the experimental rebirthing of half-a-dozen formerly extinct species and watching them take off again.

Until we had the experimental knowledge to attempt to roll back the genetic clock to a dinosaur, a Deinonychus antirrhopus, which we had duly done. And it had just gone and died on us, in spite of all we had done to save it. Heart problems. Whatever next?

After the autopsy, which showed the quickly developing heart problem, and proved we had not done anything wrong, we were left with a large body to dispose of.

No, the cemetery would not help us. Nobody knew of anyone who would be interested in a dead deinonychus — only in a living one which could be displayed in a zoo. One museum was interested, but we'd have to strip the flesh off and pickle the bones before they'd be interested in buying them off us.

It was then that Rossignol got his stroke of genius.

We were coming up to the end of the academic year and Christmas was of course coming up, and starving students were wanting to let their hair down and celebrate, and some of us had been frequenting food banks during the year.

"What do we do with a huge carcass that we've got legal title to, Megan? Now Christmas is coming up and everybody's planning on some sort of celebration? An edible carcass?"

"Are you suggesting we eat it? It's as big as a horse!"

"We've got a team to feed. Just think, we've got an achievement no one else has. We've got something to celebrate! And we can give any left-overs to that halfway house your dad works at."

So, with much misgivings, I agreed, and we de-fleshed the deinonychus, pickled its bones and sold them off to the museum.

It tasted like chicken.

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About the Author

Wes Parish

Wesley Parish is an SF fan from early childhood. Born in PNG, he enjoys reading about humans in strange cultures and circumstances; his favourite SF authors include Ursula Le Guin, Fritz Lieber, Phillip K. Dick, J.G. Ballard and Frank Herbert. He lives in Christchurch, NZ, is an unemployed Java and C programmer, and has recently decided to become a mad ukuleleist, flautist and trombonist, and would love to revert to being the mad fiddler and pedal steel guitarist..  "Where oh where has my little pedal steel got to ... ?"

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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.

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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 274

A Quindecillion of Cain
By Dan McNeil

Best Laid Plans
By Kevin J. Phyland

Fiction to Fact Technology
By P.V. Andrews

Lucky Bastards
By Kim Rose

Mavis
By Chris Karageorge

The Boy Who Cried Woof
By Col Hellmuth

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

The Mouse
By Natalie JE Potts

The Paragon Abyss
By William Kerr

The PM's Horns
By Len Baglow

The Witch of Borsevo
By Kyosuke Higuchi - Translated by Toshiya Kamei

AntipodeanSF June 2021

ISSUE 273

Speculative Fiction
Downside-Up
ISSN 1442-0686

Online Since Feb 1998

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AntiSF's Narration Team

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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

If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.

J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The Contributors

Alex Iurovetski FB 200A very few words about myself: impossible.

A bit longer:

Alexander Iurovetski lives in Melbourne, Australia.

He had gone with the wind of freedom from the former Soviet camp to the former British colony.

Alex codes and debugs for the sake of living, and bugs living for the sake of writing.

Occasionally, he helps his wonderful wife to raise their two sweet and mischievous boys.

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scott steensma 200Scott is a Melbourne based librarian, writer and son of a cat fancier.

He has written non-fiction for The Age, The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald and other magazines and dailies, but it's writing and reading Science Fiction that really fires his imagination.

He tweets at <https://twitter.com/scottsteensma?lang=en>, and if you're on Goodreads he would love to chat SF with you at <https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/36819318-scott>.

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dr stephanie koorey 200Steph Koorey really wants to get out more, and exercise a lot more, but as it is, she is a home-body Canberra-based academic, and writes occasional fiction, non-fiction and science fiction.

She published her first SF in the High School yearbook, and was mesmerised around the same time by discovering the work of Kurt Vonnegut.

Many decades later, she is reading David Mitchell (not the comedian) and John Birmingham, and is trying to learn from them, including by shamelessly following them on Twitter.

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Sele Hanakusa is a Japanese writer from Chiba.

In 1999, she received an honorable mention in the Cobalt Short Story Prize for New Writers.

In 2020, her story won an honorable mention in the first Kaguya SF Contest.

swylmar ferreira 200Swylmar S. Ferreira lives in Brasília, Brazil's capital city.

He is a passionate reader of fantastic literature and an apprentice in the art of writing.

Writers he admires include Philip K. Dick, Neil Gaiman, and Stephen King.

He blogs at Fantasticontos, escritos e literários.

João VenturaJoão Ventura writes short fiction, which has appeared in several websites (AntipodeanSF and Bewildering Stories among them), and also in printed form: Somnium, in Brazil; Dragão Quântico, Hyperdrivezine, Phantastes (Portuguese fanzines); Universe Pathways (in both the English and the Greek versions).

He had short stories in several Portuguese and Brazilian antologies: A Sombra sobre Lisboa (2006), VaporPunk (2010), Antologia de Ficção Científica Fantasporto (2012), Lisboa no ano 2000 (2013), Lisboa Oculta - Guia Turístico (2018), O resto é paisagem (2018), Almanaque SteamPunk (2019), Winepunk (2019), Regiana Magna (2020).

In 2018, a collection of his short stories (in Portuguese) came to light, with the title Tudo Isto Existe.

He likes reading, writing (surprise!), has a blog and is a university professor (now retired).

He is married, with two children and he lives in Lisbon.

Those who read Portuguese can have a glance at some of his stuff in Das palavras o espaço.

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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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.

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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bufnila authorOvidiu Bufnilă was born and lives in Romania. He has headed up Waved Philosophy since 1977.

Ovidiu Bufnilă binds everything so beautiful that the universe seems to be born of a wave that has shattered.

His novel Jazzonia was awarded as the best Romanian SF Novel.

He received the award for the best Romanian SF Story, Mandhala, 2002, and was also awarded for excellence in Romanian SF and the Sigma Award for the best Romanian SF Novel, Moreaugarin’s Crusade.

He received the annual Clouds Magazine Award (USA).

Wesley Parish is an SF fan from early childhood. Born in PNG, he enjoys reading about humans in strange cultures and circumstances; his favourite SF authors include Ursula Le Guin, Fritz Lieber, Phillip K. Dick, J.G. Ballard and Frank Herbert. He lives in Christchurch, NZ, is an unemployed Java and C programmer, and has recently decided to become a mad ukuleleist, flautist and trombonist, and would love to revert to being the mad fiddler and pedal steel guitarist..  "Where oh where has my little pedal steel got to ... ?"

aus25grn