The Stories

By William Kitcher

sfgenreFor eighteen years now, my wife has been getting up on Christmas morning at three o’clock to see if the oven timer has turned on to cook the turkey. For eighteen years now, the timer has done its job, and my wife has not increased her faith in modern technology. And for eighteen years now, my wife has woken me up just in case I was needed. (For what, I don’t know. I have no mechanical sense if the oven were to break down, I can’t cook, and I find it difficult to get interested in sex after being awakened from a nice sleep.)

This year was no different. Muriel elbowed me in the ribs, and I came to, slightly. I sniffed the air. “I can smell the turkey. The oven’s working.”

By Marty Nemko, Ph.D.

sfgenreThe virus kept mutating until everyone died and because the virus no longer had a host, it died out.

All that were left were bacilli. Over millions of years, they did their Darwinian thing and eventually, there was a man, well, sort of a man — he was able to reproduce autologously, and a baby was born.

By Anthony Woolley

sfgenreThe people of Earth had been transmitting signals into the depths of space since the invention of the radio. Polluting the cosmos in a way only humans could, however unintentional. But, in 1974, from Arecibo, a deliberate transmission was directed toward globular cluster M13. Later transmissions, from other radio telescopes, were also sent racing toward their respective destinations. In turn, telescopes continued to listen for similar artificial signals arriving from ‘outer space’. Mankind hoped for first contact  with an extraterrestrial intelligence.

By Michael Cheyne

sfgenreA naked man walks into the first bar he finds and orders a beer. 

“Get out, you clown,” the barman barks. 

“A beer, please,” the naked man asks. 

“Out!”

By Bob Brussack

sfgenreErman’s Star is the host star in legend of Erman 4, home world of the Anth, or the “Hermit People.”

It is almost axiomatic across the galaxy that great civilisations emerge among beings content to live and work and play together, seeking solitude only occasionally and for short periods.

By PS Cottier

sfgenreSo very tiny, they enter through any scratch or cut,

and swim to the hips, a swarm of red-capped frogs.

By Elizabeth Broadbent

sfgenreIt helps to be a billionaire yourself. If you are not, you must create a billionaire the old-fashioned way.

Stow your cash under your mattress and a coin under your tongue. Conceive your child on a full-moon Saturday night beneath music sad enough to summon tears: broken arias, lost-love pop songs, dying industrial riffs. Weep. Your child will never parse love from money. When two blue lines appear, bury your test in the earth at midnight. His beginning must be shrouded in mystery.

By Harris Tobias

sfgenreThe ship came down with the roar of a thousand tigers. This was a truly frightening thing. Even Gunn, the old shaman, had no explanation and shook his rattle without conviction. All day we hid deep in a cave among the rocks where the ceiling hung like teeth. For many hours we hid until the little ones, crying from hunger, would not be calmed. Knees shaking I, Thog, led my bravest men to the cave entrance. It was dark and quiet as it should be. I led my men a little ways in the direction of the great noise. There was nothing to be seen. We would get a closer look in the morning.

By Brian Biswas

sfgenreTramp may as well have always been there, trudging up the castle staircase. He could not recall a prior time. The staircase rose at a sharp angle up the castle tower, and though Tramp was in good shape, he grimaced from the exertion.

The tower was damp and musty. The lighting dim. Worn, wooden stairs creaked beneath his boots.

By Rhiannon Stevens

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sfgenre“Betting closed. Good luck to you all.”

The croupier dealt out the cards, two face up for each player. Marin looked down at her cards: a four of hearts and seven of spades.

The fat slob on the far side of the table hit blackjack right away with an ace and ten of clubs, and whooped in triumph. He’d lost the last four games. The other four players were telling the dealer whether they wanted to stand or hit.

In The Next Issue...

Coming In Issue 292

Burnt Muffins
By Gabriel Robertson

DeLucks
By Ross Field

End of Useful Life
By Rodney Sykes

Feythful
By R.E. Diaz

Huntmaster 2000
By Tim Borella

In the Canyon
By Elizabeth Broadbent

On the Other Side
By Rick Kennett

Something to Keep
By Harris Tobias

The Pickled Fairy Speaks
By Declan Ellis

The Silent Station
By A.P. Bird

Tubular Carbunkle
By Zachary Dein Reisch

Scifaiku
By PS Cottier

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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AntipodeanSF December 2022

ISSUE 291

Speculative Fiction
Downside-Up
ISSN 1442-0686

Online Since Feb 1998

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Download AntiSF E-Book

Epub for all e-readers:

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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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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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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tim borellaTim Borella is an Australian author, mainly of short speculative fiction published in anthologies, online and in podcasts.

He’s also a songwriter, and has been fortunate enough to have spent most of his working life doing something else he loves, flying.

Tim lives with his wife Georgie in beautiful Far North Queensland. For more information, visit his Tim Borella – Author Facebook page.angle mic

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 erringtonEd lives with his wife plus a magical assortment of native animals in tropical North Queensland.

His efforts at wallaby wrangling are without parallel — at least in this universe.

He enjoys reading and writing science-fiction stories set within intriguing, yet plausible contexts, and invite readers’ “willing suspension of disbelief.”

He believes stories might also contain an element of humour — however small — to enrich the plot and/or heighten the drama.

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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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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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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 

The Contributors

profile photo Anthony WoolleyAnthony Woolley resides in Melbourne, Australia, but was born in Hobart in the early 1970s. He is an avid reader, watcher and listener of science fiction.

Taking credit for his interest in science fiction, his mother testifies to seating him in front of a radio one evening in the late 1970s, telling him to, "Listen to this." The radio voice sprang to life, "This is the story of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

However, long before that, Anthony was trekking through time and space hiding behind couches, cowering from Daleks.

Writing speculative fiction is an on-again-off-again process for Anthony, having flash fiction published in four issues of AntipodeanSF in 2003 and 2004.

Outside of trying to find time to write, Anthony is consumed by his role as a research scientist with a handful of minor scientific publications to his name.

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Michael Cheyne is a former diplomat and journalist who lives in Canberra. Back in 1983, a uni tutor told young Michael he wrote well but wasn’t sure what he wanted to say. See the world, work it out, the tutor urged.

Since then, Michael has lived, worked and loved in Britain, Hong Kong, India, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Pakistan and Australia. He’s retired now and writing stories and poems again. He finally understands no one ever really works it out but it’s fun trying.

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Bob Brussack is a poet and street photographer who has decided to pursue the childhood ambition of becoming an SF author.

He divides his time between the south coast of Ireland and Athens, Georgia, in the US.

marty nemko 200Marty Nemko has been a columnist at The Atlantic, wrote many pieces for TIME’s Ideas and the Washington Post’s Innovations sections, and 2,277 pieces for Psychology Today.

He hosted a show on an National Public Radio station in San Francisco for years.  He is a career and personal coach.

Marty has written 16 books including a just-published collection of flash fiction: Soloists: Short-short stories of introverts and outsiders facing a dilemma.

You can reach him at <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>.

elizabeth broadbent 200During her MFA in fiction, Elizabeth Broadbent was a top-ten finalist in William Faulkner-William Wisdom Award's novel-in-progress category; in the same year, her novella placed as a semifinalist.

After having children, she turned to nonfiction; her essays have appeared The Washington Post, Insider, and Time; a six-year staff writer for Scary Mommy, the largest parenting site on the web, Broadbent wrote about everything from chestfeeding to true crime. 

Her speculative prose poetry has appeared in Bewildering Stories and Down in the Dirt

rhiannon stevensRhiannon Stevens is a professional game designer and illustrator, originally from New Zealand.

In her spare time she writes and illustrates an ongoing xenofiction series which is primarily published through her website at www.zirconaworks.com.

She lives in Brisbane and is working on her first independent game.

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bill kitcher 200 snookerBill lives in Toronto, and may move if his favourite pub doesn’t bring back online trivia.

His stories, plays, and comedy sketches have been published and/or produced in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Holland, India, Ireland, the U.K., and the U.S., so he’s pretty excited about being published in Australia.

He played a lot of snooker when he was younger and would have played even more if his parents hadn’t given away their snooker table while he was at university.

brian-biswasBrian has published over sixty short stories in the United States as well as internationally.

His short story "A Betrayal" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and anthologized in The Irreal Reader.

A collection, A Betrayal and Other Stories, was published by Rogue Star Press in 2018, and his novel, The Astronomer, will be published by Whiskey Tit Press sometime in 2022.

Brian is listed in the International Writers and Authors Who's Who, Marquis Who's Who, and the Internet Speculative Fiction Database.

You can read more of Brian's work at his website: <www.brianbiswas.com>.

Or follow him on Twitter: @brianbiswas

"Tramp" is an extract from Brian's upcoming novel The Astronomer.

harris tobiasHarris Tobias lives and writes in Charlottesville, Virginia.

He is the author of two novels: The Greer Agency & A Felony of Birds. He has written dozens of short stories, many of which are available on line at <quantummuse.com>. 

Harris is also the author of many children’s books including At The Robot ZooMoonRivet Saves His Skin and An Alphabet Book of Bugs available in print from CreateSpace and as ebooks for Nook & Kindle. You can find links to his writings here: <harristobias-fiction.blogspot.com>

ps cottier 200PS Cottier is a poet who lives in Canberra, with a particular interest in speculative poetry.

She has been published widely at home and in Canada, England, New Zealand and the USA.

Two of her horror poems were finalists in the Australian Shadows Awards for 2020. Her latest books are V8, co-wriiten with Sandra Renew, (Ginninderra Press) which looks at cars and other vehicles, and Tuesday’s Child is Full (In Case of Emergency Press) which is made up of poems first published at her blog. (These two collections are non-genre.) 

PS Cottier is currently the Poetry Editor at The Canberra Times and blogs at <https://pscottier.com>

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