A Tale Of Pod

By Kim Rose

sfgenrePod was sad.

Sadness was not unknown on pod-world, but it was carefully managed. All the various pods working at various frequencies balanced the overall equation quite well. Sadness was okay. It was part of being alive. The sadness was necessary for a balanced overall equation.

But Pod was persistently sad. An oddity. All day Pod just moped. He did not want to participate in joint energy exchange. He did not want to feed on particles of cosmic light. He did not want to vent vacuum between the stars. Pod could find nowhere to be content.

It had all started with the Earth-trip. Other pods had warned him — “Earth-trips are the worst. They mess you up for life. Don’t ever take one.”

But Pod had also heard that Earth-trips were enlightening. That they told of a purely physical experience divided from the spiritual. A place where you had to grope around, looking for your infinite spiritual particles, at all times never even knowing if it existed at all. Pod could not conceive of such an existence. He wanted to know.

So, when a multitude of pods gathered, absorbing a particularly bright matter stream, he congregated with them.

“This is a nasty deep dose of Earth-trip this one,” muttered the largest pod. Pods grew large from consuming etheric matter, shrunk themselves again by venting vacuum, and chose if they could be large or small before they went into the particle accelerator. Some never did, instead dissolving away into light or dark near the matter of stars and planets. All was balanced, the way of pod world.

With a few other brave pods, little Pod flowed right into the centre of the matter stream.

Oh, what a trip indeed! He tasted a multitude of entities and sensations. This physical plane was indeed a place of intensity and wonder! Why, the universe took on sudden extreme highs and lows, a dozen sensations pod had never had before suddenly redefined his world. It went on, and on, now that Pod had a concept of time, drawn by this physical matter that drew breath and counted its own existence through beats in its chest.

So many times Pod knew sadness, intense and all encompassing. None so great as when it came time to leave, to bid farewell all those he had come to love. Love was not a concept on pod world. Did we love our etheric lights? Our vacuum? Our spin through the stars? No. It all simply was, and pods came and went, balancing the overall equation. None complained. None knew how.

Pod was torn from existence, back into its echo, surrounded by pods, all exclaiming, “Wow, did you feel that? What did you see, hear, taste! Did you love, did you have adventure?”

All pods seemed relieved to once again have back their lives of non-existence. All but Pod.

He had realised that this could not go on. That something must be done. He was unbalancing the equation. Pods could not keep straight and vibrate accordingly. Pod felt there was a precedent for this — had not other pods told of the ones who died of sadness?

No, this was an Earth term. Pods did not die. Pods dissolved or went into the particle accelerator.

Pod drifted through other pods and their ways. He headed for the light, the most blinding light. Generally, they stayed away from the black hole.

Pod didn’t care. He was ready to balance the equation of the whole universe, not just pod world. Whether he ended up on Earth or not it didn’t matter. He had to leave pod world.

Pod allowed himself to be drawn in, feeling both etheric light and vacuum in the gloom. He was tugged first one way then the other. Light and space. Friction, a million times of friction.

It’s okay. Physical existence will consume you soon. Then, you will be afraid of losing it, when now you fear losing this.

What is this?

Pod world? Existence?

Who are you?

Pod was sad.

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About The Author

Kim Rose

kim rose 2 200Kim Rose is a freelance writer living in Mudgee NSW. Currently writing contemporary romance, sci fi and a little spiritual ranting. For more, visit the channels:




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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.

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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.

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A Cat Amongst
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A Perfect Plan
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Breathing Space
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Date Night
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Five-Second Button
By Eugen Bacon

Not Glaring, But Certainly Noticeable
By Loren Johnson & Douglas J. Ogurek

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The Diner
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The Last Supper
By Austine Osas

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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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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 (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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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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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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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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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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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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SF News

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At Corflu 35 in Toronto (2018) the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Bruce R. Gillespie. Congratulations Bruce.

Read about the Corflu Fan Activity Achievement Awards (FAAns)Awards <http://corflu.org/history/faan.html>.


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Oz Comic-Con Brisbane — Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Merivale St and Glenelg St, South Brisbane, 22/09/2018 - 30/09/2018.

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