By Estelle Owen

sfgenre“Well that’s that then.” I sat deflated and stared at the single sock.

The design was spectacular.

It could be mistaken for a spider web.

It was also large and peculiar smelling.

I had researched it, reviewed it and taken it to every corner of the globe.

It remained solitary.

My brother turned my way and said to me, “What are you mumbling about, oddball?”

“The sock. I have had it published in every science journal and every newspaper of every country. It has been my life’s work. I am both elated and frustrated that I cannot find its pair.”

My brother, aging now but obtuse, came over and stared at the sock on the table. “I don’t know why you bothered.”

“Well…” I said, “it is my theory that like all travellers, aliens will one day leave, by accident, a single solitary clue.”

My brother stared at me like I was from another planet.

I thought he was from another planet because he was ruthless, smelt strange and lacked any human emotions.

He was, however, a hit with the ladies … somehow?

He was the basis behind my study. Him and this sock. Every horrible Christmas he had left something behind at my place, some reminder that he had visited my pristine, environmentally friendly home.

I had found this sock after a music festival had come and gone in the Simpson Desert.

The alien sightings had increased significantly throughout the week leading up to ‘Running Man’ and I and my team had camped out from afar and watched the whole thing.

My brother’s ‘love and leave them’ attitude had led me to come up with the theory of not termination but infiltration.

If I were an alien, I would land in the desert, attend one of these festivals smelling “masculine” and ‘treat the ladies mean and keep them keen.’

I would successfully infiltrate the human population.

That was how I met my wife. She was one of my brother’s one night stands.
She was beautifully awkward and intelligent. She felt broken hearted that she stupidly allowed herself to be used and he just threw her away. She was already pregnant when I soothed her and married her and raised my brother’s child as my own.

She became one of my best researchers.

It was only after her loss that we, as now aging brothers, were spending more time together.

My brother just stared at the sock and shrugged.

“That’s Grandpa’s sock.”

“What?” I questioned.

“Grandma showed it to me one day. She told me that was the only thing she had left of Grandpa.”

“She described it as a bad ‘Cinderella story’ and posted it all over the social media of those days, about fifty years ago.”

“Why are you just telling me this now?”

“I try not to concern myself in your life. It seemed so futile.” Dismissed by my brother.

“I have published a whole thesis expounding on my theories of aliens infiltrating the human race based on this sock. It is woven from unique fibres and has unusual DNA.”

“You are unusual DNA,” teased my brother. “Sitting in a lab studying an unusual sock. Maybe you and your kind are the awkward aliens trying to blend in and not quite making it.”

“Well, I based my theories on your exploits spreading your DNA like an out of control sprinkler system. Maybe your kind is the aggressive population growth alien.”

“I like that explanation, but you’re still the weirdo,” assessed my belligerent brother.

“Why?” I asked. “Is it because I spent my time researching and still managed to successfully raise a beautiful family of children. That’s what you should have done.”

“Your family of ‘beautiful children’ is as colourful as a box of Fruit Loops. You are a weirdo because you stole Granddad’s sock and made a career out of it.”

“What do you mean stole?”

“It was locked in the safe at home with Grandma’s paperwork from 1980 analysing its fibres and newspaper ads asking for information on its pair. She was obsessed with it too.”

“I found this sock in the Simpson Desert. That was the night I met Daisy. She was crying after you had ditched her at the music festival.”

“Well, maybe Daisy stole it,” he said as he opened his safe.

There at the back, in the corner, sat the other sock.

I held in my hands the pair. The two socks began emitting a pungent smell at the joy of finally being together again. A green gas entwined in the air. With eyes watering, I held my nose. Apart from the smell, all physical evidence of the socks had disappeared.

My grandmother’s journal held an explanation about her theories of infiltration. All based on her single sock.

Among them were statements about Grandpa landing on Earth to be with as many human girls as possible. She mentioned Woodstock, and the girls with flowers in their hair and the love epidemic.

She also mentioned women like Daisy; women from a different alien race carrying babies from as many men as possible.

Grandma had a theory that two aliens pretending to be human would meet awkwardly and complete their dual missions of populating the earth with half-bred humans.

She had decided that there were no humans. They had evolved spiritually and bluntly refused to give birth many decades before. Currently, there are just varying species of interplanetary beings all trying to fit in.

All of us are just trying to be human: a rare or extinct life force.

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About The Author

Estelle Owen

estelle owen 200Estelle Owen lives on the Mid North Coast.

If asked she will happily babysit toys, dogs and kids for her friends.

She often finds herself awake at 3am jotting down a dream or idea for a story.

With the brave notion of living fearlessly she recently tried hang gliding and has started to share her odd little stories.


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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.


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.


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In The Next Issue...

Coming In Issue 241

A Fairy Tale
by Susan Cornford

Fat Of The Land
by Bob Carlton

Freckle Face
by Kris Ashton

Getting To Know You
by George Nikolopoulos

Poem For Fa And Jed Who Sailed The Ocean Red
by Chris Kelso

Salvage Rights
by Kevin J. Phyland

by Martin Lochman

The Way Things Went
by A. Katherine Black

Whats App
by Edwina Harvey

by Matthew Harrison

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AntipodeanSF July 2018


Speculative Fiction
ISSN 1442-0686

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AntiSF's Narration Team

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 <>

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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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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 <>.

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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 <>

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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 <> or Twitter: <@LaurienotLori>

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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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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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SF News

SF News

Get Roger Ley's Novel "Chronscape" Free

AntiSF contributor Roger Ley tells us that his novel "Chronoscape" is free for a limited time at Amazon this weekend, July 14 and July 15. Get it now!

Lillicat Releases "A Betrayal and Other Stories" by Brian Biswas

Lillicat Publications has relased AntiSF contributor Brian Biswas's new story collection "A Betrayal And Other Stories", now available at Smashwords and Amazon. <Find Out More>

Meerkat To Publish Eugen M. Bacon's "A Woman's Choice"

Meerkat Press has acquired AntiSF contributor Eugen M. Bacon's literary speculative novel "A Woman's Choice" for publication in 2019. Go Eugen! <Read More>


Aussie Awards News

2018 Aurealis Awards Open

2018 Aurealis Awards overseers the Continuum Foundation (ConFound) announces that the 2018 Aurealis Awards are now open for entries.

The Aurealis Awards, Australia’s premier awards for speculative fiction, are for works created by an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and published for the first time between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2018.

Full guidelines and FAQ can be found on the Aurealis Awards website: <>


Upcoming Aussie Cons

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

Conflux 14 - The Unconventional Hero — Vibe Hotel, 1 Rogan Street, Canberra Airport ACT 2609. 29/09/2018 - 01/10/2018. More Information: <https//>. AntipodeanSF will be at Conflux 14!

Oz Comic-Con Sydney — ICC Sydney, 14 Darling Dr, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia, 29-30/09/2018

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: <>

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: 

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SF Quote

If your God is everywhere, if He is always watching, why should your people make houses to go to worship Him? Faced with an all-seeing, everywhere-being God, I would think what is needed is a place to hide.

Tad Williams, Caliban's Hour