By JL Cooper

sfgenreHe kissed her goodbye whilst she slept.

It was a kiss of habit, tender but without feeling.

Her freckled forehead furrowed, and her eyes opened slowly then quickly.

“You’re really leaving?” she asked.

He said nothing and continued packing.

She scooched up onto the headrest without modesty, their blanket pooling around her waist.

“I love you,” she said.

He paused looking into her blue eyes.

He didn’t doubt she believed it, but he had already made his decision.

He loved her too, but he chose not to say it.

She had hurt him too much


The wormhole shimmered green whilst the rest of the room pulsated his energy. The was an audible buzz and the wall tiles expanded and contracted as through breathing.

The only other person in the room was Rachael, his psychologist.

“You want to do this again?” she asked.

He nodded. Tears pricking his eyes.

Do. Not. Blink.

Rachael sighed, “Was she alone this time? I know you always find each other.”

He shrugged, not trusting himself.


“Not in the state she was in,” he said, feeling the tears trickling down his cheeks. She never seemed to have any kids, not in any of the worlds he had visited.

Rachael nodded her head towards the wormhole and said, “and you’re sure you want to do this again?”

He shrugged.

Rachael nodded.


He had no difficulty finding her again.

In a new world full of unimagined possibilities and probabilities she was in the same place in her usual state.

She was embraced in the arms of a man he knew to be his brother-in-law, kissing awkwardly, barely able to stand.

This scenario was all too common. He’d experienced this hundreds of times.
Sometimes it was a different guy, but seeing her in the arms of someone else no longer sent shockwaves through his heart.

He needed a drink.

The bar was crowded and he waited patiently — not really taking into account what was happening around him, too lost in thought, too lost in where he found himself years ago: the night he discovered she had cheated on him.

“I was drunk,” she had said, “I know it’s not an excuse.”

He had seen her kissing him, barely able to stand, but coherent enough to look into his eyes and kiss him again. Then again.

“I wish I didn’t go out that night,” she had said.


“What’ll it be?” The bartender’s question snapped him back to this reality.

“Two jaggermeisters with red bull,” he ordered, watching to ensure the he filled the shot glasses completely.

“One of those for me?” She had found him, eyes looking hungrily into his.

“Not likely,” he said, suddenly tired.

It was the first time he had said no, the first time he had chosen not to engage.

He didn’t even bother to stay any longer. No matter how many times he did this, nothing changed. The heart he had given to her was gone, broken irrevocably.

He dialed home.


“The thing I struggle with,” Rachael told him, “is the only time I have ever confirmed her being happy was with you.”

He shrugged. “She cheated on me.”

Rachael continued. “The only time she’s had children has been with you.”

He shrugged.

“You’ve been to hundreds of worlds, slept with her hundreds of times, hated her for doing what she did to you, questioning and analysing.”

He nodded.

“For all you’ve done, for all you’ve learnt about her, you’ve never bothered to learn about yourself in the other worlds.”

His mouth opened agape.

“Despite everything,” Rachael said, “you only think of her.”

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About The Author

JL Cooper

JL Cooper lives on the Sunshine Coast with his wife Shae-Lea and three boys, Kobi, Isaac and Noah.

He has a cat, Cleopatra Caramel III, that enjoys scratching children and a dog called Bean that enjoys barking at the moon.


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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.

“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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Coming In Issue 247

As Time Ticks On
by Elizabeth Kovacs

by David Scholes

Best Thing Since Sliced Bread
by Andy McGee

by Mark Tremble

Left Overs
by Monica Carroll

Statement To The Ship Walkabout's Coroner
by Wes Parish

Stop Copying Me
by Jason Retallack

The Alien Nutcracker
by Brenda Anderson

What's So Funny?
by Ed Errington

My Dream Girl
by Tim Train

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AntiSF's Narration Team

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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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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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 (YA/ Fantasy — available now) and White Fire (Sci Fi — available now)

You can read more of her work on her blog Look for her on Facebook <> or Twitter: <@LaurienotLori>

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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 <>

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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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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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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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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

Upcoming Cons

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: <>.

Swancon 2019 — 18/04/2019 - 22/04/2019,  Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges 46-54 Marine Terrace, Fremantle WA 6160. Swancon is Australia's longest-running science-fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction convention, and is the premiere event in Perth for fans of all forms of speculative media. More information: <>.

Continuum 15 Other Worlds (Natcon 58): Continuum 15 is the Australian National SF Convention, to be held in Melbourne on June 7–10. More information and memberships <>. AntipodeanSF will be at Continuum 15 and celebrating Issue 250 of AntiSF!

Worldcon Dublin 2019 — An Irish Worldcon 15/08/2019 till 19/08/2019, The Convention Centre Dublin (CCD). <More info here>

For more up-to-date Aussie SF info join the ASFF: <>.

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antipod-show-50The AntipodeanSF Radio Show delivers audio from the pages of this magazine.

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SF Quote

Science fiction writers, I am sorry to say, really do not know anything. We can't talk about science, because our knowledge of it is limited and unofficial, and usually our fiction is dreadful.

Philip K. Dick