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Des was smug. "Turns out, I'm really rich," he said. "Three point seven trillion dollars."
Robbie inspected Des's suit, its silver magnificence weathered to a faded grey. "Means you can buy a new suit," he said.
Des continued on. "And there's thirteen thousand eight hundred and thirty two stunning women all lusting after my body."
The spider had twelve legs.
Revulsion swept through me as I eyed the beastie in the centre of its web. Man, oh man, is that what the scientists get up to during their rotations? I thought, and shuddered. Hadn’t they read The Island of Dr Moreau?
The web extended from the rickety fence to the light pole, blocking the footpath.
I used to think about him a lot.
The zero tolerance, advanced-tech, powerful alien enforcer deliberately placed here on Earth by the Zlee.
Zlelt once told me the Zlee had considered sending more enforcers of his ilk. They didn’t need to. That became apparent early on.
At first people accepted him. I mean, he obviously considered himself above human laws. Yet most of us here on Earth who knew about Zlelt saw the ends justifying the means.
“We travel light years across the universe and for what? Just to die in a jungle eaten by cannibals? Ugh, these ropes are too tight.” The one-piece spacesuit hugging the captain prevented rope burns.
“Long hair suits you, Captain. It is not often we have enough planet time to let our hair grow out.” The science officer flicked a shaggy lock away from his face.
It was the wrong side of midnight, at least in this part of town. Jess was tired. She had run too far, too fast. Shaking her head to clear it, she blinked hard into the shadows, searching, probing. She'd put some distance between her and her pursuers. Possibly too much. The harder she bent time, the farther she could run, but it left traces, drew attention, made her easier to find. There really was no free lunch.
The (former) General Stevenson stood as his accuser, Private de Cuella, entered the room. He did not smile.
"Sit down", said Private de Cuella. He had nothing better to do, so he sat. "You know what your sentence is?"
"200 years concurrent for the six proven charges," he replied, but did not add, that that meant he would be out in 36 years, and though he'd be eighty-six by then, he'd be able to exact his revenge on his accuser.
I blame it on the Protestant work ethic; nobody wants something for nothing any more. Oh, they say they do, but have you ever seen how much effort people put into buying lottery tickets, playing poker, or going to the race track? They are working their little bottoms off to reap their “free” reward. I find it very depressing.
Milford Triger bends over the edge of the nacelle and gazes down, fascinated, at the passing landscape of the Swiss Alps. Blood rushes to his forehead, and his eyes roll with a pleasant dizziness. Led by a weary gesture, he plummets toward the evergreen forest.
From the air pit that fills the balloon, his notorious feathered friend, Hector the Ebon, flies away with a sharp croak.
Harold woke on election day feeling like a data drive was stuck in his throat. He lay in bed for a moment, thinking of how the three million or so people left alive on Earth were probably doing exactly the same thing. It didn’t make him feel any better. Instead, he entertained himself by muttering about having to wake up early, take the detour from work, vote, and then hopefully be back before Ms. Pipes, otherwise she'd mark him down in his next performance review.
The mighty ship awoke from its long slumber. As air and light filled its cavernous spaces, machines that had lain dormant came to life, including the ship’s artificial intelligence, Sally. She had the delicate task of awakening the precious cargo of colonists from almost two-and-a-half centuries of suspended animation. This was humanity’s first attempt to reach the stars.
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Coming In Issue 226
by Meghashri Dalvi
by Rob Riel
Farmers, Fr. Mendel, and the Secret of the Peas
by Wes Parish
by Mark Webb
by Shane Griffin
Repository Of Un-Knowledge #256
by Ed Errington
by Mark Tremble
The Fate Of Mutineers
by Pamela Jeffs
The New Ocean
by David S. Golding
by Andrew Barnett
Online Since Feb 1998
Believe Me — by Ed Errington
Panel presentation "Of Men & Monsters", at Contact 2016 — Grace Dugan (Moderator), Robert Hood, Jason Nahrung, Kaaron Warren, Liss Caldwell (part 5)
Showman — by Benjamin Hayes
The Shakedown Or The Third Eye Of Mr Fwuffy — by Tony Owens
Panel presentation "Of Men & Monsters", at Contact 2016 — Grace Dugan (Moderator), Robert Hood, Jason Nahrung, Kaaron Warren, Liss Caldwell (part 6)
One Shot — by Griffyn Goodall
Panel presentation "Selling Across The Ditch", at Contact 2016 — Kylie Chan (moderator) Keri Arthur, Angela Slatter, Sean Williams (part 1)
The Mask — by Sue Clennell
A Self Long Forgotten — by Ariel Braago
Panel presentation "Selling Across The Ditch", at Contact 2016 — Kylie Chan (moderator) Keri Arthur, Angela Slatter, Sean Williams (part 2)
A Kernel Of Wisdom — by Michael T. Schaper
Minties — by Rob Riel
Panel presentation "Selling Across The Ditch", at Contact 2016 — Kylie Chan (moderator) Keri Arthur, Angela Slatter, Sean Williams (part 3)
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A Bertram Chandler Award
Calling for nominations for the Chandler Award 2017. Details on how to nominate are on the ASFF website. Do you know a person who would be a worthy recipient? Then contact the ASFF now. Next meeting of the ASFF Committee is 19 March and it will be considering nominations received to date. <http://asff.org.au/chandler.htm>.
For more up-to-date Aussie SF info join the ASFF: <asff.org.au>
SWANCON 42 will be held at the Pan Pacific Hotel, 207 Adelaide Terrace, Perth, from 13-17 April 2017. (The Easter Weekend). The Guests of Honour will be Wesley Chu, Traci Harding, Douglas Adams (in Memoriam) and Davina Watson. More information at: <https://2017.swancon.com.au/>
CONTINUUM 13: TRISKAIDEKAPHILIA will be held in Melbourne from 9-12 June 2017. (Jasper Hotel, Melbourne) It will also be the 57th Australian Natcon. The Guest of Honour will be Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant. More information will become available at: <http://continuum.org.au/>
Starwalking — 40th Birthday Gala Dinner. Celebrating 40 years of Star Wars. 3 June 2017, Jasper Hotel, Melbourne. <http://www.starwalking.net/40th-birthday-banquet.html> Sadly Star Walking Inc has announced that Force V has been cancelled. Silver lining the Gala Dinner will still go ahead.
Supanova — Melbourne April 28-30 2017, Melbourne Showgrounds. Guest David Boreanaz For more information <http://www.supanova.com.au/>
Oz Comicon — Perth March 25-26 2017 Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre. Adelaide 1-2 April, Adelaide Showgrounds. <http://www.ozcomiccon.com/>
Thronecon: Melbourne 20-21 May 2017 Melbourne Showgrounds (Town Square Pavilion), Epsom Rd, Ascot Vale, Melbourne. More information <http://www.thronescon.com/>
Nullus Anxietas VI — The Discworld Grand Tour — The Lakes Resort Hotel, West Lakes, Adelaide, South Australia on 4-6 August 2017. More information <https://ausdwcon.org/>
For more up-to-date Aussie SF info join the ASFF: <asff.org.au>
If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.