The Stories

By Philip Berrie

sfgenre"Are they ready, Judas?" The old man's voice was feeble but fervent.

"Yes, Master."

Judas felt strange in the high-collared shirt and gentleman's dress suit that his master had bought him especially for tonight's event. He dug a cold finger between tie and neck to ease the tightness on his throat, only to be reminded of the noose that had left permanent indentations there. With renewed reverence, he looked down at the frail old man who was the sole reason for his existence and regretted what the night would bring.

By Natalie J E Potts

sfgenreKait curled over as the first bolt of pain clawed at her chest. She was missing the end of Master Chef and she wanted to know if the grilled snails were as rubbery as everyone had predicted. She tried to listen to the judges, but the pain tapped into her pulse, blasting her ears with a staccato of angry blood.

And like that it was gone.

She sat back. The judges were pulling faces that could be pleasure or dislike, it was impossible to tell. The guest chef shook his head; rubbery.

By Joanna Galbraith

sfgenrePandora O’Grady lost her smile on the 70E bus. She couldn’t even remember getting the silly thing out but as soon as she arrived home she knew it was missing. She checked her handbag thoroughly, tipping the contents to the floor.

‘What were you thinking, leaving it on the bus?’ snapped her mother.

Pandora frowned. (She hadn’t lost that!)

‘I mean it’s not like your father and I can just fashion you a new one!’

By Laurie Bell

sfgenreIt’s getting hard to breathe.

Even though I’m expecting it, it stills comes as a shock. My fingertips tingle and I’ve only just achieved escape velocity.

I’m not going to reach The Black at this rate. Chest tight, spots flirting in the corner of my eyes, I stretch out a trembling hand. I know this ship — well, ships like this one. I’ve flown all my life — raced all my life. Without clear sight, I find the switch. Cold, crisp, pure oxygen slaps my face, floods my lungs. My skin tingles for a different reason now.

By Soar

sfgenreHe told me to write together with him, sitting next to me at an inviting distance, where I could feel his gestures without looking, while he peeped at my screen from time to time with curious smiles, his utmost charm unknown to him. My confusion was mixed with desires and prayers to the muse to take me away from his senses and from that music in the background, alluring me towards greater depths where I would relinquish symbols, as music always won over my artistry. Then, there was that place with faces, where no one stole looks or offered gallantries because socializing in cafes meant being immersed in individual activities, while pretending to belong to the same gathering, cheering drinks and on-screen messages, within the same room, a pastime trend through decades.

By George Nikolopoulos

sfgenreAlex Miles perched on the ledge of a top floor window of the building that housed his company's offices. Ηis wife Cathleen hung out of the nearest window. Alex’s lawyer and a tired-looking police psychologist stood beside her.

The view from the top floor was spectacular. With a glance, Alex could see the expanse of the Silver City sprawled below, as far as the harbour. Seagulls cawed in the distance, and he caught a whiff of the sea, salty and refreshing. He once admired the view from his building, a pinnacle of glass and steel rising above the inner city, illustrating his own rise from his humble origins. Tonight, he was indifferent to it all.

By Robert David

sfgenreSomeone left the door open again. That’s the fourth person today to jump from the hovercraft and leave the hatch open. I shiver in the chilly draught from outside, my ears buzzing with anger and grudge. Maybe I am too sensitive as I have been told so many times. For the fourth time this day, I close the hatch, grumbling.

I’m tired. After a seven-hour flight, I now return to my king, the one who writes and writes even when he answers the call of nature — the one who writes so consistently, and reads nothing but his own writing.

By Botond Teklesz

sfgenreThe passenger sat on a transparent plexy-glass chair on a shuttle train between Manchester and Aberdeen. He was a blue-collar factory worker, and this was his daily trip towards or from the factory. The man blinked. He could see his crossed feet under the chair. His trousers barely covered his ankles.

What a vision.

By Zeb Carter

sfgenreTerry Winstone sat back in the recliner, ignoring the big screen before him.

I'll just rest here for a minute, he thought, that's all. I deserve it after mowing the lawn, he argued. He exhaled loudly, as though to prove the point.

The inner judge was unimpressed. You won't need to reach for the remote in the arm of the chair, then, will you? it chided.

Terry hissed. Why did you have to bring that up? I told you I only want to sit for a moment, get my wind back.

By Kevin J. Phyland

sfgenreA long time ago I worked in a leper colony. Leprosy is not particularly contagious or easily communicable, but that wasn't widely known at the time. I seemed like a god for merely wearing a small mask.

While the lepers lived and died around me … some for a reasonably long time … they still thought I was somehow magical, even though all I did was feed and comfort them. Doctors can sometimes seem like that. Through technological advancement, cargo cults, and simply acts of war, some humans invariably appear as godlike to others.

Much later in my life, during my time as a military medical officer, the same psychology seemed to be at play.

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In The Next Issue...

Coming In Issue 231

A Game Of Strategy
by J.M. Williams

A Human's Life
by George Nikolopoulos

Apha-Sidhe Space Opera
by Russell W. B. Kirkby

Brew
by Katrina Pekin

Deadline
by Kevin J. Phyland

Disposal
by David Scholes

Manny's Best Friend
by Dianna Zaragoza

The Blood Parrot
by PS Cottier

The Journey
by Wendy Stackhouse

Wolfmother
by Eugen M. Bacon

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AntipodeanSF September 2018

ISSUE 230

Speculative Fiction
Downside-Up
ISSN 1442-0686

Online Since Feb 1998

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SF News

Aussie Awards News

CSFG/Conflux 13 Short Story Competition (Closed)
Conflux wanted your stories of 4000 words or under, in any speculative fiction genre, on this year’s theme, which is, BLOOD, GOLD, LIES. More information here: <http://conflux.org.au/c11-competitions/>

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

 

Upcoming Aussie Cons

Conflux 13 (2017)
Grimmtales. Canberra 29 September through to Monday 2 October 2017. Guests of Honour: Ellen Datlow, Angela Slatter, Kaaron Warren. You can now read the provisional program here <https://conflux.org.au/program/>. More information: <https://conflux.org.au/>.

Conflux 13 (2017) Competitions:
Scary Doll competition! This year Conflux is offering an extra creative outlet for those of you so inclined…Riffing off the theme of Guest of Honour Ellen Datlow’s 2015 anthology, The Doll Collection, we would like you to try and creep us right out by creating something horrible for our Conflux 13 Scary Doll competition.
Artshow Awards. The Conflux Art Show, including the E G Harvey Award for Australian SF Art, an annual award sponsored by the Harvey Australian Foundation, offers both new and established artists the chance to display and promote their work, as well as qualify for cash prizes and obtain sales opportunities through the convention. Art works should relate broadly to speculative fiction genre and/or popular culture. More information <https://conflux.org.au/c11-competitions/>

Genrecon 2017
State Library of QLD 10-12 November 2017. More information <https://www.awmonline.com.au/genrecon/getting-involved-in-genrecon/>.

Swancon 2018 (NatCon)
Transmogrification. Pan Pacific Hotel, Perth. (Easter) 29 March to 02 April 2018 . Guests: Kameron Hurley, Ryan Griffen, Barb de la Hunty. More information: <https://swancon.com.au/>.

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

AntiSF will be at Conflux 13 (2017) and Swancon (2018).

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

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SF Quote

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C. Clarke