Not Glaring, But Certainly Noticeable

By Loren Johnson & Douglas J. Ogurek


Now and again, eccentrics from throughout Soonview came to Humiliation House. There they watched Pempus and Bilesnox, the couple that designed the structure, humiliate each other.

Built into Humiliation House’s exterior were all kinds of humiliation aids: an Atomic Wedgie Cornice, a Toilet Seat Canopy, an Indignity Balcony, a Disgrace Column, a Mortification Acroterium, and even a feature called Falling Sewage.

Most Soonview residents found Humiliation House and its goings-on purposeless and revolting.

Though small, the audiences that did come were diverse. The well-to-do were easy to spot—they wore on their heads the glowing beak of the rare bird called the sceptern.

One day, just behind Humiliation House, a large hill suddenly formed in this otherwise very flat region of Soonview. The hill was not glaring, but it was certainly noticeable.


Nostos City

Architectural critics called Wispell Headquarters in Nostos City the architect’s magnum opus, a triumph of grace and form. Wispell, a cosmetics company, even gave the architect his own scent. Façade, they named it.



All the scepterns migrated to the top of the new hill; the birds wanted to live at the highest possible point.

Some enterprising Soonview residents started sceptern farms. They bred scepterns with genetically modified enormous beaks . . . so enormous that the birds could hardly hold up their heads. Then the farmers released the birds for the highest bidder to shoot.

The curious continued their treks to Humiliation House to watch Pempus and Bilesnox humiliate each other. And the beaks extending above the audience grew in size and in number.

During their free time, Pempus and Bilesnox found more and more sceptern carcasses at the base of the new hill near Humiliation House. Their beaks had been torn off before their bodies were discarded.


Nostos City

The architect took his son to the famed Wispell Headquarters. The boy marveled at a spellbinding façade and at convoluted corridors that twisted and turned and widened and narrowed.

When the architect talked to an admirer in the building, the boy ventured out on his own. At the end of one corridor, the boy found a door that said, “TEST.” He went inside. Rabbits and dogs cowered in cages. People in lab coats dripped perfumes and creams into the animals’ eyes, and forced them to ingest fragrant liquids.



The sceptern carcasses continued to accumulate outside Humiliation House. And during performances, more and even larger beaks appeared among the audiences.

One night, just before he dumped the Lipolanche over Pempus, Bilesnox put on a beak. It was larger and more beautiful than any of those within the audience. And just before Pempus stripped Bilesnox, then tossed him into the Rejecting Pool, she put on a similarly superior beak.

After the show, an audience member with a much smaller beak asked Pempus and Bilesnox about the distinguished beaks they wore. They told him they were not sceptern beaks, but rather a “rarefied” material.


Nostos City

That night, the boy took his father’s bottle of Façade. The boy brought the bottle back to his bedroom, where he placed it under a rug. It made a bump. The bump was not glaring, but it was certainly noticeable.

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About The Authors

Loren Johnson

A designer and naturalist, Loren Johnson creates solutions that critique and build on how people experience nature, the spaces they inhabit, and particularly how architecture frames or expands their view of their environments. His graduate thesis project examined multifaceted relationships between the biogenic and anthropogenic environments. Loren has pursued authentic expressions of architecture in many forms, and enjoys expanding his passions in a wide variety of media.


Douglas J. Ogurek

douglas ogurekDouglas J. Ogurek is the pseudonym for a writer living somewhere on Earth. Though banned on Mars, his fiction appears in over forty Earth publications. Ogurek founded the controversial literary subgenre known as unsplatterpunk, which uses splatterpunk conventions (e.g., extreme violence, gore, taboo subject matter) to deliver a positive message. Recently, Ogurek guest-edited Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction #58: UNSPLATTERPUNK! — the first ever unsplatterpunk anthology. He also reviews films at that same magazine. More at <>. Twitter: @unsplatter



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AntiSF & The ASFF

AntipodeanSF supports the ASFF

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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 244

by Ishmael A. Soledad

Fairies At The Bottom Of The Garden
by Louise Burch

Hollywood Product
by J. H. Malone

Jerry Cornelius (The English Assassin)
by Roger Ley

by Imogen Cassidy

Old City
by Trent Jamieson

Silver Lining
by Rex Caleval

by Simon Petrie

A Necessary Intervention
by Zebuline Carter

Star Dream
by Theodore Irvin Silar

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(Rob Hood)

AntipodeanSF October 2018


Speculative Fiction
ISSN 1442-0686

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AntiSF's Narration Team

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 <> 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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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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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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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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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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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

Roger Ley's story in this issue "Pilgrimage"  has gained an Honourable Mention in the Writers of the Future competition.

Congratulations Roger!


Upcoming Aussie Cons

Oztrek 14 Adelaide — Saturday Oct 6, Brisbane — Sunday Oct 7, Melbourne — Saturday Oct 13, Sydney — Sunday Oct 14. Guests John Billingsley & Sara Mitich. <>.

2018 SciFi Film Festival 18-21 Oct Event Cinemas George St Sydney <>.

Monsterfest Horror Movie Festival 22-25 November, Cinema Nova Melbourne <>.

INDIE COMIC CON 2018 8 Dec Northcote Town Hall, Melbourne Free event. <>.

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: <>.

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!

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.

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SF Quote

Any sufficiently advanced ETI is indistinguishable from God.

Michael Shermer