Prison

By Botond Teklesz

sfgenreDay one.

Pavlovian conditioning. Get up. Bathroom. Wash your hands after toilet. Breakfast sunny-side up. Neuronic implant of the left temporal lobe connected and activated. Time for the Chinese lesson. The implant is connected to eyeglasses for comfort issues. If you break them, the punishment is a week in in the sensory deprivation unit. You don’t wanna try that, believe me. One can learn any language in three days but I choose the most difficult one for the reward — which is a big slice of cherry pie. Of course, the pie is also a memory implant.

One never wonders about anything like that.

My glasses did break once. I discovered that I was living in a small white room with no mirrors. I started to choke because oxygen is only an illusion. I still don't understand what broke my glasses because everything is repaired by nanobots.
They never fail.

In fact, I don't know why I am writing my diary now. The Rats keep telling me I am free. I don't believe them. I am afraid, cold and hungry.

Day one over.

***

Day two.

I don't know what day or year it is. It is impossible to tell. I speak fluent Chinese now with a wonderful little woman. I ask her if I can learn karate. She says you can learn anything here.

Every now and then somebody disconnects me from my Chinese woman and my cherry pies. They keep calling me the Rebel. They show me pictures of a horrible war and they tell me it all happens before glasses are invented. They tell me I am immortal.

“So everyone else is wearing these glasses,” I say.

“How do you know you are not the only one?” they ask me.

That’s a good question. They are just like my Chinese woman and all the others I meet every day. I am confused. Why doesn’t anyone punish me when I am disconnected?

Day two over.

***

Day three.

It occurs to me that if I attempt suicide I will not die. Either the nanobots will keep me alive or the Rats will come up and rescue me.

This is purgatory. I am stuck between two worlds. My stake isn't real. My face and my thoughts aren't real.

Dammit. Someone is feeding me my own mind. The nanobots prepare fried bacon for me. I attempt to throw away the plate, but it is glued to the table. So is the Chinese woman teaching me karate. She’s glued to the dojo. The glasses are glued to my head.

I want some music. Mozart is instantly audible. Something is dead wrong here, so I will cease writing my diary until I figure out the next step.

Day three over.

***

Day four.

I am not here.

I hear them talking.

“You can see he is losing it,” says the Centaurian. “His race is not designed to live like that. The imprinting is way beyond what his mind can bear. Fortunately, his reality is much weaker than the implant.”

“But you saw him suffer when he was taken back there,” says another Centaurian.
“We must make sure our equipment never fails again. This one goes back for repair.”

Day four over.

***

Day five.

I experience excellent food, fluent Chinese language, and an endless karate lesson.

The implant is working perfectly.

Forever...

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About The Author

Botond Teklesz

botond teklesz 100I am a Hungarian living in Romania which is a good thing as Romanian becomes the second language everybody speaks. I wanted to become a medic but then I realized that chemistry was too much of a challenge for me, I kept on learning foreign languages.

I learned French for about six years but since it was bugging me that I could not understand a word of the rock music I listened to, I put an accent on acquiring English.

Here I am now writing stories in English, this fantastically beautiful language that cast a voodoo spell on me.

Please come along and have a look at my collection of short stories called: Mirror Image

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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.

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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 www.markwebb.name.

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

Stranded
by Martin Lochman

The Way Things Went
by A. Katherine Black

Whats App
by Edwina Harvey

Zap!
by Matthew Harrison

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AntipodeanSF July 2018

ISSUE 240

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AntiSF's Narration Team

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 (available now).

You can read more of her work on her blog Look for her on Facebook <www.facebook.com/WriterLaurieBell/> 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 <https://garrydean.wordpress.com>

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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 NewMyths.com, 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 <timothygwyn.com>.

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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 <wordsbydavid.com>

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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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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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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: <https://aurealisawards.org/rules/>

 

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//conflux.org.au>. 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: <https://ausdwcon.org/>

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

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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: http://antisf.libsyn.com 

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SF Quote

Reality is the part that refuses to go away when I stop believing in it.

Philip K. Dick