The Twelve Moments

By Eugen Samolin

sfgenreThe First Moment encountered himself hovering alone in an abyss of timeless, empty space. He panicked, thinking this was hell, that he’d been damned here forever and would now spend eternity growing incrementally more uncomfortable, gradually descending into a state of suffering worse than he could possibly imagine.

Stay calm, he thought.

This is just the first moment. All I have to do is get through it, and the next one will come along. He closed his eyes and meditated, and in his mind’s eye he saw a vision of a time in the future when things would be better and there’d be all these other moments around, and this lonely first moment would be just a memory.

Then came the Second Moment. She appeared at the edge of visibility, gradually enlarging as she floated towards him. He waved at her as she approached; she waved back as she floated by. He blew her a kiss, which she caught.

Unbeknownst to the First and Second Moment, the Third Moment was already amongst them. He’d remained unobserved, approaching at right-angles, and after the Second Moment caught the First Moment’s kiss and turned around, the Third Moment was there, lurking in wait. He had his trigger-finger pointed and wore a grin, satisfied to have trumped them. The Second Moment gasped incredulously. The First Moment had a revelation.

The Third Moment hadn’t been aware, as he’d approached the first two moments, that he was being watched by the Fourth Moment, who had chuckled at his naivete. She was going to make sure that when the Fifth Moment came along, she wouldn’t be surprised. But for now, she was top of the pecking order. Where the Third Moment had pointed with his trigger-finger and grinned, The Fourth Moment pointed with both trigger-fingers and nodded triumphantly, causing all present to laugh and clap. Before their outburst had subsided, the Fourth Moment turned around, expecting to encounter the Fifth Moment close behind.

But she was in for a shock. The Fifth moment, not to be outdone, had turned around to grab the Sixth Moment while the Fourth Moment was approaching the first three. “Excuse me?” said the Fifth Moment to the Sixth, who was looking around, getting her bearings.

‘Yes?’ she said, crinkling her eyebrows at him as she put on her spectacles.

‘Hi. I’m thinking it might be a nice surprise for the Fourth Moment if the moment she turns around to greet me, that you’re there, too, so she can get two moments for the price of one.’

The Sixth Moment nodded her head brusquely as he spoke. ‘Okay. Yes, good,’ she said, and she joined him and they floated in together at right-angles to the others, waiting for the Fourth Moment to have her moment and turn around.

As they waited, they were interrupted by a clearing of the throat and a tapping of the shoulder from behind them. They turned around and lo and behold, there was the Seventh Moment, who was, in fact, the First Moment in disguise. He’d grown his hair out and had a big beard and wore thongs and a rainbow-coloured bandanna. ‘I am the First Moment,’ he said. ‘And I have attained enlightenment.’

‘Enlightenment?’ they asked.

‘Yes,’ said the transformed first moment ‘I became enlightened when I left the position in space I’d occupied as the First-Moment and walked all the way around to get back in line again.”


The Seventh Moment shushed them. ‘There will be a total of twelve moments!’ he declared.

The Fifth and Sixth Moments bade him continue.

‘When the Third Moment arrived,’ he said, ‘I decided to walk out to the edge of space and time and come back in again in order to become the next moment in line, and as I did, I had time to think. “What’s going to happen after I arrive?” I pondered. “Who’s going to be the next moment after me? Where does it all end?” I meditated on these quandaries as I walked to the edge of space and time and my hair and beard grew long with wisdom. And when I got here and saw you two, Moments Five and Six, standing here together waiting for your moment to arrive, it all ‘clicked,’ and I worked it all out.’

‘Worked what out?’ asked the Sixth Moment; the Fifth Moment nodded and put his hands on his hips.

‘I am the Seventh Moment!’ he said, ‘The end of all moments as we know them. There will be no moments after me.’

‘Yes there will,’ said the Fifth Moment. ‘There’ll be an Eighth Moment around, soon, there must be.’ He scanned the horizon. ‘She must be running late.’

The Seventh Moment clasped his shoulder. ‘This is the Eighth Moment,’ he said. ‘This is the moment I tell you, the Fifth and Sixth Moments, about my enlightenment, and about the world to come.’

The Fifth and Sixth Moments were slightly stunned. ‘What about the Ninth Moment?’ asked the Sixth Moment.

‘The Ninth Moment will occur when you two relay to the Fourth Moment what I have told you and pass the enlightenment onto her.’

The penny dropped for the Fifth and Sixth Moments then, and they turned back to face the Fourth Moment right at the very instant that she turned around to face them after pointing both her trigger-fingers and nodding triumphantly.

She lit up in surprise. ‘Aha!’ she said, looking at the Fifth Moment and nodding. ‘Nice one. I wasn’t expecting to encounter not just you, but the sixth moment too!’

‘Listen,’ said the Fifth moment seriously. ‘This is going to sound strange, but we are now in the Ninth Moment.’

‘The Ninth Moment!’ exclaimed the Fourth Moment. ‘What do you take me for? Stupid?’

‘It’s true,’ said the Sixth moment, and they explained to the Fourth Moment about how the First Moment had left his place in spacetime and walked to the edge of existence, and how he’d returned as the Seventh Moment and attained enlightenment. ‘When he took our attention and passed his wisdom onto us, that was the Eighth Moment. And now that we’re telling you about it, we’re in the Ninth Moment.’

‘Oh,’ said the Fourth Moment, who immediately turned around and told the Third Moment, thus creating the Tenth Moment. The Third Moment then told the Second Moment, thus creating the Eleventh Moment.

As the Second Moment was being enlightened and the Eleventh Moment unfolded, The Seventh Moment looked around at all the other moments that were now here; at all the action, the activity, the drama. And before the Fifth and Sixth Moments had thought to ask him about the Twelfth Moment, which they were sure to do, as he’d said there’d be twelve and there was no First Moment there any more for the Second Moment to pass the enlightenment on to, the Seventh Moment closed his eyes and remembered back to the time when he was the First Moment all by himself in a spaceless, timeless void; recalled the vision he’d had of this moment, a moment when there’d be all these other moments around. And in that moment, the Twelfth Moment was created.

He opened his eyes; an infinity of moments spread out before him.

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About The Author

Eugene Samolin

eugene samolin 200After a decade playing music as a bass guitarist, Eugene Samolin turned his attention to writing in 2015. Shortly thereafter, a mystical revelation infused him with an abundance of creative juices. He’s been writing esoteric tales of fantasy and science-fiction since then.


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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.

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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

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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Belted About
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Death Is No Obstacle
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Heisenberg's Witness
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Hell Is A Witch
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AntiSF's Narration Team

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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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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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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laurie bell 150Laurie Bell lives in Melbourne, Australia. She spent years writing and making audio plays with her sister using an old tape player. Life is a performance! She is a singer and has performed on stage once for her local theatre company. Now she helps out as a volunteer. She loves to read her stories out loud to anyone who will listen. She has recorded several audio readings of her own short stories here at Antipodean SF and is now a member of the audio team.

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

Laurie's debut book The Butterfly Stone will be published in Autumn (Aus) 2018 and another titled Blood Fever will be published in Winter (Aus) 2018.

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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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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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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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SF News

SF News

Hugo Awards Nominations for the 2018 Hugo Awards and 1943 Retrospective Hugo Awards are open. The Hugos will be presented at Worldcon 76, 16-20 August 2018 San Jose USA <http:/>

Fan Funds Open for 2018

Both GUFF and DUFF have opened their races for 2018. Fan funds are a long tradition in SF fandom and a wonderful opportunity to connect with fans on the other side of the planet. DUFF:<> & GUFF: <>. More information and news at the <Australian Science Fiction Foundation>.

AntiSF Author Eugen M. Bacon Publishes Two New Anthologies

Antipodean SF author Eugen Bacon has published two new speculative fiction anthologies:

Dying & Other Stories, <>. Literary speculative fiction that offers up death. Dirges that cross genre.

Thirteen Wicked Tales, <>. A collection of literary speculative fiction by Fiction4All

Congrats AntiSF Author Laurie Bell...

Laurie Bell is set to have two new novels published in 2018. One is an adult sci-fi noir thriller novel "Blood Fever" through Incendia Books, and the other is a young adult urban fantasy "The Butterfly Stone" from Wyvern's Peak Publishing.

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Upcoming Aussie Cons

Swancon 2018 (Natcon): Pan Pacific Hotel, Perth. This is the 2018 Australian National Convention: “Transmogrification”, (Easter) 29  March to 02 April 2018 . Guests: Kameron Hurley, Ryan Griffen, Barb de la Hunty.  More information: <>

Conclave 3 — The The 39th New Zealand National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention. Easter Weekend, March to 2 April 2018, at the Surrey Hotel, Auckland. More information at <>

Speculate <> — Victorian literary festival that celebrates Fantasy and Science Fiction by bringing together Australia’s finest speculative writers for a day centred around the craft of writing. April 28 2018, Gasworks Theatre, Middle Park, Melbourne.

Supanova, Peter Capaldi and John Barrowman. Melbourne Show Ground 20-22 April. Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, 27-29 April: <>

Continuum XIV: Conjugation. Melbourne’s SF Convention. 8th – 11th June, 2018. More information: <>.

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: <>

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

AntiSF will be at the National Convention, Swancon (2018) over Easter in Perth. Rock up and say hello!

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SF Quote

There’s no real objection to escapism, in the right places… We all want to escape occasionally. But science fiction is often very far from escapism, in fact you might say that science fiction is escape into reality… It’s a fiction which does concern itself with real issues: the origin of man; our future. In fact I can’t think of any form of literature which is more concerned with real issues, reality.

Arthur C. Clarke