Authentic Empathy now available in Antipodean SF – Issue 200!

I have a new story published and online today! Authentic Empathy is the 10th story I’ve had published at the long term online magazine AntipodeanSF, and to make it even better, it is in the bumper issue 200.

AntipodeanSF was started back in February 1998 by Ion “Nuke” Newcombe as a venue for using the new-to-most-of-us technology of the internet to bring a wider range of stories to the masses. The stories were pitched at 500 words long (flash fiction) because that’s the most Nuke felt people could read in one hit on the flickering CRT screens that were the norm at the time.

17 years later, he is publishing issue 200 and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it. Nuke has been excellent to me – taking the time to not only publish but edit my stories. But more than that, I’ve been astonished at what a wide array of Australian writers had early publication credits with AntipodeanSF. Nuke is a stalwart of the Australian speculative fiction scene, and if you haven’t had a chance to check out AntipodeanSF, make now the time that you introduce yourself to its bite-sized delights!

Issue 200 is a bit different from most. Rather than the 6 – 10 flash fiction pieces Nuke usually publishes, he has gone back to people who had early AntipodeanSF publishing success and asked them to provide a new story. The issue contains 22 stories from authors who owe Nuke a debt of gratitude, and as a bonus he has included (in most cases) the first story that the author had published on AntipodeanSF. In my case, that story was called Shipwrecked, which came from my wondering about why Earth may have never been visited by extraterrestrial life.

My new work, Authentic Empathy, is a short piece that was inspired by some questions I’ve always had about what would really happen if AIs were introduced to the world.

If you’re interested in hearing more about AntipodeanSF, I recently interviewed Nuke for the Galactic Chat podcast.

So, go get my story here and if you’re interested in seeing more of my flash fiction, see my bibliography page or my self-published collection of the flash fiction (A Flash in the Pan?)that has previously been published at AntipodeanSF.

(I should note that for the last couple of years I have been producing the simple eBook editions of AntipodeanSF, so when you combine that work with the fact that Nuke has published my work, you can see that I’m a little biased!)

Authentic Empathy to be published on Antipodean SF

Nuke, the editor over at Antipodean SF, recently put a call out for stories to include in the upcoming 200th issue. He asked for people that had previously published in the magazine, and was particularly interested in people whose first publication was in Antipodean SF.

I ticked those boxes. My first ever publication was a story called Shipwrecked which was published in issue 163 back in January 2012.

Given that I met the criteria, I put in a submission and was very pleased when Nuke accepted my submission for the flash fiction piece Authentic EmpathyAuthentic Empathy will be my 10th story published in Antipodean, and I remain very grateful to Nuke for all the support he has given my work over the last couple of years.

In September 2014 Antipodean is at issue 195, so issue 200 won’t come around until next February. I’ll be very interested to see what else Nuke does for the anniversary.

A full list of my published stories can be found on my bibliography page.

Very short flash fiction piece

Hi all. Antipodean SF has been kind enough to publish another one of my flash fiction pieces. This one is a very short piece called Hindsight is a Bitch and it comes in at around 100 words (I said short, didn’t I?).

You can also read it on the ePub or mobi version of issue 185 available at the e-Reader page of the Antipodean SF website.

I originally wrote this very short story for an online competition, but submitted it to Antipodean SF when I inexplicably failed to win. I hope you enjoy.

The Regersek Zone

Hi all,

It’s been a long time between posts – I’m afraid family life and day job have turned Mark into a very dull boy. Well, dull in terms of my writing. I’m a barrel of laughs when it comes to assessing the potential impact of altering the legislative framework governing the employment of public servants in my great state. But then, it’s hard not to be a wacky funster with material like that to work with.

Despite the temptations that drag me away from my blog, I did want to surface for long enough to say that one of my flash fiction pieces, titled The Regersek Zone, has just been published by the always excellent Ion Newcombe over at Antipodean SF.

Antipodean SF is a fantastic Australian website specialising in flash fiction of around 500 words. The editor, Nuke, has provided opportunities for authors to have their work published for many years, and is unfailingly generous with his time. If you haven’t checked out Antipodean SF, go and have a look immediately. Don’t worry, I’ll wait for you…

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Back? Great. Hope you enjoyed yourself.

As for my story, I was watching the US based Falling Skies recently and began wondering why aliens that have mastered intergalactic travel would ever bother with the Earth. We seem like we’re more trouble than we’re worth. Especially when there is a tempting terraforming target not that far away…

(My other flash fiction publications can be found on the Bibliography page of this site).

All quiet on the eastern front

I haven’t been posting much lately – a little bit of non-speculative fiction life demanding some attention, a little bit of creative blockage, a little bit of laziness (never a factor to be under-estimated). So, let me bring you up to speed on what has been going on:

  • Ion Newcombe over at Antipodean SF accepted one of my very short stories (97 words long in fact). The story is called Hindsight is a Bitch and was originally written for one of the launch events for the In Fabula Divino anthology that came out earlier in the year. It didn’t win that particular event, but I’m proud that it found a home at Antipodean SF.
  • Speaking of Antipodean, this month’s release (issue 180 June 2013) is a cracker, including a bonus 1,600 word piece by Jason Fischer and Martin Livings (two names that if you don’t know, you should!) as well as 6 flash fiction pieces, 2 50-worders, 3 book reviews and even a piece of poetry. Nuke has been busy. Make sure you check it out. (If you’re reading this post after June 2013, a link to the archived version of issue 180 can be found here).
  • In other news, Sean the Bookonaut is re-lauching the Galactic Chat podcast, and he has asked yours truly to be involved. Stay tuned for more details, but hopefully you’ll soon be hearing my dulcet tones across the podcasting airwaves with interviews of speculative fiction authors, artists and community members. My fellow interviewers, Sean, Alex and David are all much more qualified/interesting than I, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to contribute in some small way.
  • My writing has been going slow – very slow. I have two stories that I’m shipping around the traps – one of which got a very nice, personalised rejection recently (much better than my normal form rejection letters!). A third story is about 10,000 words and is not quite there yet – my characters aren’t engaging enough. Damn them and the horse they rode in on. Apart from those, I have the half constructed skeletons of another three stories that should be in the 4,000 – 10,000 range when I’ve finished with them. If I ever finish with them. Writing can be slightly depressing sometimes!
  • I have 7 reviews up for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013, with my 8th review (Asymmetry by Thoraiya Dyer) to come hopefully this weekend.

I’m definitely going through one of those “life gets in the way” patches at the moment. I am up to date with nothing and no one. I owe a couple of people critiques of their work (I’m mainly talking about you Lyn – my pace is glacial at the moment). I’m not writing anywhere near as much as I should be. Even with the Kindle taking most of the load, my to-be-read shelf of physical books is overflowing. The less said about my short story reading the better.

Still, you know what they say. Something about darkness and dawns. Attending the Aurealis Awards ceremony and talking to some great people there gave me a much needed kick up the bum. And hey, there’s a long weekend stretched out in front of me. And I finally tracked down a copy of Jason Nahrung’s The Darkness Within. Things could be a lot worse.

The Regersek Zone to be published on Antipodean SF

It’s been a long time between publications. A few “life gets in the way” events late last year really threw me out of the writing zone. That, combined with my attempts to write some longer-short pieces, has meant it is a long time since my last story made its way out into the world. As a result, I am ridiculously happy that Nuke (the editor at Antipodean SF) has accepted one of my flash fiction pieces for publication.

The Regersek Zone is currently scheduled for issue 184 of Antipodean SF, published in October 2013. I’ll also record a reading for the radio show/podcast, which will be broadcast some time in October/November.

I know Nuke is always looking for new material for the Antipodean SF website, so if you fancy trying your hand at a short piece of speculative flash fiction you should check out the Antipodean SF submissions page.

Bitter Seeds review – now at a podcast near you

Those that follow Antipodean SF will know that the editor, Nuke, also does a podcast where all the stories are read out, usually by the authors themselves.

The recent review I did of Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis was narrated by yours truly on the latest edition of the podcast. It kicks in at around the 44m mark.

Enjoy!

Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis – review

Ion Newcombe, the editor of the excellent Antipodean SF website, recently asked me to review Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis. Like the good human being that I am, I immediately did so.

The review is now up in issue 177. Hope you enjoy it!

Note: a copy of the book was provided to me by Antipodean SF. It was free.

 

Update: I also narrated the review for the latest Antipodean SF podcast (edition 177), it kicks in at about the 44m mark.

The Devil Wears… available on Antipodean SF podcast

My latest flash fiction piece to be published by Antipodean SF is also available on the AntiSF podcast episode 171. My story starts at about the 23 minute mark, but why not listen to the whole podcast and get some quick exposure to some short speculative fiction?

Details about all my publications can be found at my bibliography.

The Devil Wears Shapeless Ugly Garments Covered in Dog Hair released

My latest flash fiction piece, The Devil Wears Shapeless Ugly Garments Covered in Dog Hair, was released on the Antipodean SF website overnight. Many thanks to a nameless work colleague (you know who you are) for the title, from which the story flowed.

This is the sixth flash fiction piece that Nuke (the editor) has published at Antipodean SF (see my bibliography for links to the rest), and once again I’d like to express my gratitude for all his support. I haven’t found a writing group and have limited contact with other writers (although the one or two that I do speak with are very generous with their time) – it is a good feeling to know there is at least one other person who gets some enjoyment out of my work!

The Devil Wears Shapeless Ugly Garments Covered in Dog Hair story was inspired by the sometimes brutal world of performance reviews in the public sector. I hope you enjoy.