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A Tick Tock Heart

149 pages2 hours


Twenty-two award-winning short stories from the 'Stringybark Future Times Award' will propel you into a world beyond 2020. These stories will delight and intrigue you in this anthology of clever tales from Australian and international authors.

Mika was elbow-deep in the torso of an android when the front door hissed open. She set her tools beside the robot carcass and headed for the desk at the front of the shop, weaving around precarious piles of android parts and ducking beneath the wires and bits of robot that hung from the ceiling.
There was a girl standing behind the desk. She couldn’t have been older than eighteen, with heliotrope hair and tanned skin, and she was glancing around at the shop behind the desk with a curious eye.
“Welcome to Mika’s Android Construction and Repair,” Mika said, leaning on the desk. “I’m Mika. Shouldn’t you be in school?”

— from 'Not Quite Normal' by Amy de Jong

She moves to the window and watches the moon rise, a blood-orange ball balanced on the horizon, illuminating the place where the track first appears. Once, this track had been kept graded for the armies of tourists in their four-wheel-drives, but the tourists don’t come anymore; the fuel is too precious and the wet seasons too long lasting to make it feasible to repair the roads. It is only possible to approach by hovercopter or on foot. The breeders always come on foot.

— from 'No Bigger than my Thumb' by Beverley Lello

Charlie stood on the point gazing at the bridge. They said it was nearly three hundred years old and he guessed that it could be true. It had lasted better than the building in front of him, that's for sure.
That building had once been white, apparently, and concerts and were held within its halls, but Charlie couldn't picture that having ever happened.
For the building now sat like an island in the bay, its sail like shell cracked and brown. Water had long since covered the large concrete steps that led to its cavernous doors and the sea now surged through its corridors, swamping its amphitheatres and washing out the ghosts of times past.

— from 'The Secret Keepers' by Sean Quentin Lee

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