Apex Magazine Issue #58


FICTION: Waking by Cat Hellisen, Undone by Mari Ness, To Increase His Wondrous Greatnesse More by Sunny Moraine, The End of the World in Five Dates by Claire Humphrey, Actaeon by Jacqueilne Carey (eBook exclusive), Maze by J.M. McDermott (eBook exclusive novel excerpt)
NONFICTION: Invisible Bisexuality in Torchwood by K. Tempest Bradford, Author Interview with Claire Humphrey, Artist Interview with Julie Dillon, Resolute: Notes from the Editor-in-Chief by Sigrid Ellis
POETRY: Tempus by J.J. Hunter, The Parable of the Supervillian by Ada Hoffmann
Cover art by Julie Dillon
I confess, it wasn’t long ago that given the choice between a novel and an anthology of short fiction, I would always choose the former. Not that I was averse to reading short stories; if anything, I wanted more opportunities to explore this format but my unfamiliarity with what’s out there was holding me back. Even now, most of my anthology reads come from the recommendations of friends and other bloggers.
As it happens, in February I was introduced to ApexMagazine, thanks to the Book of Apex Blog tour hosted by Andrea of the LittleRed Reviewer. For the whole month I was treated to reviews of this short story collection, from a magazine that describes itself as a little offbeat and straying from the mainstream, featuring fantasy fiction of the darker, stranger and more surreal persuasion. All I had to say to that was, “Apex, you’ve got my full attention.”
So, needless to say I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to take part in Apex’s Operation Fourth Story their official digital magazine drive by reviewing one of their recent issues. I got to read my first Apex Magazine! I was so excited!
Admittedly, collections are always hard to review as there will always be stories I like more than others, and there were also a couple poems which made me feel completely out of my depth and ill-equipped to talk about. But while poetry might not be my thing, it could be yours – and what’s nice is there’s something for everyone in this magazine. I myself gravitated towards the short stories, and very much enjoyed Sunny Moraine’s “To Increase His Wondrous Greatnesse More” for the fairy tale touch. Another that stood out for me was the quirky yet powerful and emotional “The End of the World in Five Dates” by Claire Humphrey. I should mention as well that my review copy also included the ebook/subscriber exclusive story “Actaeon” by Jacqueline Carey, who is one of my favorite authors so I can’t tell you how excited I was to be able to read it! As you can see, readers are offered some pretty nifty perks if they subscribe.
At first I was also going to forgo the non-fiction, but in the end I just couldn’t help myself. I’m fascinated with social commentary in pop culture, which is probably why I found K. Tempest Bradford’s “Invisible Bisexuality in Torchwood” an intriguing and thought-provoking read even though I am wholly unfamiliar with the show. I even ventured to read the interviews and was elated to see the one with cover artist Julie Dillon. More attention to fantasy artists is ALWAYS a good thing, plus Dillon’s artwork is incredible (you might have noticed me gushing about her other Apex covers in my Cover Loverfeature earlier this week).
My final thought: this was impressive! As someone completely new to Apex, I was surprised to see such a wide range of content in a single issue – everything from short stories and poetry to essays and interviews. Like I said, my experience with reading short fiction is sparse and my experience with reviewing it is even more so, but I know something is special when I see it. The best part is, the issue delivers exactly what was promised, its various pieces featuring themes that are edgy, provocative and not afraid to push the envelope and explore beyond boundaries.

From April 3rd to 17th Apex Magazine will be showcasing guest posts, reviews, and interviews as part of their Operation Fourth Story digital magazine subscription drive. From now until the end of the event you can get a year’s subscription for only $17.95 direct from Apex or through Weightless Books. Their goal is to get 250 new subscribers, which will generate enough revenue to add a fourth piece of original short fiction to every issue. What’s more, if they reach their goal, one random subscriber will win a Kindle Paperwhite!

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