RogerBW's Blog

Apex 112, September 2018 18 October 2018

Apex is a monthly on-line magazine edited by Jason Sizemore among others.

Everything is available in HTML from the magazine's site, and it can be bought in various other formats.

Words from the Editor-in-Chief by Jason Sizemore is basically an extended contents page.

Field Biology of the Wee Fairies by Naomi Kritzer is set in a world where girls are expected to catch a fairy and demand a gift to let it go, at which point they become interested in Boys. The puberty metaphor is perhaps over-worked, but this is a metaphor that an enquiring young girl can talk to and ask questions of, and that's where things get interesting.

River Street by S.R. Mandel makes it very obvious what's going to happen… and then stops before it happens. Oh well. The atmosphere is lovely, but atmosphere alone doesn't make a story.

Coyote Now Wears a Suit by Ani Fox has the intersection of the spirit world with Hawaii lowlife, and it's fun, which all too many stories forget to be, while touching on serious matters without getting bogged down in them. Great stuff.

A Siren’s Cry Is a Song of Sorrow by Stina Leicht is largely a meditation on the socialisation of woman-as-inferior; but the writing is good enough to carry me over the polemic, and over the harrowing, and if only the author had the guts to carry on for two more paragraphs and actually have a procedural climax as well as the emotional one it would be superb. As it is, the story falls at the last fence.

Talking to Cancer by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali is a story of a specialised sort of healer (with a strong side note of All Men Are Scum). The fantastic is largely a background for the emotional/personal story (as in Siren, really), but it holds together better and actually comes to a conclusion.

The Apex Book of World SF: Volume 5 by Cristina Jurado is an account by the editor of the compilation of this anthology; alas it's more of a mental travelogue than impressions of why this particular author was found worthy of inclusion. Still, at this length I don't suppose it could be much more.

The Power of Anger, Acceptance, and Affirmation in Dirty Computer by Lashawn M. Wanak is an impressionistic criticism of the Janelle Monáe album: why is it angry in a way that her earlier work largely hasn't been?

Page Advice with Mallory O’Meara and Brea Grant answers the question: how can one give away unread books without feeling that one's giving up on them? Which is mostly standard decluttering, with a slight book-specific tinge.

Between the Lines with Laura Zats and Erik Hane talks about the seasonality of book releases, largely based on the American Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday group.

Interview with Author Naomi Kritzer by Andrea Johnson perhaps goes into a bit too much detail about the genesis of the story in this issue, but is interesting about Kritzer's upcoming novel and her involvement in local politics.

I'm reviewing September's issue because articles are released over the course of the month (unless you subscribe, and I'm a cheapskate). The overall theme does seem to be that all men are horrible, but perhaps there are simply a lot of stories like that which still need to be told; and I did read at least ten volumes of the Sword and Sorceress series…

All of these authors are new to me. Coyote may well get a Hugo nomination from me; Fairiesand Cancer are excellent too. I'll be back next month.

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Series: Apex | Next in series: Apex 113, October 2018

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