RogerBW's Blog

Apex 114, November 2018 08 December 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 wonders whether to continue the print edition (it has just enough subscribers to fund itself, apparently).

Toward a New Lexicon of Augury by Sabrina Vourvoulias has a city where electricity has been "privatized", i.e. made unavailable, and non-rich people need a friend with a biodiesel-fuelled generator if they're going to get power (as in The Windup Girl nobody has solar cells); and it has the magic of the streets, of the forgotten tias and aunties and bibis, fighting back against the Man while never becoming enough of a threat to get stamped on. Either of these would have made a fine premise for a story; both together, for me, makes this too crowded, particularly once it becomes clear that the Man has his own magic.

Godzilla vs Buster Keaton, Or: I Didn’t Even Need a Map by Gary A. Braunbeck is a meditation on grief, and on a possible way to deal with it. It feels rather old-fashioned in its approach to computers, and to life in general, but it's an interesting concept which doesn't go far enough.

Master Brahms by Storm Humbert has a group of clones living together, set up to share the memories of the original… but one of them has been killed. This isn't a whodunnit (though that would have been an interesting challenge), but more an examination of the meaningfulness of distinction; its reach exceeds its grasp but it still manages to have intriguing ideas.

Riding the Signal by Gary Kloster is a reprint from 2012: our viewpoint character is a mercenary in remote-controlled warfare, but the violence is about to come home. Quite surprisingly, given the lack of original ideas here (Forever Peace came out in 1997), there's one really good bit: the psychological effect of accepting that, yes, we're naffed and probably going to die here, but we still aren't going to make it easy for the enemy… but then the story fumbles the conclusion, making it look as if it's just chapter one of something larger.

Boy A, Girl A, Slender Man by Paul Jessup considers the psychological effect of reading news stories about children killing each other. Are there mythic patterns to them? Doesn't really go anywhere but at least it's original writing rather than just rehashing details of the cases.

Words for Thought by A.C. Wise reviews various recent short stories, one of which I've read; well, this is more summary than review.

Interview with Author Storm Humbert by Andrea Johnson suffers from the interviewer being too impressed with the story to ask anything more than standard questions.

Again, no Hugo nominations, though it's a step up overall from last month.

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