RogerBW's Blog

Apex 115, December 2018 22 January 2019

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 an apology in advance for having such a downbeat and depressing set of stories. Er, you're the editor?

On the Day You Spend Forever with Your Dog by Adam R. Shannon deals with the death of a beloved pet and the invention of time travel in order to try to avoid it – and the complications inherent in that. Second-person present robs this of any resonance it might have for me; it seems as though it's getting most of its force from pushing dog-owner emotional buttons, which largely don't work on me and I find I resent the attempt.

Girls Who Do Not Drown by A.C. Buchanan reeks of Metaphor and Message, but is well written and lyrical. It's not a style I particularly like, but I can at least appreciate that it's being done well.

Captain Midrise by Jim Marino is more second-person narration, mixed past and present; the superhero used to be utterly amazing, and is now much less super (he ambles along in the sky at sixth floor level, for example). Some people hate him for it; others don't. No plot, just incident.

The Man Who Has Been Killing Kittens by Dee Warrick (reprint) is more second-person present narration, about obsession and magical thinking. There's some good imagery but it doesn't go anywhere.

Young, Gifted, and Black: My First GenCon Experience by Isabella Faidley is some thoughts from a fourteen-year-old writer (well, described as such, but this is her first published work, even though she went to GenCon on the basis of being a writer). Travelling with her writing teacher, she is surprised that she is mistaken for his daughter. She doesn't seem to have much to say.

The Princess and the Quest by Alethea Kontis gives some thoughts from a more experienced writer, mostly a long quest to get tickets for a particular event. It's possible to write about mundane things in a way that's enjoyable to read, but there's no vim here.

Words for Thought by A.C. Wise reviews four short stories, each rigidly in the format of an introductory paragraph, a quote, and a longer paragraph. Each one is more descriptive than analytical, the sort of thing one might write for Wikipedia rather than as a review per se; I get very little sense of Wise's own thoughts or opinions.

Interview with Author Adam R. Shannon by Andrea Johnson shows the author missing the point of the hard questions.

So three out of the four stories here are in second-person narration and largely in the present tense, and are basically depressing, and come to no conclusion. I can't help but regard this as an editorial failure even if these are things that the editor likes; they'd have worked better spread out across multiple issues.

I can't see why anyone would be happy about having spent $2.99 for this. If the next issue isn't at least a bit better I'll probably stop reading regularly.

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  1. Posted by Michael Cule at 11:39am on 22 January 2019

    You read a bunch of stories in second person present.

    You wonder why the fuck anyone thought this was a good idea.

    You recall John Clute being proud of people's inability to get to his own opinions through his works.

    You go and do something more fun.

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