RogerBW's Blog

Apex 116, January 2019 21 February 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 confirms that 80 subscribers isn't enough to pay for the print edition.

The Pulse of Memory by Beth Dawkins has a fine central conceit: on a generation ship, when you get old enough you're fed to the fish, who capture your stored memories. When they come of age, children catch and eat a fish, and gain those memories. It's a way of making sure vital knowledge is passed on. But while the story builds up towards a narrative of rebellion, it sputters out without anyone achieving anything.

The Great Train Robbery by Lavie Tidhar is a psychedelic story of a dream-world, and the train that runs across it. It's full of unexplained terms and really feels more like a wallow in imagery than like anything that's supposed to make sense – even the idea that some people in this world take drugs to experience visions of "themselves" in a grey and mundane world isn't really developed. It feels more like a trailer for a book than a story in itself.

The Small White by Marian Coman tells of weirdness in pre-collapse Romania; again, good imagery but it doesn't go anywhere.

Bone Song by Aja McCullough is a short piece that fits on the side of The Bonny Swans: how does the miller feel about the instrument he's made? It's a study in minature of the positive side of obsession, and really rather fine.

With These Hands by LH Moore is a tale of the slaves building what will one day be the White House; weird magical people do… something.

Writing Wrongly by Daniel M. Bensen describes how he got back into writing after various surgeries related to a bowel cancer.

Words for Thought with A.C. Wise feels like cheating notes on each story, in case you're called on to talk about them but don't want to take the time read them for youself. It probably doesn't help that I haven't in fact read any of the stories that are mentioned.

Interview with Author Beth Dawkins by Andrea Johnson is sadly shallow.

Last month I said "If the next issue isn't at least a bit better I'll probably stop reading regularly", but while Bone Song isn't substantial enough to get a Hugo nomination it is why I'll come back next month.

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