‘Apex Magazine’ describes itself to be in the realms of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. ‘Strange, beautiful, shocking, surreal’ are also words which appear on the website. After having read ‘Apex’ for a few issues you can certainly understand that the claims may be true. In order to survive the length of time that Apex has survived, apart from dedicated staff, you also need a unique identity so that you can live in a niche where no one else resides because in a world of blandness and mediocrity, being special makes you stand out. Yes, it certainly is unique. Looking into ‘Apex’ is like looking into a dark room where insanity resides and you seem to have the feeling that by remaining too long in the realms of this strange world the chances of escape may elude you. Fortunately, the fact remains that it is just a magazine and not a look through into another world or so you think? Whatever the fact may be, there is something distinctly different about ‘Apex’ and it’s well worth having a look to see what it’s all about.
As mentioned, this is issue number 50, a milestone no less. The artwork as usual is visually stunning. Don’t take my word for it, see for yourself. Every issue seems to be a different image of differentness, if such a word exists and they are definitely memorable images.
Three short stories appear in this magazine. Sarah Monette’s ‘To Die For Moonlight’ had what I could only describe as tones of Jane Austen, yet it wasn’t quite the same because it started off with someone getting their head cut off with a pen knife. Sounds a bit macabre but nothing compared to another story in number 50. Anyway, returning to ‘Moonlight’, it appears after lengthy discourse that one of the characters is maybe not quite human and is affected by moonlight at certain times of the month.
Kelly Link’s ‘The Constable Of Abel’ was exceptionally witty and clever, describing the lives of a mother and daughter in a strange world which was, to my mind, a parody of ancient Rome. You had to admire the character description, especially one woman who was a blackmailer, ‘She did not bleed her clients dry; she milked them. You could even say she did it out of kindness. What good is a secret without someone to know it? When one cannot afford a scandal, a blackmailer is an excellent bargain.’ There are more gems like this in the story. Read on and be convinced.
Rachel Swirsky’s ‘Abomination Rises On Filthy Wings’ comes with a health warning from the editor. It was all about a man murdering his wife. She was a harpie or so he thought. The story was okay but I thought most of it was irrelevant. It possibly describes the change in feeling from love to hate that some people develop in relationships, with an element of self-loathing chucked in, evident when the man in the story discovered his body to be undergoing necrolysis in front of his eyes. Certainly made you think, the story did, but it was unpleasant to the senses.
Lots of good poetry, interviews with the authors and editorial comment included, number 50 was a very good issue. You can actually look at it for free on the website but if you want to support ‘Apex’ it’s possible to buy it from Amazon and other places, allowing it to appear in Kindle format amongst others. Yes, it’s something different with a unique identity. It may be for you. The only way to judge is to see for yourself.
(pub: Apex. Digital mag. Price: $ 2.99 (US))
check out website: www.apex-magazine.com/issue-50/