Apex Magazine issue 58

Buy from Amazon.com or the Apex website

Contents: FICTION
Waking by Cat Hellisen
Undone by Mari Ness
To Increase His Wondrous Greatnesse More by Sunny Moraine
The End of the World in Five Dates by Claire Humphrey
Actaeon by Jacqueline Carey (eBook exclusive)
Maze by J.M. McDermott (eBook exclusive novel excerpt)

NONFICTION
Invisible Bisexuality in Torchwood by K. Tempest Bradford
Author Interview with Claire Humphrey
Artist Interview with Julie Dillon
Resolute: Notes from the Editor-in-Chief by Sigrid Ellis

POETRY
Tempus by J.J. Hunter
The Parable of the Supervillian by Ada Hoffmann

Cover art by Julie Dillon.

Thoughts: This is the first time I’ve reviewed a magazine like this, and I’m finding that it’s actually a fair bit different from reviewing a book. The most similar thing would be a short story collection, but even then, there are differences that make this unlike what I usually do. Still, I’ll give it my best shot, now and from now on because I’ve subscribed to Apex Magazine and I’m enjoying what I’ve seen so far enough to want to talk about it here more often. Maybe I’ll get better at reviewing magazines as time goes on, so bear with me for now.

Julie Dillon’s cover art is something I could look at for ages. The bright red against the background of brown and beige, the way the minotaur looms larger than life… I kind of want a print of this to hang on my wall.

The short stories in here were top-notch, and even the ones that didn’t resonate so well with me were still pretty enjoyable, and I couldn’t deny that their respective authors have a large helping of skill to their names. In particular, though, Cat Hellison’s Waking was a take on angels and family that got my attention pretty quickly, Mari Ness’s Undone was short and sweet and made me hungry for more stories in that world, and holy crap, I can’t give enough praise to Sunny Moraine’s To Increase His Wondrous Greatnesse More! I could probably dedicate an entire post to it, but I’ll leave it to a quote from the story to encapsulate why I loved it so much.

There is a point at which every victim tires of being so. There is a point at which every victim perceives the joys of being the villain.

If that doesn’t at least get you curious about the story, sorry, I can’t help you. :p

I really enjoyed reading K Tempest Bradford’s article, Invisible Bisexuality in Torchwood. Having heard so many good things about how sexuality was presented in Torchwood but having yet to watch it (or anything else related to Dr. Who), it was interesting to see a different perspective. The examples cited made me rather uncomfortable, made me look up some other opinions on the subject; forewarned is forearmed, so when I do finally watch it, I don’t think my expectations are going to be quite as high as they once were. As someone who doesn’t fit into either a heterosexual/homosexual category, it bothers me a lot when I find that other forms of sexuality are downplayed and illegitimized in media, and the sting is doubly harsh when something was once so praised as breaking molds and presenting viewpoints that straddled lines and skirted boundaries.

The interviews in the magazine, sadly, were rather lost on me. It was interesting to see a little bit about the cover artist’s procedures, but interviews with people I haven’t encountered before don’t do much for me. They weren’t bad or inappropriate or anything. Just something that I’m not in much of a position to appreciate fully.

But whether or not I could appreciate certain aspects of the magazine did nothing to lessen my enjoyment of reading it, and I’m glad that I have April’s issue sitting on my Kindle, no delays between moving from one issue to the next, and I can already tell that this is going to be a magazine I’ll be excited about each month. I’ll withhold judgment about whether it was worth the money I paid on my subscription; I strongly suspect it is, but making that judgment after only one recent issue is premature.

(This issue received complimentary from the publisher as part of Operation Fourth Story. I did not pay money for it. Each issue I review after this, though, I did pay for and this disclaimer won’t be seen again.)

7 comments on “Apex Magazine issue 58

    • Poetry is a tough thing to comment on a lot of the time, and it’s definitely not my strongest suit. I definitely liked the story expressed in Ada Hoffman’s “The Parable of the Supervillain,” though, and there was good imagery in J J Hunter’s “Tempus,” though I admit I liked that one less than what Hoffman wrote (fibre arts references not withstanding :p).

  1. (Sorry, pressed the wrong button on first try…)

    I’m curious about your take on the poems…? Cool review BTW, I haven’t read this issue yet, but this certainly makes me look forward to it. And I’m very happy you also comment on the cover art; I’m a huge Julie Dillon fan. Thanks a bunch for the post, my pleasure to read!

  2. I finished reading this very issue last night for Operation Fourth Story, and I now face a similar dilemma of having to review a magazine which I’ve never done before. But you wrote a very good review! I agree with you on a lot of points. I find it hard to articulate my thoughts for some of the stories, since I so rarely read short fiction. I enjoyed this overall, though I’m sure I was in way over my head with some of the works.

  3. Pingback: Review of Apex Magazine, issue 58 March 2014 | the Little Red Reviewer

  4. The good news is that you don’t have to have seen any episodes of Doctor Who to enjoy Torchwood. I saw Torchwood first, LOVED it, started watching Doctor Who, then rewatched Torchwood and got more of the jokes.

    Gah! I want a huge print of that Julie Dillon to frame on my wall! crazy stunning, she is incredible!

    Poetry isn’t my strong suit either, and my husband was shocked when I told him I’d found a poem I actually *liked* (The Parable of the Supervillain). I had him read it, and he liked it too.

  5. Pingback: April in Retrospect | Bibliotropic

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