Review: Apex Magazine Issue 138

Apex Magazine Issue 138 by Jason Sizemore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Original Fiction

The Relationship of Ink to Blood (Alex Langer) – I world have interpreted the actions this story very differently had it not been in a SFF magazine. But in Hebrew we have different expectations about what’s real and what’s not. The ending caught me by surprise, though.

Ncheta (Chisom Umeh) – not too dissimilar from the plots of Small Gods or American Gods, but using African deities. I enjoyed it.

Thank Mother for Your Life (Mary G. Thompson) – a deep, dark story that builds and builds and would be at home in Nightmare Magazine. I love how disturbing it is

Chupa Sangre (Tre Harris Salas) – fantasy as a way of looking at immigration, belonging, and found family.

A World Unto Myself (P.A. Cornell) – a beautiful, unique view of how we might treat robots if they become commonplace.

Lady Koi-Koi: A Book Report (Suyi Davies Okungbowa) – interesting use of a framing device of a book report to make a contract on cultural hegemony.

Flash Fiction

Measure Twice, Cut Once (K.R. March) – the craziest horror situation that only slowly dawns on the reader.

Smoke Fire Wind Sea (Valerie Kemp) – you can slowly piece together what happened, but it’s in the style I hate where do much of the prose is confused.

Classic Fiction

A Mastery of German (Marian Denise Moore) – A story that takes place just a bit in the future that touches on a few different topics, including the ethics of experimentation on minority communities that has happened throughout the history of medicine.

An Inventory of the Property of the Escaped Suspect, Confiscated at the Time of Her Arrest Following the Incident on Ash Street, with Annotations by Acting Sheriff Helena Fairwind (Tim Pratt) – these kinds or stories are fun. The author uses annotations on the property inventory to tell a fascinating story that leaves me wanting more.


Words Wielded by Women (Carina Bissett) – I’m the last few years I have read many essays (or listened or watched) about the erasure (intentional or systemic) of women creators in American pop culture. But I have never seen in print, so much space given to the topic. Because Apex gives so much space (28 pages in the EPUB version on my Kobo), Bissett is able to truly explore the topic (of those 28 pages 6 or so are the bibliography and foot notes) of female author and editor participation in horror. It was inspiring to see how involved they have been, even if simultaneously sad how they have so really been forgotten. Along with the author, I’m curious to see where things go even as America has begun a backslide of rights for traditionally marginalized populations.

Plus interviews with some of the authors and the cover artist.

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