Apex Magazine - January 2011 (Issue 20)
Author: Catherynne M. Valente (Editor)
Genre: Fiction (Short Fiction/Sci-Fi/Speculative)
Did I finish?: Yes! Savored it over a few days.
Do I like the cover?: Ish -- I'm not sure how it ties into this issue, but it's very cool looking.
I'm reminded of...: Nicola Griffith, Elizabeth Hand
First line: Point of Infection +61 Days. I suppose there are things one can only learn through experience; the fever is coming on faster than I had expected, making it difficult to organize my thoughts. -- from "The Tolling of Pavlov's Bells" by Seanan McGuire
Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Buy if you can -- issues are $2.99 but a subscription is $19.95 for twelve meaty issues. A favorite purchase already!
Review: I tried out Apex Magazine last year with a few sample issues and was immediately hooked; nearly a year later, I find the same sharp storytelling in each issue that makes my subscription totally worth it.
I loved two of the three stories in this volume. "The Tolling of Pavlov's Bells" by Seanan McGuire was straight up awesome -- classic scifi thriller. If you enjoy this story, you'll be pleased to learn that Seanan McGuire also writes as Mira Grant and her book Feed seems to take on some of the issues featured in this short story.
Mary Robinette Kowal is a new favorite author of mine; I haven't met a story of hers I haven't adored. "Tomorrow and Tomorrow" is very insidious -- the horror sneaks up on you all of a sudden. I'm a wimp when it comes to truly gruesome things but Kowal's writing is creepy enough to give me goosebumps but not gross enough to make me want to heave.