Thursday, May 19, 2011

Apex Magazine - January 2011 (Issue 20)

Title: Apex Magazine - January 2011 (Issue 20)
Author: Catherynne M. Valente (Editor)

Genre: Fiction (Short Fiction/Sci-Fi/Speculative)
Source: Purchased

Rating: Liked!
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. 


  1. This sound interesting, and like something that I need to check out. I had not heard of this magazine before, but am always looking for something that has amazing short stories in it. Great review, and very interesting cover!

  2. Heather - It's a really fabu magazine -- I've yet to come across an issue that doesn't have something that entertains me. It's perfect for the weekends or busy weeks when you can't dig in to anything too long but still need distraction!

  3. That's cool that Valente is the editor! I really enjoyed The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland. Wonder if I can still get this issue as i'm interested in the Seanan McGuire piece you mention. Thanks for sharing this pub.