Apex Digest #5

Review by Paul McAvoy

There are a lot of good things to be said about the Spring Issue of Apex; the magazine in general has evolved into a very good read. So much so that I did not want it to end!

In his editorial Jason B Sizemore has promised darker fiction, but he has also given readers a more comfortable and accomplished magazine since its first issue, which I had the privilege to read and review also.

Starfish by Steve Parker launches issue 5 and is probably the hardest story to read. It is about a humanoid fish and how a baby of the species is kidnapped and sold to the Japanese Mafia. It is a slow starter, but enjoyable. Ben Bova’s Inspiration is a wonderful and engrossing tale of time travel, in which it is arranged for Albert Einstein and HG Wells to meet. This was first published in 1994 and earned Bova a Nebula nomination for best short fiction.

Amy Gretch is a great storyteller and she does not let you down with EV 2000, a tale about how one might donate blood in the future. It journeys along that path where machines want more than what they have got. I like Gretch’s prose a lot and this was a very easy and gripping read. Wall of Delusion by Jerry J Davis is yet another good read! It is about a man called Scott serving a life sentence for the double murder of his wife and her lover. He is given a chance to volunteer for an experiment looking into memories. It will be risky – he may die, but Scott does not care, he wants it to fail, he cannot live with himself after the double murder. But are things how they seem? I loved this one!

Away by Robert Dunbar is a paranoia story in which you wonder if what is happening is real or delusions. Scotch on the Rocks by William F Nolan deals with alien abduction and is quite enjoyable, but a little bit predictable. I was crying out for another ending! The parting shot is Sacrifices by Rhonda Eudaly. There’s also the first part of a serial by Steven Savile.

That is the fiction. Other than that we have several essays and book reviews and an interview with Neil Gaiman, in which he discusses Mirrormask, Beowulf and Karaoke! On the whole this issue was a very entertaining read full of fantastic writing, and highly recommended.

Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest, edited by Jason Sizemore and published by Apex Publications, USA. A5, 114pp. Website: www.apexdigest.com

This review originally appeared on Whispers of Wickedness, and is reproduced here with permission.