Best of Apex Magazine: Volume 1
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A 'selkie story' set in the southwest. This story manages to do something rare: it takes a familiar folktale/myth, gives us a truly authentic-feeling rendition, and adds something truly new (and significant), and something unexpected. Beautiful, and sad.
**** Going Endo by Rich Larson
Challenging, but ultimately heartwarming story. Future space battles are being fought by humans who interface with aliens in an extremely intimate way. Many see the alien being ...more
Which is cool and generous and why I'm ashamed to say I think I got this book this time last year (but I will feel better about this if you'll consider joining the program too :D)
As even this book's editors acknowledge, fiction being subjective means that "best of" is at best an approximation--but whi ...more
Before I get to the review of this anthology I have to comment on the exceptional cover art "Life is a Dance in the Rain" by Adrian Borda. This piece really sets the stage for the twenty-one stories that follow in this first collection of the Best of Apex Magazine.
An Apex story can be difficult to describe, but in this collection I enjoyed nearly every one of them. Its the best of speculative fiction, covering multiple genres with an international list of authors, some familiar, many ...more
Apex Magazine publishes incredibly strong and profound work, and this anthology highlights the best of the best, from award finalists and winners to readers' choice stories. Not all of them were to my taste, and that's fine; I'd rather read an anthology with several stand-out WOW pieces than one that is consistently okay. One of my all-time favorite stories in recent years, "Jackalope Wives" by Ursula Vernon, is first in ...more
The nitty-gritty: A fantastical gathering of Apex’s best of the last six years, showing a broad range of styles and talents in speculative fiction, with something for everyone.
Apex Magazine has been going strong for six years, and I’m so happy to have read this group of stories selected from among hundreds published over the course of those years. I recently interviewed editors Jason Sizemore and Lesley Conner about the process of gathering and selecting stories for this book, so if you missed t...more
I was provided with an electronic ARC of this collection, in exchange for an honest review, and can say that, if you like SF, Fantasy, the ‘weird’ ...more
My main problem with this anthology is that I don’t think the tittle does justice to the magazine. I can see that including award winning and nominated stories and reader’s favorites seems logical criteria, but unfortunately they have left out most of my favorite Apex’s stories (“During the Pause”, by Adam-Troy Castro or “Paperclips and Memories and Things That Won’t Be Missed”, by Caroline M. Yoachim, to mention just a couple of examples).
In any case, this collection is a great way to ...more
I was not disappointed. Every story here touched me and took m ...more
That said, I found the second half much more to my taste than the first, with the exception of collection opener Jackalope Wives, which i ...more
What struck me is that these played to the strengths of the SHORT story, tossing the reader into the middle of a world and letting them figure things out as they go. Some stories felt unfinished or not fully realized, which is absolutely not a bad thing.
If you’re here, and you’re following my reviews, thank you for rolling with me. We’re on episode 29 of Stitcher’s LeVar Burton Reads, and we’re gifted with Multo by Samuel Marzioli.
Heccin Scare ! ! !
Dang. Samuel and LeVar, you spooky bastards. x-D
I listened to this story at work and at the time, it was empty and dead quiet, except for an ambient fish tank bubbling and a ...more
If I had a do-over first read, I’d change my reading style. I’m a book devourer. I generally sit down and d ...more
I've read a few Apex stories in the past, but I generally dislike reading online, so I bought myself this paperback treat to get a closer look at some of Apex's most successful stories.
I absolutely loved some stories, especially Build a Dolly by Ken Liu, Keep Talking by Marie Vibbert, and L'espirit de L'escalier by Peter M. Ball, while many of the other stories featured some beautiful writing and interesting ideas. I can't say I connected with ever ...more
With any luck, you'll also find half a dozen incandescent stories (maybe not the same ones).
If I could resume my experience with a single word... being unfair, I'd say it was... strange!
I wished it was a "good strange", but it wasn't. In general.
Don't get me wrong: there are a few very well-written stories and some really crazy yet interesting ones inside this anthology… but you have to be very patient to get to them, as they are hidden among some pretty… de ...more
Points I loved: The cover, the diversity in story type, cultural starting points, and imagination. I liked a lot of the stories, and adored a few of them; notably Remembery Day, Still Life, and Armless Maidens of the American West (as a story it was the perfect amount of information, but I would love to see more in this universe).
But on the whole the story selection was... well, there are ...more