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Best of Apex Magazine: Volume 1

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  112 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Whether wandering down endless stairwells, searching for answers in the desert, or reaching out to the stars, for more than six years Apex Magazine has entertained readers with stories that are strange, beautiful, shocking, and surreal. Now, for the first time, editors Jason Sizemore and Lesley Conner are collecting the award winning and nominated stories, those chosen by ...more
Paperback, 237 pages
Published January 12th 2016 by Apex Book Company
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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Althea Ann
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
***** Jackalope Wives by Ursula Vernon
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
Leo Robertson
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received this book through Apex's Minions Read and Review Program, which provides you with any Apex ebook of your choosing in exchange for an honest review:

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
Frank Errington
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Review copy

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
Beth Cato
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a gratis copy of this book through LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

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
The Grim Reader
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Apex magazine has brought together the best stories from the magazine in a collection that features a wide variety of styles. The cover art is fantastic and really sets the tone for what lies within. Stories about legends, love and the future are just some of the topics covered within this excellent volume of speculative fiction. As with most collections/anthologies there are always some stories that resonate more than others, but overall this is a very good example of the quality of fiction tha ...more
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it

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

Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a feast for the imagination, and also good aerobic exercise for the mind. You will probably read some of these stories more than once, or loop back to the beginning to restart the fun; but, if you try to separate specifically the genre or sub-genre of some, it’s going to take you the whole year to finish the book. I stopped doing that half way.

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’
Maria Haskins
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a diverse and multi-faceted collection of short stories from Apex Magazine: scifi, fantasy, horror, and all the shades in between are represented here. There are some exceptionally strong stories in this collection, including two fantasy/mythology-tales by the fantastic Ursula Vernon: Jackalope Wives and Pocosin. Vernon's beautifully crafted prose is a thing of wonder, and she paints a world that shifts between the fantastic and the familiar. For me, those two short stories in themselves ...more
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won this as a e-book from a site called library thing. It is a book of short stories from various authors. I enjoyed reading it. I find these authors have a good talent for writing fiction stories.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
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
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a solid collection of award-worthy (and award-winning) stories. In the interests of disclosure, I am gratified to find I know several of the contributors. In addition, I won my copy of the eBook edition from the Early Reviewers group at LibraryThing. For many of the stories this was my second reading, as I enjoyed a subscription to Apex last year, which was why I requested the review copy: I knew the material would be stellar.

I was not disappointed. Every story here touched me and took m
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copies
Whether you know and love Apex Magazine already or pick this up as a taster, you'll find it's a little bundle of joy - assuming that nuanced, sometimes edgy speculative fiction that frequently left me in tears is your cup of tea. It's certainly mine. There are several award-winning shorts collected here along with a selection of the best of the first six years.

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
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The whole thing blew me away, really. A great collection. I was expecting much more strict scifi, but these stories were a fantastic mix of scifi, fantasy, and a little bit of horror (more Gothic than slasher).

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.
Eric Edstrom
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
This collection of the best of Apex magazine was quite good. The stories are dark, emotional, and always weird.
Chrysten Lofton
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5.0⭐ “Dakila: So, everything is okay? You’re safe? — Adan: Of course. Why shouldn’t I be?”

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
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As long as you like dark speculative fiction, you’re going to like this collection. Like me, you’ll probably love some more than others, but I expect you’ll respect the writing quality and power of every single piece. I certainly do. If anything about the collection disappoints me, it’s the knowledge that Apex Magazine is no more. But that doesn’t take away from the amazing stories in here.

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
Tomas Marcantonio
Sep 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
An enjoyable collection of speculative fiction.

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
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I listened to the short story "Multo" by Samuel Marzioli on LeVar Burton Reads and it was a powerful ghost story that would be perfect to tell at a campfire. In this story, a man recounts his youth, when his family bonds with another Filipino family and he is introduced to the story of the ghost called Multo that has attached to the grandmother from the other family. During a sleepover, the ghost eerily tells the boy he will be next and years later when the grandmother dies, the man worries the ...more
Eva Therese
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Maybe it's just that I'm still in the middle of Weird Tales, which has many stories in the same genre, but I felt like this was "just" a ghoststory. Well written, certainly, but nothing jumped out at me in any sense of the word. I kept waiting for a twist or a surprise, that this rather traditional narrative never delivered.
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi, stories, fantasy, er, ebook, short
I didn't like this collection _quite_ as much as the World book from Apex, but I liked all of the writing and most of the stories. [return][return]Enough of them were evocative without closure to keep me from devouring it, but even those painted fantastic worlds. I'm more plot driven than most, but if you are here for the new angle alone, they've got you.
R. Ware
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
A few of these stories I found baffling. Most of them had very interesting ideas, and a few had beautiful writing. And then there were half a dozen stories that were incandescent, stories that justified buying the book.

With any luck, you'll also find half a dozen incandescent stories (maybe not the same ones).
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I didn't really read this whole thing, I just listened to Multo by Samuel Marzioli on LeVar Burton Reads while I folded laundry. Wowzer! Good old fashioned ghost story that sent chills down my spine. Perfect!
David Blaylock
Aug 28, 2018 rated it liked it
I am not a fan of horror, and this was a bit scary at times.
Sarah Rusnell
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Listened to Levar Burton’s reading of “Multo” by Samuel Marzioli on his podcast Levar Burton reads.
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Bias alert: I'm in this.

That said I found myself in exquisite company. There were a few stories that didn't thrill me, but the vast majority were excellent, and I was impressed with the variety.
Keith Davis
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interesting collection of stories from the online science fiction/fantasy magazine All the stories in the collection feature transformation in one form or another: animal to human, human to alien hybrid, human to robot, human to online data, human to chocolate, etc. Most of the transformations have metaphorical elements, such as in "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love" but a few are straight up fantasy. The opening story "Jackalope Wives" works as both fantasy/horror ...more
Apr 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Being mildly familiar with Apex Magazine, I was super excited to read this anthology and I was gifted with an Early Reviewer pick.
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
Note: I received this book as part of Librarything's Early Reviewer Program in exchange for an honest review.

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
Cheryl Montgomery-Nolan
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this magazine in exchange for an honest review, but I got much more than I expected. I loved, loved, LOVED it! It is the penultimate in award-winning fiction. You won't regret your purchase.
Noble Wildwood
May 01, 2017 rated it liked it
There were several stories I liked, several I disliked, a few I loved and a few I hated. Overall, I preferred the fantasy stories, so I think that the general themes of sci-fi aren't my jam. It's all pretty well-written, I just didn't enjoy the messages, settings, or characters. YMMV.
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