Abyss & Apex Issue 33: 1st Quarter 2010
Edited by Wendy S. Delmater
Review by Sam Tomaino
Abyss & Apex
Date: 22 February 2010
Links: Abyss & Apex / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The newest issue of online magazine Abyss And Apex is #33 and there are some very good stories here..
The fiction in the issue begins with "How We Fly" by Lisa A. Koosis. Jamie and Jeanette are both suffering from Phoenix Syndrome, a disease that eventually kills. Conventional treatments are not working for Jeanette, so she decides to try a new, experimental treatment. Jamie, just to be with her, enters this new program, too. It works for Jamie but not for Jeanette. To try to save her, Jamie must take a huge risk and therein lies this beautiful, lyrical tale.
"The Tortuous Path" by Bud Sparhawk is the story of a future in which an Order of men "twist space" so that spaceships can travel amongst the stars. Alessandro is an Acolyte in the Order and wishes to become a Brother and then, a Father. But there is a price to be paid and Alessandro and his friend Moreschi are showing the signs of puberty that would prohibit them from becoming Brothers. It's obvious to us what is going on and the choice the boys must make in this interesting view of the future.
The "Deutoroi" in the story by Samantha Henderson are creatures that take the form of a White Stag that must be hunted by the Steward of Cambria so that he might be king. This is the way it has been for a long time. To hunt the Deutoroi, the Steward needs a Thessa, a woman who can track them. Merea is a Thessa and she is forced into service, something that can drive her mad. On the hunt, things do not go as planned. Henderson writes a nice little imaginative story here.
Tony Pi's "Night of the Manticore" is set during "the Ides of Quintile, in the Seventh Year of the Reign of King Edmund V of Lyonesse". It is a world alike but also different from our own, in which goddesses are worshiped and their equivalent of prehistoric beasts are Leolithic Wonders like a Manticore, a Griffin, a Mer-Lion or a Gynosphinx. The guests of honor at the Grand Exhibition are Professor Tremaine Voss, Chief Curator of Aigyptian Magic at le Musée d’Ys and his son, Ellery, who has sculpted marvelous statues of these beasts. Also, at the exhibition is the professor's rival, Hector Mason, who has brought something to upstage Voss. Pi tells a marvelous story here that I enjoyed thoroughly.
"The Wishing Stone" by Edward Greaves is a fantasy centered on Arrod, a wizard who can perform magic when he has the right stone or gem The nasty Lady Damaske is forcing him to make another love spell for her. Also, in his life is a amazing, loving young woman who has become a great help to him. This one was a fine little piece that I liked a lot.
The issue also has two flash fiction stories. The first is "Anything Chocolate" by Caren Grussoff. This one is a touching story told by a woman caring for her father. More than that I will not say and spoil it. I'll only say that it accomplishes a lot in very few words.
"When White Roses Freeze" by Amy Power Jansen is a short, but effective piece about a family in which love has grown cold.
Abyss & Apex is an online magazine with talented contributors and it's just a pleasure to read. They fund themselves with PayPal donations. Check them out at www.abyssandapex.com.