Apex Magazine - March 2010
Edited by Jason Sizemore
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 25 March 2010
Links: Apex Magazine / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The March 2010 of Apex Magazine is a special Mary Robinette Kowal issue with all the stories by her.
Kowal's stories begin with the novelette, "The Bride Replete". Pimi is a young female of an alien race that lives by storing food in their crops. She and her small-family are sent to Repp-Virja, across the ocean. The people are quite different there but Pimi has little chance to get used to things when she is kidnapped by soldiers of the neighboring land, Abar. There she is forced into the seraglio of Councilor Hadan, where she will grow up fast. She finds that her mother is also a captive and embarks upon a plan to free the both of them. This was an exciting story of courage and an interesting look at a race different from our own.
The other new story is "Beyond the Garden Close". This story takes place on a generational space ship which is on a long journey with a long way yet to go. Lena is part of a group of prospective child-bearers, vying for the right to pass on her genes. She really does not want to bear a child but her lover, Phoebe, wants one but her genes have a flaw and she cannot be a child-bearer. Lena must go through a grueling test to determine if she is suited for motherhood. How this all turns out makes for another good story.
This issue also reprints two stories previously published in Apex. In "Scenting the Dark", Penn is a parfumier looking for exotic scents on new planets. He is good at picking out scents as he is blind, but has the help of his dog, Cody. Also along is Madison, the woman he loves. Madison has been outside exploring and tells him on the intercom that she has something new for him. He rushes out to meet her but something is very wrong in this sad tale.
"Horizontal Rain" is set in modern-day Iceland but you'd hardly know it. Maxwell Sanders' company is building an aluminum plant there. He is in New York when he receives a phone call from his assistant, Adrian, who tells him that work has stopped because of trolls. She insists he come there to see for himself but he still doesn't believe. Well, he eventually gets proof in this well-written dark fantasy.
Kowal is one of the genre's most talented new writers and this issue affords you the chance to sample her work. Check it out. Apex Magazine exists on PayPal donations and I recommend you go their web-site at http://www.apexbookcompany.com/apex-online/ and check them out. They are worth supporting.