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Apex Magazine Issue 16
Edited by Catherynne M. Valente
Review by Sam Tomaino
Apex Online Magazine  ISBN/ITEM#: 2157-1406
Date: 25 September 2010

Links: Apex Magazine / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Number 16 of Apex Magazine is edited by Catherynne M. Valente and has new stories by An Owomoyela and Peter M. Ball, a reprint of a story by Gemma Files and Stephen Barringer from the anthology Clockwork Phoenix 2)sand a poem by Shweta Narayan and JoSelle Vanderhooft.

Here we have the Sixteenth issue of Apex Magazine, which is edited by Catherynne M. Valente and she does a great job choosing stories.

The new fiction begins with "Portage" by An Owomoyela. This is an imaginative fantasy that begins with a girl tasked with bringing her father's soul down the mountain and into the sea. The bowl that was to have carried his soul has been broken and she tries to carry him cupped in her hands. She realizes she can't make it and drinks him down. That's just the opening paragraphs of this beautifully told story.

The other new story is "L'espirit de L'escalier" by Peter M. Ball. For those of you that do not know French, that means "The spirit of the stairway", or stairwell as the one in this story is called. Rat is walking down the famous Endless Stairwell that just keeps going down. No one knows just how far. The farthest anyone has gone down (and come back) is 120,828 steps. He is carrying the ashes of Marlo. The woman he loved who died from cancer. Every so often he uses a sharpie to write some graffiti on the steps. This was a beautiful, poignant tale of lost love.

There is also a reprinted story, "each thing I show you is a piece of my death" by Gemma Files and Stephen Barringer which originally appeared in Clockwork Phoenix 2. This is a series of notes and various other documents telling about someone called Background Man, who just suddenly starts appearing in movies, television, etc. It all started with film of a suicide and decomposing corpse. This one was a real chiller of an epistolary story!.

So, once again, check on Apex Magazine. It exists on PayPal donations and I recommend you go their web-site at They are worth supporting.

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