Abyss & Apex Issue 36: 4th Quarter 2010
Edited by Wendy S. Delmater
Review by Sam Tomaino
Abyss & Apex
Date: 25 October 2010
The newest issue of online magazine Abyss And Apex is #36 and I liked all the stories except for one.
The issue begins with "Sunlight" by Kelly Dwyer, a story that opens with a boy named Holman in a schoolyard saying he knows someone who has steel balls. When Leo challenges that claim, he is caught by a schoolteacher. His parents insist that he visit the man in question, a war hero named Mr. Raymond and apologize. Leo does and finds out the truth of the matter. More important he makes friends with the man and his robotic helper. This all made for a very touching story that I enjoyed thoroughly.
"Rumor of Wings" is Alter S. Reiss first published fiction and it is a good start. Alaneth employs five shape-changers who can turn into gulls to steal a special bracelet for her. Things do not go smoothly but Reiss wrote a pretty good story here and it has a very good ending.
Father Peter Frambeau is a Jesuit who argues "For the Cause of the Saints" in the story by Gary Cuba. In this case, he is pleading the case for beatification of an online gaming avatar called Ultra X-Man. The creator of the avatar, Melvin Kowolski has been dead for two years but the avatar seems to be leading an independent existence. What's more, it seems to have performed the three required miracles. This was a fascinating look at what might become an issue for the Catholic Church in a not-to-distant future.
In "Remembrance of Things Past" by James Hartley, Ken is a 75-year old bachelor with a lot of time on his hands. So he uses it to create a time machine. It's his mind that travels back to when he was 17. He finds out things he's forgotten and returns. He takes a few more trips and I won't say more, except that this was an utterly delightful story.
"High Art" by Alan Smale seems to be an essay on that subject more than a story. Durran is an artist and is called up to an orbiting habitat by a rich man named Kane, whom he knew when they were younger. There didn't seem to be much of anything here and I found it a bit of a bore.
The issue also has two flash fiction stories. "Spirits in the Night" by Michael Swanwick describes two tourist attractions on Pluto, Ginhenge and the vodka ice palace. It also extends come cautions about visiting them. This one was a great deal of fun to read. "Salt Brides" by Shira Lipkin is a bittersweet, but beautiful, tale of men who take brides from the sea. Jonathan loves Sara but he knows she will stay with him only until she finds her skin.
Abyss and Apex is an online magazine. They fund themselves with PayPal donations. Check them out at www.abyssandapex.com.