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Abyss & Apex Issue 38: 2nd Quarter 2011
Edited by Wendy S. Delmater
Review by Sam Tomaino
Abyss & Apex Online Magazine  
Date: 26 April 2011

Links: Abyss & Apex / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

AbyssAndApex #38 is here with stories by Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon, Helen E. Davis, Nathaniel Lee, Cat Rambo, C.W. Johnson, Manfred Gabriel, and Paul Rogalus.

The newest issue of online magazine Abyss And Apex is #38 and it has some good stories.

The issue begins with the novelette, "Hail to the Victors" by Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon. Lt. Eddie, Cpl. Gary, Sgt. Rhonda, and Privates Robbie and Jayes are all that's left of the "7th of the 633rd", part of Interstellar Expeditionary Force 1, fighting aliens "trying to take back a planet from partial enemy occupation." The aliens are called Scalies, Lizards, Gumbies. The five are fighting their way back to base and encounter three more humans who join them. They have all been out of touch with any authority for a while. We get to like the characters and get a pretty good military SF story.

Next up, is "Demonfire Ash" by Helen E. Davis. All Geoff remembers is that he is an incompetent Journeyman Wizard and when he wakes up to strange surroundings, he is baffled. He finds he has aged and many years have passed. A Lord Fajelle has taken over the land and done many terrible things. He has a vague memory of his fellow Journeyman Frederick summoning a demon called Fajelle and knows he must exorcise this demon from whomever he has possessed. I won't say more except that this was a fine fantasy with a very good ending.

In "Concrete" by Nathaniel Lee, Trent, is a disgruntled office-worker who has been having odd experiences when he steps on a square of the concrete near his apartment, he feels a surge of pleasure. In his apartment and at work, he is haunted by a moving statue that he knows has come from the concrete. Other people have different reactions to the concrete but most don't. What is happening to him? This was a very different kind of story and one of the most imaginative.

"Bots d'Amor" by Cat Rambo features Linus, owner of a spaceship and some intelligent robots that give him a lot of trouble. When he lands on a space station, he knows he'll pay a fine if any of them get loose. More problems ensue with a very amusing conclusion.

C.W. Johnson's "Fermi's Plague" is the story of Marta who is working for a Colonel Lopez-Inusaki, a dictator in Columbia who has something he calls la Cassandra that is the source of scientific breakthroughs Marta has taken her daughter there to be cured of AIDS, but it was too late. She was told Ellie died but doesn't believe it and takes decisive action. This story had a lot of plot but wasn't sufficiently fleshed out.

"Something Wild" by Manfred Gabriel is a brief tale of a man who goes out for a jog and involves himself with a cruel man and his abused dog. There's more going on and it's very subtly told.

The issue also has a flash fiction story, "Trans" by Paul Rogalus, Parker is a man hitting the singles scene in some future city. The bar scene is a bit different as people send out miniature replicants of themselves to try things out. I think this was a bit too complicated for a flash story and didn't quite work.

Abyss and Apex is an online magazine. They fund themselves with PayPal donations. Check them out at www.abyssandapex.com.

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