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Abyss & Apex Issue 40: 4th Quarter 2011
Edited by Wendy Delmater
Review by Sam Tomaino
Abyss & Apex  
Date: 26 October 2011

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

Abyss & Apex #40 is here with stories by Grey Freeman, Kenneth Schneyer, Amanda M. Hayes, Van Aaron Hughes, and Ryan J. Southworth, with Flash Fiction from Sandra McDonald and Jaelithe Ingold.

The newest issue of online magazine Abyss And Apex is #40 and is got consistently good stories.

The issue begins with "The Old Factory Award" by Grey Freeman. In some future, the Old Factory greets its guests for an annual event the Old Factory Awards. The Manager runs the show. The Announcer is the host of the televised event. Many types of people gather and the vote comes in by the millions. The winner is announced and makes for a very unusual and clever satire.

In "Keeping Tabs" by Kenneth Schneyer. People can buy Tabs on actors and actresses and inhabit their bodies for a short time on a regular basis. Our narrator, Dorothy, finally out of an abusive marriage, is able to buy a tab on Pearl Moulton who plays Mandi Trenton on a soap opera called Dark Little Corners. Through the Tab she learns a bit about herself and her life in this fine story.

"Silvergrass Mirror" by Amanda M. Hayes is a science fantasy, taking place on another world but with a low level of technology. Eisle and the ruler of her land, Lord Aril, embark on an adventure seeking the legendary plant silvergrass. He wants to use the plant to make a scrying mirror to see his beloved, Osonea, who is studying for two years in a far-off land. Along the way, they encounter a race called the skylars but survive. All this comes together for another fine fantasy story.

"Random Fire" by Van Aaron Hughes starts as a physicist's journal describing an experiment involving electrons. He gets unusual results and thinks he can affect time. At the same time is first child, a baby girl is born and he is overjoyed. Then, disaster strikes and he wants to be able to change what happened. Then, we get another version of the story that turns out differently. This was very cleverly done.

Last of all, there is "Hungry" by Ryan J. Southworth. Queen Adalira of Sekaris is fleeing to safety of Greystone Castle with her slave, Elga. A time known as the Kiss is approaching when her world's sun meets its two moons in the sky. This causes a quick, red light and then darkness. A people called the Benea come out and destroy everything they can. This happens every 40 years. Southworth writes a good little fantasy here with a nice ending.

The issue also has two flash fiction stories. The first, "Of Earth" by Sandra McDonald tells the story of a day at the races but these races are something monstrous. The real horror, however, happens at the end in this chilling little piece.

The other flash fiction is "Rock 'em Sock 'em" by Jaelithe Ingold and it features two sisters competing to build golems that will fight each other. There is a reason for this and it makes for another perfect little story.

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

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