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Apex Magazine Issue 30, November 2011
Edited by Lynne M. Thomas
Cover Artist: Scott Murphy
Review by Sam Tomaino
Apex Magazine Online Magazine  ISBN/ITEM#: 2157-1406
Date: 27 November 2011

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

Number 30 of Apex Magazine has new stories by Elizabeth Bear and Catherynne M. Valente, a reprint story by Robert Shearman, poetry by Tim Pratt and Bryan Thao Worra, and other features.

Here we have the Thirtieth issue of Apex Magazine, and new editor, Lynne M. Thomas with two new stories, a reprint, three poems, and other features.

The new fiction begins with "The Leavings of the Wolf" by Elizabeth Bear. Dagmar has just gone through a divorce but cannot get her wedding ring off because her finger had become too fat--along with the rest of her. She tries jogging and is accompanied by birds who have some connection to her. The running does not get the ring of her finger but makes things worse. One day, she lets the birds lead her on her jog and meets a man whose right arm is severed 4 inches above where the wrist should be. As we seem to be getting into some Norse myth, even a passing familiarity with it will tell you who this is. His story is related to her situation and things comes together very well. This was another great story from a talented writer.

The other new story is "The Bread We Eat in Dreams" by Catherynne M. Valente. Valente goes from being writer to editor in a splendid way. She sets her story in the town of Sauve-Majeure in Maine, but begins before European settlers, or anyone else lives there. A demon is expelled from hell and enters our world there. Its name is Gemegishkirihallat but it becomes a female named Agnes. She eventually builds a house and starts wearing clothes before people arrive. A girl of the Penobscot tribe is the first to see her but nothing comes of it. The area winds up being settled by French Catholics and Puritans who each set up their churches and communities, divided by a main drag called Schism Street. Agnes wins renown as a farmer and baker and winds up teaching the daughters of both faiths, but things don't stay friendly forever. This was a fantastically rich story, beautifully written and will be on my Hugo short list, next year.

The reprinted story is "This Creeping Thing" by Robert Shearman (originally appeared in Love Songs for the Shy and Cynical Big Finish Productions, 2009). I have decided to no longer review reprinted stories in magazines and just concentrate my time on original ones. I hope you enjoy this one.

Lynne Thomas has started her editorship in fine fashion. Apex Magazine works in a unique way. If you are a subscriber, you get your issue when it's published. Otherwise, you wait a month. They are worth supporting, so check them out at http://www.apexbookcompany.com/apex-store/subscriptions/.

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