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Apex Magazine Issue 79, December 2015
Edited by Jason Sizemore
Cover Artist: Irek Konior
Review by Sam Tomaino
Apex Magazine  ISBN/ITEM#: 2157-1406
Date: 28 December 2015

Links: Apex Magazine / How to Purchase / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Number 79 of Apex Magazine has new stories by Troy Tang, Melanie Rees, Sam Fleming, Gina L. Grandi, Nick Mamatas, Jess Rausch, and Marlee Jane Ward, a reprinted story by Laird Barron, poems by J.J. Hunter and Lara Ek, and other features.

Here we have the 79th issue of Apex Magazine, with seven new stories, one reprint and other features.

The new fiction begins with "Aishiteru Means I Love You" by Troy Tang, which is a first sale. Our narrator is frustrated in his dealing with an Artificial Intelligence personality. Okay.

The first of the Christmas Invasion flash fiction stories is "A Letter to Santa" by Melanie Rees. A heartbreaking letter of a little boy to Santa. Wouldn't reveal more without spoiling it. Perfectly done in 250 words.

The second regular-length story is "She Gave Her Heart, He Took Her Marrow" by Sam Fleming. Some disaster had happened to the world causing people to walk like lemmings into the sea. Chancery is somehow immune to this. She seems to be autistic. She is protected by a mysterious man named Hedron who wears a strange hat. She also has a huge dog named Skook. She makes trades with those she calls "people" and has got close to Kay, one of them. But Kay has her own agenda. Interesting character study.

The second of the Christmas Invasion flash fiction stories is "Christmas is Coming" by Gina L. Grandi. Hard to describe this without spoiling. It's a narrative of a very recognizable individual on a regular annual visit, but it is seriously disturbing. That is meant as a compliment.

The third regular-length story is "The Phylactery" by Nick Mamatas. Tony Kalafatis tries a bit to keep up Greek traditions with his son but somehow doesn't think it will amount to anything. Well done but little genre content.

The fourth regular-length story is "Memory Tree" by Jes Rausch. Shawna Herze and Edward Blanhurst develop something that replaces the traditional gravestone. They call it a memory tree and it can recreate the memories of the deceased. After that section, we get a series of vignettes about how people react to them. Good piece of speculation.

The third of the Christmas Invasion flash fiction stories is "Reconstituted" by Marlee Jane Ward. Our narrator must visit parents on opposite sides of the galaxy. There are problems. Another well-done flash story.

There is also a reprinted story "Nemesis" by Laird Barron. I do not review reprinted stories unless they are from the current year.

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 their website (see link at the top of this review).

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