Apex Magazine – Issue 80, January 2016
Edited by Jason Sizemore
Cover Artist: Matt Davis
Review by Sam Tomaino
Apex Magazine ISBN/ITEM#: 2157-1406
Date: 29 January 2016
Links: Apex Magazine / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Here we have the 80th issue of Apex Magazine, with six new stories, two reprints and other features.
The new fiction begins with "The Tomato Thief" by Ursula Vernon (a novelette) -+- Grandma Harken lived on the edge of town, abut where the desert began. She was dismayed to find out someone was stealing her prized tomatoes. She caught the thief, a woman who shape-changed into a mockingbird, but was under a spell. She decides to free the young woman of the man who had her under his control. This was a find rich fantasy with many imaginative parts. Enjoyed it thoroughly.
"The Open-Hearted" by Lettie Prell -+- Palmer meets Cory who can perform a new kind of body modification called "stomata". They allow people to breathe through other parts of their body. Through his contacts, he promotes them and they become incredibly popular. Should Palmer have the mod? Interesting new idea and good examination of how trends and fads develop.
"Soursop" by Chikodili Emelumadu -+- Our narrator lives in a dystopian world. She is the descendant of rebels and is being punished for what they did. The best she can do to have any kind of pleasure, just an ordinary sense like taste or smell is to torture herself. Horrifying!
"Bones of the World" by Jennifer Hykes -+- Maggie is a little changeling girl. She has magic powers and has used them to hurt the people she hates and help the people she likes. Another good fantasy.
"That Lucky Old Sun" by Carrie Cuinn -+- Melanie's mother tells her she is to stay home today and not go outside. She knows something is going to happen and she wants to be with Melanie when it does. We find out something of this world they live in and the changes that have happened. A very chilling tale.
"Razorback" by Ursula Vernon -+- Sal is a good witch and had befriended a razorback hog she calls Rawhead. When Rawhead disappears, she uses magic to find out that a hunter had killed him. She seeks revenge and justice. This was a great story, apparently with roots of folklore.
There is also two reprinted stories, "Kutraya's Skies" by Dave Creek and "Riding Atlas" by Ferrett Steinmetz. 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).