Abyss & Apex Issue 57: 1st Quarter 2016
Edited by Wendy S. Delmater
Review by Sam Tomaino
Abyss & Apex
Date: 30 January 2016
The newest issue of online magazine Abyss And Apex is #57 and it's another in their long line of great issues.
The fiction begins with "The Shipwright" by Stephen Kotowych. -+- In a world where ships were beasts, the job of the shipwright is to control them with his mind. Telig has done well with female ship-beasts but he has been kidnapped by pirates to run a man-o'-war, what a female ship-beast becomes after the Change. The pirates are seeking the man-o'-war they call Leviathan. Telig, not able to control this ship-beast, must find a way to control the more powerful Leviathan. Interesting turn on the classic sea adventure.
"Leaping Dragon, Screaming Eagle" by George S. Walter -+- Chang's daughter is aboard the Leaping Dragon, a Chinese space craft but it's in trouble. Chang hits upon an idea to use some obsolete American equipment that had been abandoned when the U.S. quit space. Can the political and technical obstacles be overcome? Exciting story!
"It Will All Be Over Soon" by C. Erickson -+- Jess wakes up one morning to find that she is sprouting wings. What was in the stuff that crazy old woman had put in her drink? She checks into the hospital and is assured that they can remove them. But is that what she wants. The author's first story and an impressive debut.
"With Triumph Home Unto Her House" by Barbara Krasnoff -+- Sara has been unemployed for a long time and to get back on her feet, she has become part of a government program in which she must clean a roach-infested pigsty of an abandoned apartment. If she does, she can live there for six months rent-free. She has been assigned a helper, a young man named Ji. Ji's daughter Eun-seo proves to be an even bigger help in this very entertaining story.
"In Memoriam" by James Van Pelt -+- In a cemetery, there is a tombstone with the inscription "Thomas Bramwell, 1930 – 1998, and Esther Bramwell, 1932. No death date for her." We get the story of their lives and what happens at that gravesite. Beautiful and touching.
The issue also a flash fiction story, "A Serenade of Strings" by K.L. Townsend. Eric plays his ukulele, which had been his grandfather's, in the subway. He gets little out of it, until a middle-aged woman asks him to play just one more time. Very good.
The fifty-seventh issue of Abyss and Apex is another great read! They fund themselves with PayPal donations and subscriptions. Check them out at their website (see link at the top of this review).