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Apex - #8
Review by Sam Tomaino
Apex Publications LLC Zine  ISBN/ITEM#: APX022007
Date: February 2007 /

In the past, of been fairly critical of Apex Science Fiction & Horror Digest but the Winter 2006 issue was a Very Good one with all the stories getting that rating from me.

Table of Contents:
Fiction: Madness Blows the Winds of History by Tom Piccirilli * Blood Baby by Jennifer Pelland * A Place of Snow Angels by Matt Wallace * Genesis Six by Shane Jiraiya Cummings * The Death Singer by John Rosenman * Mommy, Daddy, and Mollie by William F. Nolan * Last Chance Morning by Timothy Waldron Semple * Babble by MM Buckner * Temporal Spiders, Spatial Webs by Lavie Tidhar * Incarnations of Immortality: Temple Part IV (Conclusion) by Steven Savile * Worlds by Aaron Gudmunson
Non-Fiction: Strange and Fearful Imaginations: Rediscovering the Terror of Baron de la Motte Fouque by Dr. Amy H. Sturgis * Blood Oath, Take One by Alethea Kontis * An Interview with Tom Piccirilli * An Interview with Kelly Link

First, I want to review the story serialized over the past four issues. Steven Savile brings his novella to an end in this issue with "Incarnations of Immortality: Temple Part IV". The story started out ("Junkyard Dogs") in issue #5 with a man waking up in a strange room, not knowing who he is. He gives himself the name of Temple and wanders out in a ruined city of the future. Something bad has happened to the world. The first story is pretty nasty but effective as Temple finds out something about the city and himself. The sets out to find who he is. In the second story ("A Map of You"), a friend leads him to someone who helps him recover something about his past that is horrifying. In part III ("The Death of Self"), more tragedy occurs as he wanders the ruined world. Finally in Part IV, he finds the answers he seeks. Savile crafts a good story here with much invention and horror and I'm glad I finally read the whole thing.

The rest of the issue is well worth reading, too. "Madness Blows the Winds of History" by Tom Piccirilli was first published in 1997 but is well worth reprinting. An alien named Tobalt Tre is after the human that destroyed his world. When he finds out the real story, it's not as simple as he thought. Jennifer Pelland's "Blood Baby" is a truly chilling tale of a young girl who must give up her life to protect her town. She refuses to do this and then the real horror begins. In "A Place of Snow Angels" by Matt Wallace, a boy is chosen to save the world from permanent winter, but he has other plans. "Genesis Six" by Shane Jiraiya Cummings gives us another world-ending with even higher stakes. "The Death Singer" by John B. Rosenman is pure science fiction with a man dying on an alien world. With him is a native of that world who must sing during the man's death.

Veteran writer William F. Nolan gives us a chiller with "Mommy, Daddy, and Mollie", featuring a boy dealing with abusive parents. "Last Chance Morning" by Timothy Walden Semple is a prison escape story, but not a very redemptive one. M.M. Buckner's "Babble" seems to be the story of a stupid man babbling about a haunted mountain, but the end shows us something else. "Temporal Spiders, Spatial Webs" by Lavie Tidhar is an unusual tale about a thinking machine that has a special job to do. Last, as an Apex Parting Shot, we get "Worlds" by Aaron Gudmunson a short-short about a man contemplating other worlds and taking drastic action.

The issue also has some interesting articles and interviews. On the basis of this issue, I can give this magazine my highest recommendation for people who like their science fiction with a horror tinge. You should subscribe to it.

Apex Science Fiction & Horror Digest – Volume 1: Issue 8 – Winter 2006 PO Box 2223, Lexington, KY 40588-2223 – $20 for one year (4 issues), $6 single issue – International $36 for 4 issues, $11 for one

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