Hey there! Today I’ve got the third and last of my Operation Fourth Story-related tasty blog treats for you. Jason Sizemore is a publisher/editor for Apex Magazine, and he was good enough to answer a few questions for me in my continued efforts to wave the Apex flag…
Me: First off, hi and welcome! Can you tell us a bit about yourself, and what you do?
Jason Sizemore: Hi Lisa, and thanks for having me on your blog!
I’m a country boy from the Appalachian hills of southeast Kentucky. I have a hillbilly drawl that most city folks find charming (except when I say the word ‘horror’…sounds like ‘whore’ when I say it) when I travel to conventions and what not. I’ve been known to write (I have a collection of short fiction titled Irredeemable coming out in a month from Seventh Star Press), though my claim to fame is through editing and publishing.
I’m also a lot more loquacious in interviews than I am in face to face discussions. I apologize to your readers upfront about that!
Me: Apex Magazine has been running for a few years now, yes? How did it all get started, and how long have you been involved with it?
J.S.: Apex Magazine in its current digital-only form is about to hit issue 60, meaning it has been running for five years! This blows my mind.
Its predecessor, Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest, was a quarterly print publication that ended around 2009. The digest was the very first thing Apex Publications produced. It was spawned out of a personal desire to feed the creative and entrepreneurial side of my personality. At the time (around 2005), I was working in a soul sucking city job and desperately needed some colour in my life.
Me: Apex focuses on short fiction with the stories it publishes; how important do you think this medium is for writers (and readers)?
J.S.: Short fiction often serves as the breeding ground for big ideals and big productions. I’ve published many stories that have been turned into popular novels by their authors. Several of our stories have been turned into short movies and feature length movies (though we’ve never had a blockbuster…yet).
Short fiction is a fantastic entry point for new writers. The idea of writing a novel can be daunting. For some, tackling a short story is more feasible and it will give the writer an opportunity to hone their craft.
For readers, short fiction can provide quick and powerful bursts of entertainment and emotion in one sitting. Well-written novels can knock you out, but that’s a lengthy commitment. Short fiction asks only a few minutes of your time to entertain you.
Me: I recently reviewed an edition of Apex here, and I’m really starting to enjoy finding new short fiction, as well as new writers of it. Do you have any favourites or standouts among the writers who have written stories for Apex? Anything they’ve written that you would personally recommend?
J.S.: While I have liked all the stories I’ve published (why would I publish a story I don’t like, ya know?), there are a few standouts that are my favourites.
At the top of my list is “The Performance Artist” by Lettie Prell. It is an incredible indictment of our times.
Other standouts include “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love” by Rachel Swirsky, “During The Pause” by Adam Troy-Castro, “Armless Maidens of the American West” by Genevieve Valentine, “Decomposition” by Rachel Swirsky, and “The Bread We Eat In Dreams” by Catherynne M. Valente.
Me: What upcoming features/projects etc. are in the works for Apex that you can tell us about?
J.S.: Our next book is a coming of age novel by Mari Adkins titled Midnight. That might sound odd, Apex publishing a coming of age novel. This one, you can be sure, isn’t your typical MFA-fueled by angst big publisher title.
As for Apex Magazine, we continue to march on with more short fiction in the coming months.
Me: Lastly, for the benefit of non-subscribers, how might curious readers get their hands on forthcoming issues of the magazine?
J.S.: Most of our content is free at http://www.apex-magazine.com. If you like what you read on the site, then give consideration to subscribing. Writers, artists and editors, oddly enough, like to be paid. Our subscribers help make that happen. 🙂
Me: Thanks ever so much for the interview, and I hope the magazine keeps doing well!
J.S.: Again, thank you. It has been my pleasure.