Review: Apex Magazine, Issue 61

Time for my monthly magazine read! The June issue of Apex is full of goodness. Check it out!

Apex 61



Cape to Cairo by Eden Robins
Soul of Soup Bones by Crystal Lynn Hilbert
The Salt Path by Marissa Lingen
The Faery Handbag by Kelly Link
Sineater (excerpt) by Elizabeth Massie


Afterwards by Alice Dryden
Brighid by Mary Soon Lee
Harry of Five Points by John M. Ford


“Resolute: Notes from the Editor-in-Chief” by Sigrid Ellis
“Black Communities of the 30th Century: Racial Assimilation and Ahistoricity in Superhero Comics” by Osvaldo Oyloa
Apex Interview with Eden Robins by Andrea Johnson
Apex Interview with Cover Artist Tory Hoke by Loraine Sammy

I just want to take a moment here to apologise to my poor abused TBR…

*Adds more names/stories to the list*

Okay, first up is the fiction. I enjoyed all of the stories in this issue; “Soul of Soup Bones” and “Cape To Cairo” in particular are intriguing and instantly engaging. They strike me as having a little similarity, in that both narrators of these stories are searching for something – but while “Cape To Cairo” sees Alice, an introverted traveller, nervous about her journey’s end and uncertain of what she’ll find there, “Soul of Soup Bones” follows a protagonist who’s more impatient than nervous about achieving her goal (seeking the knowledge of a learned necromancer by locating his bones and summoning his ghost). I should also note that both stories left me nearly swearing – I want to know what they found!

Or do I…?


Then, there are the reprinted stories in this issue – “The Faery Handbag” by Kelly Link and “Harry of Five Points” by John M. Ford.

Both of these stories are kind of no-brainer, of-course-I’d-love-them deals. “The Faery Handbag” – okay, if you don’t know or at least suspect I’d love a story like this one, then hi, have we met? For those who haven’t discovered this little gem yet, it tells the story of a community of ‘underhill’ folk (the eponymous faeries, naturally) who survive a natural disaster by relocating to a magic handbag made from the skin of a black dog. Where you go when you enter the bag depends on whether or not you open the handle the right way. It’s passed to an elderly woman’s grand-daughter when she dies, but (d’oh!) said grand-daughter loses it… It’s a simple story, but really effectively told – I love these faery-story tropes, and they’re used marvellously well here.

Going a little more into surprise territory, there’s “Harry of Five Points”. I don’t believe I’ve ever read a poem (play? Work of short fiction? All three? What the heck is this who cares it’s fabulous) that reads like Shakespeare observing gangsters in New York and French ‘dames’ learning English (to hilarious effect, by the way, even if you don’t speak French). Words cannot express my nerdy joy at finding this thing. This beautiful, ridiculous thing. Just… Ugh!

standing ovation

Note to self: find more of this kind of thing. Seriously. Look it up when you’re done here, Self, or I’ll frown at you.

Then there’s the non fiction. I’ve got to give a little hat tip to a fellow blogger here – Andrea at Little Red Reviewer has joined Apex as an interviewer! In this issue she interviews Eden Robins, the author of “Cape To Cairo”. Go Andrea! *Fistbump*

I enjoyed both interviews in this issue, actually. Loraine Sammy’s interview with the cover artist, Tory Hoke (as well as his cool cover art for this issue!), has me curious about the rest of his work. I suspect I’ll be checking that out at some point! Job done.

So! Once again I’m finding wonderful jewels of unexpected awesomeness thanks to Apex Magazine. They need to stop doing this to me*.

*They should never stop doing this to me. Don’t listen to me. Check this out. It’s AWESOME.

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