Title: The Book of Apex: Volume 4 of Apex Magazine
Author: Various, edited by Lynne M. Thomas
Rating: 4 stars
I received this book from the publisher as part of the Book of Apex blog tour.
It can be tough to keep up with short story magazines. There are a ton of venues publishing great fiction out there, and it is impossible to read everything. That is why I love anthologies, and why I was so excited to take part in the Book of Apex blog tour.
Confession time: before this compilation of Apex, comprising the issues published under Lynne M. Thomas from November 2011 to January 2013, I had never read Apex magazine. It’s been on my radar for years, but I just never got around to it.
The Book of Apex Volume 4 showed me exactly what I was missing. There are 33 stories here, and they are designed to appeal to almost any interest. There is science fiction, there is fantasy, there is horror. Dystopias, fairy tales, zombies, aliens, war stories. The thirty three authors here are some of the best names in speculative fiction there are. And while not every story appealed to me (that would be impossible in a magazine with such diversity of voices), they were all incredibly well crafted.
Favorites will be different for everyone, and I’m not sure it matters much what my favorites were. If you read speculative fiction, you will find more then one story to love in this book. But one particular standout for me was “Armless Maidens of the American West” by Genevieve Valentine, the only story I went into the collection knowing (I believe I read it on io9.com). I have had a borderline obsession with handless/armless maiden stories for a decade now, and this is one of the best I’ve read.
There are too many stories I enjoyed in The Book of Apex Volume 4 to call them all out, though. You’ll just have to check it out yourself, and then, if you are like me, scamper off and get that subscription you’ve been avoiding for too long.
Next week, I’ll be featuring a post and interview with David J. Schwartz, author of the clever and moving “Bear in Contradicting Landscape.” Get ready to welcome him to the blog.
And thanks once more to the organizers of this tour for letting me join in!