Blood on Vellum: Notes from the Apex Magazine Editor-in-Chief

400 Words

June 5, 2012

Hugo Award winner Lynne M. Thomas is the Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL, where she is responsible for popular culture special collections that include the literary papers of over 60 SF/F authors. She is perhaps best known as the co-editor of the Geek Girl Chronicles book series: the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords (2010) with Tara O’Shea, Whedonistas (2011) with Deborah Stanish, and Chicks Dig Comics (2012) with Sigrid Ellis, all published by Mad Norwegian Press. She also moderates the Hugo Award-winning SF Squeecast, a monthly podcast (with Elizabeth Bear, Paul Cornell, Seanan McGuire, and Catherynne M. Valente) in which a group of SF/F professionals get excited about stuff they like. Lynne lives in DeKalb with her husband Michael (a writer and the Managing Editor of Apex Magazine), their daughter Caitlin, and a cat named Marie.

In this issue, I’m sharing an eclectic group of works that took my breath away when I read them. Brit Mandelo writes of anger, domestic abuse, and retribution in “Winter Scheming.” Ian Nichols’s “In the Dark,” is a frightening tale of all-consuming darkness from a Welsh mine. Our classic revisited this month is Geoff Ryman’s “Blocked,” a futuristic story about family and masculinity recently collected in his short story collection Paradise Tales (Small Beer Press). Seanan McGuire’s poem “Wounds” describes the scars that remain, even when our perseverance proves successful.

Tansy Rayner Roberts returns as our nonfiction contributor this month and argues in “Girl Meets House” that the gothic novel is well overdue for a comeback, with a feminist deconstructive twist. Geoff Ryman also discusses his writing process, writing the other, and managing research in an interview with Maggie Slater.

It’s summer and SF/F convention season again, which means you can find me at several upcoming conventions as I attend readings, participate in panels, and generally hang out.

WisCon ( will have gone by in a whirl of crunchy feminist SF/F convention goodness by the time this issue debuts. I hope I saw you there.

In mid-to-late June, I’ll be part of the discussion going on at Fourth Street Fantasy Conversation, ( one of my favorite events for intimate, literature-centric discussions with lots of writers, editors, publishers, scholars and fans. Fourth Street features single-track programming on thoughtful topics with a great group of people, including some of my favorite writers.

July 5-8, you can find me at CONvergence (, which is just as much fun as Fourth Street, but with a very differentfocus. I was one of their Guests of Honor last year, and this year I will be enjoying a slate of “Wonder Women” GOHs. CONvergence celebrates SF/F and geekery in all different modes and mediums in a wonderfully energetic manner, with some of the best parties around.

Finally, WorldCon (Chicon 7) one of the biggest shindigs in SF/F, will be held this year in Chicago on Labor Day weekend ( This is the big one. Jason Sizemore (the intrepid publisher of this lovely magazine) and I will finally get to meet in person. Oh, and then we get to attend the Hugo Award Ceremony, where we will learn our fate as a nominated semiprozine.

It’s going to be a busy summer.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this issue of Apex Magazine.

Lynne M. Thomas

© Lynne M. Thomas


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