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

500 Words

July 2, 2013

wo-time 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.

Welcome to Issue 50 of Apex Magazine.

We’re really pleased to be here. Fifty issues is a milestone, so we’re celebrating with some fantastic new content by many of my favorite creators, both in the magazine and now in audio format!

We’re launching a monthly fiction podcast with issue 50! Each month, we will feature an Apex Magazine story in audio format for your listening pleasure. The first story is Rachel Swirsky’s gorgeous “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love,” originally published in issue 46 of Apex Magazine, and read by yours truly. You can find our podcast at, and, of course, on iTunes (here).

Speaking of Rachel Swirsky, we are pleased to present another deeply disturbing, yet beautiful story from her in this issue, “Abomination Rises on Filthy Wings.” This story came out of a conversation about a type of horror story that often hits our slush, which we refer to as a “kill the bitch” story, where writers intimately dismember a former romantic partner. I was arguing that it was not possible to write a version of this kind of story that I would ever find acceptable for Apex Magazine. Rachel’s response: “Challenge accepted!” What you will experience are the results. (NB: This story carries a trigger warning for some readers).

I’m a huge fan of Sarah Monette’s Kyle Murchison Booth short stories, many of which are collected in The Bone Key. So much so, that I wrote the introduction to the second edition of that collection. Booth stories are like M.R. James and H.P. Lovecraft updated for the 21st century, with a deeply introverted museum curator hero who keeps getting confronted with fantastical experiences that are beyond him. I am absolutely thrilled to present a brand new Booth novelette, “To Die for Moonlight,” for your enjoyment.

Former Apex Magazine Editor-in-Chief Catherynne M. Valente has joined in our celebration in this issue by providing a new poem.

Our reprint this month is “The Constable of Abal” by the inimitable Kelly Link, about mothers and daughters who can see ghosts, but don’t always use those powers for good. This story originally appeared in the collection The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (Viking, 2007), and again in Kelly’s collection Pretty Monsters (Viking, 2008).

In nonfiction, Sarah Kuhn takes on our tendency to critique female characters based on whether they are good role models, and defends Twilight’s Bella Swan in her essay “Role for Damage.” Maggie Slater interviews Sarah Monette about her short fiction and her upcoming work.

Our gorgeous cover art is by Aunia Kahn, winner of 2012 Apex Magazine Cover Art of the Year Readers’ Poll. We are so happy to feature her work once again.

On behalf of our publisher, Jason Sizemore, myself, and my managing editor, Michael Damian Thomas, I want to thank all of our readers, our subscribers, and everyone who is and has been part of Team Apex Magazine, specifically our submissions editors, contributors, behind-the-scenes staff, and former editors Jason Sizemore and Catherynne M. Valente. Getting to issue 50 wouldn’t have been possible without all of you.

I hope that you enjoy issue 50 of Apex Magazine.

*raises glass* Here’s to the next 50!


Lynne M. Thomas

© Lynne M. Thomas

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