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Short Fiction from Apex Magazine

Current IssueIssue 131Short Fiction

The Fruit of the Princess Tree

Songbirds swoop around the Tree, but never alight there. There is nothing to eat. Princess Five nibbles her white glove. Princess Fourteen forces her sapphire ring over the joint of her thumb to make herself cry, so she can taste the salt of her tears. Princess Two waits until everyone is asleep and tries to eat a candy-pink petal. It hurts and tastes of blood.

Current IssueIssue 131Short Fiction


She puts on a stoic face and lifts her red hoodie over her head in unconscious defensiveness against a coming threat, but these microaggressions always hurt. Just that little bit. Enough to register, and trigger the front she has to make.

Current IssueIssue 130Short Fiction

An Arc of Electric Skin

It was during his weeks of torment that something broke in Akachi. To be treated that way by those who were meant to protect and serve you, to know that they could kill you and nothing would happen, it does something to your mind. Pain can clarify things. He told me later that after hours of unrelenting terror and agony, he’d stopped fearing death, that he’d realized then that he’d been so focused on surviving the system that he hadn’t ever truly been alive, that he was doing nothing but dying slowly and had been doing so for a long time. He told me that when he was released, he’d resolved to ensure things changed.

Current IssueIssue 130Short Fiction


The People agreed, his excitement raw and misplaced. She ignored his estimates on cancer and other human problems that interested him. She was only interested in if the humans were recovering coltan. USNAiSDA3 pinged the open network with its own question and as much excitement as the old military AI could muster: would the humans attack?

Current IssueIssue 130Short Fiction

In the Garden of Ibn Ghazi

It gave me a queer feeling—one I’ve never been able to fully shake. I know that’s a huge statement for something that must seem so trivial … but at the same time, please understand me when I say that I’m sure I read this story. My memory of its images—those I can recall, I mean—is as sharp in my mind as many of my own past experiences, and now it is sharper still, whetted by my subsequent mental self-interrogation.