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Short Fiction from Apex Magazine

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.

Issue 130Short Fiction

To Live and Die in Dixieland

The subtext stings with a scary familiarity: how he longs to be seen, how he justifies his loneliness, how he conflates abuse with affection, as Kamara had done time and time again with past boyfriends—and would be still if her therapist didn’t guide her to a path of self-worth.

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.

Current IssueIssue 130Short Fiction


Later that night on his flight home, Chad gulped a third Merlot. His head pounded and his eyes burned. Even if the department voted for him, he would still have to face the wrath of that hellcat who was on to him. And there were plenty more of them in Oklahoma. He knew he could not win.

Current IssueIssue 130Short Fiction

The First Promise We Break

I may have looked meek, but the cliff they left me on was intimidating, and being pushed off a ledge by invisible hands is not an experience I could recommend. I lost consciousness as I fell, but woke in a grove of stately elms, entirely alone. If it wasn't for the tinkling chimes that floated through the grove, I might have cried myself to death there. However, I'd never heard water chimes before, so I roused myself to find the source of the beautiful bell-like tones. At the foot of the green-veined marble fountain with its brass metal cascades, I first met Zev.

Current IssueIssue 130Short Fiction

It Rises and Falls and Rises Again

In the darkness, the mountain looked like one endless shadow through which she moved, a shadow herself. A shade. A ghost. She didn't doubt she was climbing to her death. Koel had been confident: he was special, an exception, a hero, a superior person. The normal arrogance of a smart and talented young man, a man whose engineering had created a new system of supply lifts between ledge towns. He’d made them all better, more comfortable. A hero.