Where to begin?
Let’s jump into it. After much consideration, I’ve decided that Apex Magazine will go on an indefinite hiatus. Our last new issue will be 120–the Afrofuturism issue guest edited by Maurice Broaddus. It’s filled with incredible, diverse work and a fitting sendoff for our zine.
Why stop now?
The last few months have been difficult for me both mentally and physically. This leads to soul searching. And that leads to life decisions. One thing that became obvious to me is that I was neglecting both myself and the book side of Apex. I need to take time to exercise, take some time for my health, do more things for fun, enjoy having my kids around before they leave for college in a few years. I need time to read more books! And on the book side of Apex, I had been failing to do the minimum for success because so much of my time was being poured into Apex Magazine. The magazine flourished, while the books languished.
A flourishing magazine is a great thing, but the profit ceiling for an online zine is disturbingly low. One small press book that does really well (like, for example, Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt) will make 25 times the profit of the zine in a year.
It comes down to health and economics and family. Like most decisions in life.
But I want to celebrate what we’ve accomplished with Apex Magazine. 120. That many issues represents exactly ten years of Apex Magazine. Over the course of that time, we’ve published a mind-blowing collection of short fiction, nonfiction, and interviews. Our work has won and/or been nominated for most of the major awards: Hugo, Nebula, Stoker, World Fantasy, and Locus. And I think we’ve also published many important genre stories: “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” by Rachel Swirsky, “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies” by Alix Harrow, “The Green Book” by Amal El-Mohtar, “Armless Maidens of the American West” by Genevieve Valentine, “The Performance Artist” by Lettie Prell, “Jackalope Wives” by Ursula Vernon … I could go on, but at some point it becomes bragging and nobody wants that.
During our ten years, I had the opportunity to publish some of my favorite writers: Jeff VanderMeer, Cherie Priest, Jacqueline Carey, Walter Mosley, Mary Robinette Kowal, Nick Mamatas, Rich Larson, Theodora Goss, and so many others.
I’ve had a fine trio of former editor-in-chiefs who have played a huge role in the success of the zine: Catherynne M. Valente, Lynne Thomas, and Sigrid Ellis. Thank you for your hard work.
In the early years, it was Maggie Slater and Gill Ainsworth who were my right hand ladies. Now it is Lesley Conner and Jane Clark. I owe them so much.
And a reminder … this is an extended hiatus, not a permanent closure. I’m a man of whims, unfortunately. After I ended Apex Digest, it was two years later that I decided I wanted to do Apex Magazine. In two years, if Apex Book Company is going strong, don’t be surprised if I have the itch to reopen the zine.
On to some housekeeping:
- All stories submitted via Moksha will be released back to you. You’re free to submit them elsewhere, of course.
- All contracted stories will be released back to the authors, including all rights. You’ll be paid your kill fee of 30% down the road when life is less crazy.
- The website will remain alive. There are simply too many good stories to lose to digital dust. If an author wishes for us to remove a story, email me and it will be done.
- Lesley Conner and I have not turned our backs on genre short fiction. We plan to do an open call anthology each year that will contain nearly as many words of short fiction as a whole year’s worth of zines. Keep your eyes open for our next project.
I love the genre community. Your support for the magazine has meant a lot to me over the years. Now I ask that you throw your support behind the book side of Apex (https://www.apexbookcompany.com). It’s where I’ll be for awhile.