Welcome to issue 110 of Apex Magazine.
Since I wrote our issue 109 editorial back in April—our zine’s production schedule runs two months ahead—the world of sci-fi and fantasy lost one of its most important, influential, and well-known editors of short fiction: Gardner Dozois. According to a Locus Magazine report, Gardner died May 27, 2018 at a Philadelphia, PA hospital of a sudden, overwhelming systemic infection.
I only met Gardner a handful of times. And in my limited experience, he was always friendly and generous with his time. Sadly, I can’t say I knew him well. But his work as an editor I am intimate with. In particular, his annual and vital Year’s Best anthologies. They were my bibles during my formative years. I started buying them every year and reading them cover to cover starting back in 1996. For nearly fifteen years, I did this. His anthologies served as personal textbooks for me, packed with lessons on what makes great short fiction in the form of the stories he selected.
Gardner was also an advocate for some of the most interesting writers working today—Lavie Tidhar and Rich Larson to name a couple.
RIP Gardner Dozois. Thank you for being an ambassador of genre short fiction.
You may have noticed that this issue seems a bit heftier than normal. That’s because it is—with more than double the amount of original fiction than we typically put in an issue. The reason for this is twofold: 1. The Apex Magazine Patreon has surpassed our $600 goal, unlocking an original novelette every quarter, and 2. Cris Jurado is back with another amazing international fiction selection.
This month, our Patreon-backed novelette is “Kerouac’s Renascence” by Tal M. Klein. It’s a slow burn that muses on second chances and the unexpected aftereffects of accepting those chances. Readers of Tal’s popular novel The Punch Escrow will be surprised by the change in tone and pace, showcasing his versatility as a writer.
“All Clear” by Hao He is our quarterly international SF fiction selection by international fiction editor Cris Jurado. It’s a dystopian action piece that’s layered in culture, technology, and family.
M. Ian Bell’s “When You’re Ready” is a science fiction piece about finding love and perfection. It’s never easy, is it? And in Stephanie Malia Morris’s poignant and odd coming-of-age short story, “The Chariots, the Horsemen,” the author uses one of my favorite writerly tricks: religion as metaphor. Stephanie’s story may be the shortest of our fiction selections this month, but it might pack the most emotional punch.
Rounding out our July fiction is a reprint of “The Whipping Girls” by popular Apex Magazine contributor Damien Angelica Walters. It’s always great having Damien in our pages.
Russell Dickerson interviews cover artist Kim Myatt, discussing tone, mixing darkness with light, and the power and impact of using a subtle color palette. Stephanie Malia Morris is put under the spotlight by Andrea Johnson, delving deep into the trauma family can inflict (both knowingly and not) and the relationships between mothers and daughters. Melanie R. Meadors and Kelly Swails (the organizers of the annual Writers Symposium at the Gencon gaming convention) contribute a piece about how to run a writing convention. Lots of good information for those of you who may be considering volunteering and for those who enjoy the results.
Finally, we bring you a taste of what Apex Book Company most recently has to offer. Francesco Verso discusses the origins of his upcoming Apex novel Nexhuman, giving us just a peek at the long journey from Italy to the US. And Katerina Stoykova introduces two poems from her upcoming Apex poetry anthology Undead (edited with Bianca Lynne Spriggs): “Ghost Ships” by Amy MacLennan and “the undead” by Allison Thorpe.
Enjoy the issue!