Words from the Publisher: Look Back. Looking Ahead.

July 2, 2013

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Jason Sizemore is the owner and editor-in-chief of Apex Magazine and the Apex Book Company. You can follow him online via his Twitter feed @apexjason.


If you had asked me four years and two months ago if Apex Magazine would last until issue 50, my reply would have been “Meh?” Now, when people ask if me I think Apex Magazine will last another 50 issues, my reply is a resounding “Yes!”

Four years, two months ago I turned the ignition on the zine with the hopes of reviving the spirit of Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest. The Digest was a printed publication that focused on dark science fiction. I wanted to broaden its focus, and use the burgeoning online and eBook audience paths to reach more people. I also wanted to explore short fiction that might be described as a bit edgier, a bit less traditional.

From the beginning, our content resonated with our readers. By the tenth issue, I knew there was no way I could continue to produce the zine and work as the editor–in–chief. I was discussing this quandary with Maurice Broaddus one afternoon on GChat (he likes to interrupt my day as often as possible with industry talk). We brainstormed some names.

Then Maurice asked a simple question. “If you had to label the type of fiction you publish with any contemporary genre author, who would that be?”

I thought about it for a moment, and replied “Catherynne M. Valente.”

He suggested the improbable. “Then ask her if she’ll take over as editor–in–chief!”

With Maurice, everything is either “easy” or “not possible.” There is no in–between.

I sort of knew Cat. She had a fantastic story in Dark Faith that had gotten a lot of notice (“The Day of Flaming Motorcycles”). I had hit up for stories here and there for the zine. I knew she was quite busy. But I summoned the courage. I wrote up an earnest email, hat in hand, and asked if she would like to take over editor–in–chief duties from me.

She said yes. Amazing.

She did some great things (including our Islam–themed issue in response to some nasty hate–mongering). Best of all, she understood where I wanted to go with Apex Magazine. Working with Cat was a wonderful experience.

Then something happened. Cat’s career EXPLODED. Suddenly, she was up for Hugos and Nebulas. She was getting major book deal offers. In the blink of an eye, she had two novels to finish in a few months. Cat knew her days as editor–in–chief of Apex Magazine were numbered. But Cat is clever (but we all know that, already). She found another brainy, edgy lady just like her: Lynne M. Thomas. Starting with issue 30, Lynne took over in what has to be the smoothest editorial transition in history.

I was losing Cat Valente. I figured the zine was done. I knew Lynne was crazy talented, but I was losing Cat Valente.

Lynne came in and showed me how foolish I was to worry. A year later, we had a Hugo nomination under our belts for Best Semiprozine. A year after that, we had a second. Lynne’s husband, Michael Thomas, became a valuable member of the team and turned into our managing editor.


We continue to push Apex Magazine forward. Starting with this issue, we publish the Apex Magazine Podcast. Also starting with this issue, we’re able to bring you MORE fiction (you’ll notice the Monette novelette) in terms of word count. This increase means you’ll see the occasional longer story, and you’ll see more short stories.

I expect our podcast to grow after we take the training wheels off the production.

We want to begin to include exclusive content for our subscribers.

We’ll continue to make improvements to our website for our online readers.

We’ll continue to improve and expand our eBook versions of each issue.

Most importantly, one thing isn’t going to change. Lynne, Michael, and I will continue to publish fantastic short fiction. We want you to be there for that. Join us for the next 50 issues, as I promise you they will be memorable.

Jason Sizemore

Apex Magazine

© Jason Sizemore

1 Comment

  1. Peter

    Congratulations! I love podcast supplements.i will be reading and listening.

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