Magazine: Apex Oct 2015


Apex Magazine Issue 77

I down the last of my Red Bull and crush the can, tossing it into the passenger footwell with the others. The pile of cans will reach onto the seat and mingle with the empty fritos bags soon. I rummage through the bags, but come up empty. I haven’t showered or shaved in days, but that’s good — soon I’ll be able to impersonate a homeless man, and move in for closer surveillance.

My canine partner isn’t with me on this one, because I’m not on duty. I’m using vacation time, and told the captain I’m in Alaska on a fishing trip. I almost said Aruba, before realizing I’d return to work without a suntan.

Some idiot DA, fresh out of law school, let talking chicken walk on a technicality. Assignment or not, I’m on the case now, and when talking chicken breaks cover, I’ll take it down for good. I check the bullets in my pistol again.

I’ve seen a city go to Hell before, and this is how it starts: first talking chickens, then lesbian rhinos, then where does it end? I scream “Where does it end?” before realizing I’m alone in the car. I flip open a pad of paper, hoping to find insight in my notes, but they’re just the words ‘talking chicken’ over and over again, on every page.

Short Stories

When the Fall Is All That’s Left by Arkady Martine A shipboard disaster caused by a spaceship diving “through the sun” (presumably just through its corona) to escape pursuers.

All Things to All People by DK Thompson A paranormal tattoo story that includes Christian themes and gay sex, apparently in an attempt to offend people all along the socio-political spectrum.

Super Duper Fly by Maurice Broaddus The author leads with something I can’t remember seeing before: a couple of pages of introduction/explanation – basically an admission he’s failed at writing a story. The introduction may have a point worthy of a non-fiction article, but the story comes across as whiny, and feels more like mandatory assigned reading than something you’d read for fun.

Me and Jasper, Down by the Meth Shack by Aaron Saylor What’s worse than werewolves? Werewolves on crystal meth. I enjoyed the poor Kentucky meth-head setting/characters.

The Atlas of Hell by Nathan Ballingrud This urban fantasy/horror has some scary elements, but I felt it wasn’t really a complete story, even though it’s almost as long as the two preceding stories combined.

A text message from the captain flashes on my phone, ‘Report to station. Harassment claim filed.’


  1. I keep hoping you’re going to find a magazine that is subscription worthy.

    1. I’ll probably try out another issue of Analog and of ASIM. One I haven’t reviewed yet, Aurealis, showed some promise, and I’ll definitely try a second issue of it. I’ll also try the second issue of Cirsova when it comes out, but as it focuses on a single type of sci-fi/fantasy story, I’d want to supplement a Cirsova subscription with something else as well.

      1. It’s been a great series and I’m watching it to see what might be worthy.

  2. The magazine quest is a bit disheartening, but I sure love your introductions! 🙂

    1. I’m glad you like them. I will continue my descent into madness as I pursue talking chicken, then I’ll have some more 80’s television-themed stories.

  3. I read Maurice Broaddus’ King Maker. It was . . . not good.

    These, on the other hand, continue to be phenomenal. I’m feeling pretty good about my decision to subscribe to MF&SF. I have an advance copy of Cirsova no. 1, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.

    1. I read a free excerpt of King Maker, and I think I agree with you.

      I’ve read Cirsova #1, and will write a review in a few weeks, after I’ve cleared out my backlog of other posts.

  4. I’ve heard of Apex before. I got the impression that it has a very loyal following but that it might not appeal to everyone.

    1. It doesn’t seem to be the magazine for me. I’m reluctant to read a second issue when I only found merit in two out of five stories. I may try again if they publish a story by an author whose previous work I’ve enjoyed.

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