Apex Magazine published fewer stories this month but all of them are longer allowing readers to get more familiar with characters and plunge deeper into the dark and mysterious worlds.
Getting right to it, the first story is a minding trip to Austin, Texas in The Teratologist's Brother by Brandon H. Bell. The story describes the upbringing of two brothers in a religious family and how one goes on to create a cult with a silly name book, The Scooby Doo Impasse, but don't let the name fool you, it inspires some frightening stuff. There are some images in this story that are definitely haunting. I would recommend reading this one, the podcast doesn't do it justice this month.
The second story The Laura Ingalls Experience by Andrew Neil Gray puts an interesting sci-fi twist on an old classic Western novel. The story delves into guilt and what it means to be alive. I read that Gray has more stories set on asteroid mining colonies and the taste I got from this story makes me want to read more. I especially like how the story slowly revealed itself.
The reprint, The Quidnunx, is by acclaimed author Catherynne M. Valente and has both a spooky and fantastical vibe to it. I really liked all the character names and the world is explained thoroughly from start to finish though the plot left me with a few questions at the end.
All the poetry was disturbing and delivered vivid imagery to the brain including poems from John Yu Branscum, Jeremy Paden, and Michael VanCalbergh. I always like sci-fi, fantasy, and horror poetry.
The extra horror story is from first communions by Geoffrey Girard from his new short story collection of which I will have a review out shortly.