I am catching up on my sci-fi short fiction reading and just finished reading the July issue of Apex Magazine. Behind this eye-catching and gorgeous cover are three remarkable stories filled with horror, beauty, and wonderful writing. Each story pushes the boundaries of the imagination and the tales spark something new for readers to contemplate. The poetry is also awe-inspiring and in only a few lines opens up the universe.
The superhero genre is achieving a lot of popularity recently with the expanded cinematic universes and one may be fooled to think there isn't much new to experience. "Lazarus and the Amazing Kid Phoenix" by Jennifer Giesbrecht proves there is plenty more to explore and introduces some compelling characters to the growing genre. Giesbrecht shows how superpowers can not only be amazing but also terrifying while the story explores vengeance and morality.
"Starpower" by Christopher Schultz also shows the dangers of power as a rockstar realizes his lyrics can directly inspire more than just headbanging euphorias. The story seems extra relevant in these tumultuous political times and I found myself reading further with a mixture of anticipation and terror just like plenty of the viewers of the awful video that pops up inside the story.
The reprinted novelette "The Big Bah-Ha" by C.S.E. Cooney takes readers to a topsy-turvy underworld mixed in with a post-apocalyptic setting and creatures that will frighten and send readers laughing into their nightmares. The world depicted in this story is something I can't easily describe but as I read further I found this was something I was glad to have encountered though I may stay away from clowns for a little while.
"Canal of Mars" by David Jibson is a personal favorite sci-fi poem about life on Mars. I would love to check out that "Star Trek: The Official Guide to Our Universe" whose author Andrew Fazekas is interviewed. The rest of the poems and interviews transported me to strange places and gave me insight into creativity that I always appreciate. Looking forward to reading the next few issues until I'm up to date.