The August issue of Apex Magazine contains beautiful and heartbreaking stories with exciting previews of books I've got on my to-read shelf. The stories and poems range from far-off fantasy kingdoms to the past to a shopping mart and show all the strange things that can happen near and far. With a gorgeous, haunting cover, great fiction writers and poets, the 87th Apex issue packs a punch and delivers stories that I'll be thinking about for a while.
"The Gentleman of Chaos" by A. Merc Rustad has that type of awesome fantasy characters I love to read in the fantasy genre while exploring gender and destiny. The mystery Gentleman of Chaos is an assassin who passes his knowledge on to the restricted sister of the king who is forced to deny her true self by her controlling brother. There is intrigue and mystery with a great long game twist to cap off a beautifully written story.
"Fall to Her" by Alexis A. Hunter mixes poetry and prose in a psychological sci-fi adventure. Short and to the point, the story explores traumatic memories and coping mechanisms with a melodic song interspersed.
"I Remember Your Face" by E.K. Wagner has a bionic bounty hunter with a bird as her partner on a mission of vengeance in a post-apocalyptic world, that is awesome. The story is so cool jumping in time and took me a while to catch up to what was going on but when it all becomes clear turns into this awesome story with a brutal ending that had me staring off into space in shock for a few moments after.
The reprint in this issue is "Paskutinis Iliuzija (The Last Illusion)" by Damien Angelica Walters appears in her short fiction collection for Sing Me Your Scars that I picked up a WorldCon this year. I'm excited to read the whole collection as this story tells an amazing tale about a magician hiding out in Lithuania during World War II with his sick daughter uses his skills with magic to entertain and distract her from the horrors outside, a moving narrative with a gut-wrenching finale.
This issue also contains the first two chapters of a book I'm very excited to read. I picked up a signed copy of Stay Crazy by Erica L. Satifka at WorldCon and I am so excited to read further after this preview.
The poetry is great to read as usual and the interviews provide unique insight into the creative method of artists, writers, and filmmakers. I'm now caught up to the current month's issue so I look forward to picking up that issue this week and reading the two books previewed in this issue.