Thirty-three science fiction, fantasy, and horror short stories grab readers by their emotional cores to star deep into the source of our humanity and inhumanity. Well-known authors like Ken Liu, Genevieve Valentine, Catherynne M. Valente, Lavie Tidhar, and Alethea Kontis, along with newer voices, sketch surreal pasts, presents, and futures full of characters with familiar and outsized desires and fears.
“The Book of Apex Volume 4” collects the original fiction from Hugo-winning editor Lynne M. Thomas’s first fifteen issues at the helm of “Apex Magazine,” which included two Hugo Award nominations for the magazine.
Most anthologies I have read have always been themed ones in one specific genre, The Book of Apex however doesn’t really have a theme nor does it stick to one genre but spans the fantasy, science fiction and horror genres. Because of that you get a very different and eclectic mix of short fiction.
Depending on the reader that could be a good thing or a bad thing. For me it was alright. I’m definitely a lover of short stories and for that reason I always have an anthology I’m reading through at any given time between my normal novel reads. I know I’m accustomed to the themed anthologies and knowing what type of story I can expect to pop up next. Being a mood reader I like knowing what I’m in for. The Book of Apex is such a mixed bag, dare I say a box of chocolates?
There definitely were some gems in this collection, but I found I just liked more than I loved and then didn’t care for a handful of others. They were of course all well written and unique. I’d say if you are a reader that likes a surprise, not knowing what you might be reading next and you’re a fan of these genres then definitely give The Book of Apex a try.
Honorable mentions go to these stories:
– The Bread We Eat In Dreams by Catherynne M. Valente
– So Glad We Had This Time Together by Cat Ramb
– Labyrinth by Mari Ness
The Book of Apex: Volume 4 of Apex Magazine
*gasp* This book was provided by the publisher! No worries though it’s an honest review and all opinions expressed are my own. This post might also contain affiliate links. To view my full Blog Policy, click here.