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Abyss & Apex Issue 64: 4th Quarter 2017
Edited by Wendy S. Delmater
Review by Sam Tomaino
Abyss & Apex eMagazine  
Date: 26 November 2017

Links: Abyss & Apex / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Abyss & Apex #64 is here with stories by Simon Kewin, Krishan Coupland, Anthony Bell, Thomas K. Carpenter, Barton Paul Levinson, and Axel Hassan Taiari.

The newest issue of online magazine Abyss And Apex is #64 and it's another in their long line of fine issues.

The fiction begins with "The Last Trap" by Simon Kewin. -+- Swan is the best assassin in the land. She has been hired to kill Emperor Xanthe. If she succeeds, this will be her last job as she has grown tired of her profession and it would be a big enough payoff to retire. But to succeed, she must evade all the traps set by the mysterious figure known only as the Steward. The story is quite exciting and builds nicely to its conclusion. You might see some of it coming but probably not all. Good solid story.

The second story is "Kaitlin Out of Space" by Krishan Coupland. -+- Our narrator finds what seems to be a young woman in a space suit on the lawn near her home, surrounded by burnt grass. Her name patch says, Kaitlin Morris. But she is unfamiliar with everything about the house and seems a bit unfinished. As time goes by, she comes into a sharper focus. Another well-told story.

The third story is "Flotsam" by Anthony Bell. -+- There has been some sort of worldwide apocalypse and it seems that Ragney and her mother are the only ones alive. Ragney runs on the beach barefoot with abandon, searching for anything that might wash up. But she sees a girl about her age whose leg is bleeding. She offers Ragney a shell and disappears. Ragney sees her again. Who is she? Beautifully written, poignant tale.

The fourth story is "Bankrupt Memories for Auction" by Thomas K. Carpenter. -+- In this near-future, people's memories are in a storage for which they have to pay rent. If they don't pay, the memories go up for auction. Our narrator is a journalist doing a story on the whole phenomena and attending such an auction, she pays a huge price for a woman's memories. As she views them, she becomes intrigued by the story they are telling. She even gets some contact with the woman who wants them back. The story gets more and more interesting and then it has a delicious twist. Very well told, draws you right in.

The fifth story is "Kim and the Mantas" by Barton Paul Levinson. -+- Doctor Kim Lijang is the only marine biologist in New Cymru. She has made a special study if the manta-ray like creatures in the planet's oceans. A company called Newer Earths that terraforms planets has shown up. They are not supposed to terraform planets with life on them but there are rumors that they do. A crisis develops and Kim must find a way to survive. Not a particularly surprising story but written well enough to keep you interested.

The sixth story is "The Thrum of the Locust" by Axel Hassan Taiari. -+- Our narrator lives on a world in which men of a certain age can take part in the birth process of the native species. But he has not been able to do this and there is great shame. He has one last chance but he would not be doing it in an honorable way. What will he do? A fascinating look at a very different culture.

The 64th issue of Abyss and Apex is, as I have said before, a joy to read. Every story is a good read and one you'll enjoy. Who could ask for more? Check it out at their website (see link at the top of this review). They fund themselves with PayPal donations and subscriptions. Give them your support!

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