from the February SFrevu http://www.sfrevu.com/php/Review-id.php?id=18921
Abyss & Apex Issue 73: 1st Quarter 2020
Edited by Wendy S. Delmater
Review by Sam Tomaino
Abyss & Apex eMagazine
Date: 25 January 2020
Abyss & Apex #73 is here with stories by Derek Nason, B. Pladek, Andi C. Buchanan, Mike Adamson, and Mary E. Lowd, and a flash fiction by Nemma Wollenfang, poems, and small press reviews.
The newest issue of online magazine Abyss & Apex is #73 and it’s fantastic!
The fiction begins with “A Planet With a Lake” by Derek Nason. -+- When a spaceship looking for intelligent life crashes on a planet, all that survives is an octopus named Rapha and her siblings. With the help of the ship’s AI, she survives and evolves. She lives millions of that planet’s years and her family thrives. When ape-descended humans investigate, things do not go well. But Rapha’s children thrive. An interesting look at another form of life, Great story!
The second story is “The Valley of the Speaking Flames” by B. Pladek. -+- Rena is an exographer convinced the creatures called sparks that emerge from a planets magma have some intelligence. She studies the myth they tell their young. When her baby dies, she goes further in her studies. Another fascinating, poignant tale with a great ending.
The third story is “Where a Good Town Will Take Us” by Andi C. Buchanan. -+- Our narrator livs in a town that regularly moves itself at night. It starts deconstructing itself, they get out of bed and walk to the new location, chosen by the town. It might be a few meters. I might be miles. The last move is very different. Truly great new idea and just perfectly executed.
The fourth story is “Scans” by Mike Adamson. -+- One summer, Professor Murtry and his class of graduate students at the University of Edinburgh travel to the shores of Lake Assynt in southern Scotland to use laser scanning to make a 3D image of Ardvreck Castle by the shores of the loch. The castle was in ruins, “blasted to fragments by a lightning strike in 1795” and is rumoured to be haunted. When they start the scans, an anomaly appears, a humanoid form. When they print the largest copy they can, something surprising appears. Another great, really imaginative story for this issue. Truly amazing.
The fifth story is “My Magic, My Spell” by Mary E. Lowd. -+- Our narrator is looking back to when she and two others were learning magic under Mage Dawlins. She is accusing one of the other students of stealing a spell from her. We get the story and it is a great one.
The flash fiction story is “Lot No. #024: Intergalactic Death Ray” by Nemma Wollenfang. -+- On auction is: “a gen-u-ine Death Ray, folks. Titanium outer casing, Super Tungsten core shielding. Beautiful piece of artillery, simply beautiful. Exquisite! Commissioned by the Zarr of Ka’ar in circa 5559D, during the War of the Nine. Designed and supplied by the Voi Tertiary. Very reputable makers indeed. Trademark on the underside. This fine little piece of equipment destroyed an entire exoplanet, wiping out all 17 billion inhabitants. I know! Hard to believe, isn’t it? Considering the size. Note its portability.” We see the auction and its consequences. Hilarious! Perfect!
Their 73rd issue of Abyss and Apex is exceptional! No other magazine publishes such a truly imaginative magazine as this one. Check it out at their website (link a the top of this review). They fund themselves through Patreon Funding (link at top of this review).