Apex Magazine Short Fiction Podcasts #11-15

Smudge kitty

Apex Magazine regularly puts out a podcast that features short science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories. Below are my reviews more of the podcasts. You can find all their podcasts HERE. Podcast #11 was narrated by Windy Bowlsby, Lolly Foy, Tim Wick. Windy also narrated #12,13, and 15. Chikodili Emelumadu narrated #14. Apex Magazine is currently doing a Subscription Drive through April 17, 2017 and they have plenty of interesting bookish things up for grabs – autographed books, postcards, the entire Apex Magazine ever, even knitted hats. Yes. I bought a signed copy of The Buried Life by Carrie Patel and it’s already here! Knitted. Podcasts 1-5 are reviewed over HERE. Podcasts 6-10 are reviewed over HERE.

Podcast #11: Not Smart, Not Clever by E. Saxey

This was a clever little piece, being about 30 minutes long. Four university students spend a lot of time and effort on faking their essays instead of writing them. There’s some neat cyberpunkish tech too. The main character, Lynn, tells most of the story. Barb freaks out often, scared she’ll get caught. Zack, Lynn’s nerdy boyfriend, is a nice addition to the mix. A few sound effects were mixed in though I wasn’t sure about this particular one – was it to indicate chatting over a phone or was there suppose to be rain in the background? The mixed narration (3 narrators) was smoothly done. I felt they were all in the same room during the recording.

Podcast # 12: Soul of Soup Bones by Crystal Lynn Hilbert

Wow! Just simply wow! This was a fascinating and elegantly written short story about necromancers. It made me hungry. Yep. That’s right. I wanted to be cooking right alongside the two main characters. I love how the story wound me up just as Adrienne was winding herself up. She’s so frustrated that she cant find the key to the spell. She put a lot of effort into finding the bones of that necromancer and still no answers were forthcoming. At least until later in the story. But I will leave that for you to discover. The narration was very good on this production. I think the narrator also enjoyed the tale. ~20 minutes long.

Podcast #13: The Food in the Basement by Laura Davy

This is a deliciously creepy story about a vampire and the human he feeds on. I love the way the vampire is described in this story. Kaden is something otherworldly when he’s feeding. It was a good ending too. I’m all for the chinchilla having a good home. The narration was excellent. ~16 minutes long.

Podcast #14: Juniper and Gentian by Erik Amundsen

This was a complex bit of science fiction. I liked it but I think I would have appreciated it more if I had eyeball read it, or perhaps I should listen to it twice to catch all the nuances. Gentian (Gen) is a spaceship, I think, and is sentient to a point; or, rather, she is sentient in a way that we can barely comprehend. Anyways, there’s lots of beautiful prose and imagery in this little tale. The narration was also good even though I don’t think English was the first language of the narrator. Her voice lent an foreignness to Gentian which definitely added to the story. ~18 minutes long.

Podcast #15: Economies of Force by Seth Dickinson

~37 minutes long. It’s an interesting piece. In a world where everyone’s tendencies, words, and mannerisms are monitored by a much removed automated system, there are those that strive to break out of the normal mode and be individuals. However, this often results in catastrophe for those individuals and small groups. Even so, there are a few brave souls that document the drone raids and the random executions. This is a food for thought story. The narration was also quite good for this tale.

Apex Magazine Short Fiction Podcasts #6-10

Apex Magazine regularly puts out a podcast that features short science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories. Below are my reviews more of the podcasts. Podcasts 1-5 are reviewed over HERE. You can find all their podcasts HERELynne M. Thomas narrates Podcast #6. Podcasts #7, #8, #9, and #10 are narrated by Windy Bowlsby. Apex Magazine is currently doing a Subscription Drive and they have plenty of interesting bookish things up for grabs – autographed books, postcards, the entire Apex Magazine ever, even knitted hats. Yes. Knitted.

Podcast #6: What You’ve Been Missing by Maria Dahvana Headley

Betty’s husband is losing it. Somewhere, there’s hooves beating upon waves and it seems he’s the only one who can hear them. Wow! This was an intense story. It’s sadly sweet with a touch of magic to it as well. ~19 minutes long. The narrator did a good job with this one, especially portraying the emotions of the frustrated man.

Podcast # 7: Jackalope Wives by Ursula Vernon

In 30 minutes, Vernon has painted a desert full of magical beings. The story focuses on the jackalope wives. They dance to firelight and their grace and alien beauty attract Granma’s reckless grandson. Pretty soon, damage is done and it’s up to Granma to fix it. This was an elegant piece that says so much in a short amount of time. Being a desert dweller myself, I really liked the jackalopes with their little horns. Granma is the unsung hero of this tale. The narration was very good complete with various character voices.

Podcast #8: Maria and the Pilgrim by Rich Larson

This is another excellent podcast. Set in a small village, the pilgrim is coming and all the villagers give thanks to Jesus. There’s little hints along the way that the ‘pilgrim’ isn’t what the villagers think he is. The villagers themselves, including young Maria, all have an odd but important mutation. It’s simply an excellent story. The narration was very good on this one. There’s a variety of character voices and Bosby performs both male and female voices very well. ~30 minutes.

Podcast #9: Waking by Cat Hellisen

This is an eerie story about angels. In fact, I’m not convinced they are angels but the people in the story have no better name for them. From the sky, silent and unmoving, they would expire shortly upon touching the earth. Three siblings may be the key to understanding them. It’s an interesting little piece. I feel it ends a bit too early as I really wanted to see where things go from there. I will have to look up the author and see if she ever built upon this tale. The narration was really good. I liked the kid and teen voices used for the characters. ~30 minutes.

Podcast #10: Repairing the World by John Chu

This story took a little bit for me to understand what was going on. Set in a world where men and women, for the most part, have distinct roles in society, Lila and Bridger break some of those societal rules. Lila repairs rifts between worlds and actually attends university – very unladylike! I really enjoyed her character and could feel her frustration at being hampered by society believing that women were unfit for certain duties. Meanwhile, Bridger is a linguist, which is a pretty mighty job as there are plenty of people popping in and out of their rift-torn world that need to communicate. Bridger also prefers the company of men but he lives in a world where homosexuality is an arrestable offence. Once I got into the story, I was caught up in these two main characters. It’s them that pulled me and wouldn’t let me leave their tale until it was over. The narration was great on this one. Bridger sounded like the big moody, gruff guy he was. Lila sounded a little precocious as she worked hard to keep her job. ~30 minutes long.

Apex Magazine Short Fiction Podcasts #1-5

Apex Magazine regularly puts out a podcast that features short science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories. Below are my reviews of the first few podcasts. You can find all their podcasts HERE. The narrator for all five is Lynne M. Thomas.

Podcast #1: If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love by Rachel Swirsky

Coming in at just over 5 minutes long, this short piece poses the question of how life might be if your lover was a dino. What shape they would take, how the lovers’ lives would be spent, and how their relationship would bolster science to new heights of bio-engineering. I loved how the author didn’t try to sugar coat what living with a dino would mean. It’s a meat eater. There might be a little gore. It was a fun piece and the narrator did a good job.

Podcast #2: The Face of Heaven So Fine by Kat Howard

In this short fiction (~5 minutes), Rose explores her curiosity about Juliet. It gives new meanings to both ‘love token’ and also ‘lover’s mark’. This luscious little tale shines a new light on love lost. The narration has a few mouth noises but the piece was so engaging I didn’t mind.

Podcast #3: Someone Like You by Margaret Ronald

Oooo! If you enjoyed Peter Clines’ The Fold then you will appreciate this nearly 12 minute long story. Asim and Athnay (I apologize if I have butchered character names) are two scientists working on a project that could change the world. However, a little glitch, something unexpected happens and a second chance is born. The ending was a little poignant, giving weight to the tale. The narrator did a good job.

Podcast #4: Becca at the End of the World by Shira Lipkin

This is a touching story about the end of the world via zombie apocalypse. A mother and daughter share some touching moments together. In only ~9 minutes, Ms. Lipkin managed to squeeze a sympathetic tear out of me. This little tale pulls on the heart strings. Excellent job by the narrator – no mouth sounds and she has clear, distinct voices for the the two characters. She was also excellent at portraying the emotions of the characters.

Podcast #5 This Is a Ghost Story by Keffy R. M. Kehrli

In 16 minutes, the author covers some serious ground. From protests to suicide to commercialism to unrealized dreams. It’s a piece that stirs the blood and makes one wonder where their inner rebel went. There is a cat in the background during this narration and its meows kept on tricking me and my cats. This gave me a chuckle. The narrator did a great job giving attitude at all the right places.