Invisible Threads is live on Kickstarter

By Lesley Conner
on February 17, 2020

This morning we launched the Kickstarter for Invisible Threads edited by Jason Sizemore and Lesley Conner, and as of now, we have raised $1,032 towards our $20,000 goal.

Help us reach our goal! Head over to Kickstarter to back this project!

No matter who you are or where you come from, there are boundaries and barriers that dictate what you can do, where you can go, and who you can become. Invisible threads running through society, pulling you this way or that, tripping you when you try to better yourself, ensnaring and holding you back. Whether these threads come from others in the form of racism, misogyny, or ableism, from those in power through laws and rigged systems, or from within yourself through cultural ideals and values, they are there. They keep you locked in a constraining box of “who you should be,” rather than letting you grow into the person you truly are. Invisible Threads is an anthology of dark sci-fi, fantasy, and horror stories that examine these barriers.

What is Invisible Threads

Invisible Threads editors Jason Sizemore and Lesley Conner are striving to build a ToC representative of the world around us. The barriers each of us face in our day to day lives are dependent on where we come from. Not only geographically, but also dictated by economic standing, race, gender, and so much more. The goal of the anthology is to give room for as many of these stories as possible. With this mind, Jason and Lesley have invited a diverse and talented group of authors to create all new works of fiction. We expect the book to contain 20-25 stories and be approximately 100,000-125,000 words.

Confirmed authors include Alix Harrow, Maurice Broaddus, Fran Wilde, Chesya Burke, Merc Fenn Wolfmoor, Stephanie Malia Morris, Jordan Kurella, K.T. Bryski, ZZ Claybourne, A.C. Buchanan, Damien Angelica Walters, Beth Dawkins, Geoffrey Girard, Sabrina Vourvoulias, A.C. Wise, Michael Wehunt and more!

We’ve asked these authors to write stories that explore the inherent social and political boundaries in our society. Why do they exist? How do we overcome them? How do they affect us and our world? Which boundaries each author chooses to confront in their story is up to them. What we are hoping to highlight are the invisible struggles that our neighbors are facing but we never see.

Each of us is fighting something. Whether it is something larger and in the public eye such as racism, or something smaller and personal such as a parent’s expectation that you will set aside personal dreams to uphold a family obligation. The systemic boundaries tangle and knot around us, preventing us from reaching our potential. The contributors to Invisible Threads will shine a light on these injustices and light a fire to your anger. Join us in snipping the threads that hold us down!

With your help, Apex can bring you this important anthology written by a fantastic lineup of authors. Your pledge money will cover Invisible Threads’ costs and provide Apex with the means to enhance the anthology and pay our contributors, cover artist, graphic designers, and editors.

Back Invisible Threads today!

 

Do Not Go Quietly excerpt - "To Write" by Annie Neugebauer

By Lesley Conner
on May 24, 2019
2 comments
To Write
by Annie Neugebauer

 

Tonight I dreamed

my mouth was zippered shut,

like some macabre doctor

had taken the school teacher’s gesture

quite literally    

and replaced each lip with one half a zipper.

 

Like any fresh surgery,

the flesh ached and burned,

far too tender for me to even think

of touching it with the gentlest fingertips,

much less grasping the metal pull

and opening the angry little teeth.

 

I wandered down a street I knew well

surrounded by strangers who my dream told me

I knew well as well

and every one of them

sealed at the mouth:

      a zipper,

      a line like melted wax,

      sutures stitched across like a rag doll,

      a single, large button pulled up over the top lip,

      staples,

      the particularly vicious stretch of super glue,

      and, most terrifying of all, a perfect, smooth melding of bottom to top lip

              no line or seal remaining where mouth used to be,

              only a vague bump out of the teeth beneath the flesh,

              caged.

 

I was desperate to tell them something.

Wild with the need.

I don’t know what it was.

I don’t know if I even knew, then, in the dream.

I know only that I raced from person to person

forcing myself into their paths

and trying

again and again—oh, sleeping eternity—

to speak.

 

Silence.

 

The words piled up against the inside of my zipper,

stacked up on my tongue,

brushed the roof of my mouth

and gullet

and down my clenched throat,

choking,

tears stinging my fresh wounds,

and still,

still …

 

Never has there been a dream

with such a perfect lack of sound.

 

When I awoke,

reader,

I did not speak.

 

I picked up the notebook

I keep by my bed

and I began to write,

the scratching of my pen

against this page

pulling and clicking

like the long, metallic freeing

of a zipper.

 

Do Not Go Quietly edited by Jason Sizemore and Lesley Conner is available now!

Anthology Announcement: Do Not Go Quietly!

By Lesley Conner
on October 25, 2017
2 comments

Anthology Announcement: Do Not Go Quietly!

For a while now, Jason and I have been hinting at a secret project we’ve been working on behind the scenes of Apex. Today, I can finally announce what it is.

Do Not Go Quietly

This spring, Apex Publications will be running a Kickstarter to fund an anthology about resistance titled Do Not Go Quietly, to be edited by Jason Sizemore and Lesley Conner. Authors John Hornor Jacobs, A. Merc Rustad, Rebecca Roanhorse, Maurice Broaddus, Nayad Monroe, Karin Lowachee, Brooke Bolander, Laird Barron, Brian Keene, Cassandra Khaw, Nisi Shawl, Catherynne M. Valente, Seanan McGuire, Fran Wilde, Rich Larson, and Sarah Pinsker have answered the call and will be contributing stories. Plus, a new story by J.F. Gonzalez, co-written with Lesley Conner, will be included.

Want your name among this outstanding lineup? We will be holding an open submissions period during the Kickstarter!

Cover art will be by the amazing Marcela Bolivar. Marcela is the cover artist of Apex Magazine issues 96 and 87, as well as Damien Angelica Walters’s upcoming collection Cry Your Way Home. We don’t have completed artwork yet, but we can offer you this sneak peek of her work in progress:

Resistance. Revolution. Standing up and demanding to have your space, your say, your right to be. From small acts of defiance to protests that shut down cities, Jason Sizemore and Lesley Conner are looking for dark SF, fantasy, and horror stories about those who resist. Do Not Go Quietly!

Short Sales on Short Fiction: Best of Apex Magazine

By Lesley Conner
on May 02, 2016

We’re celebrating short fiction all month long with Short Sales on Short Fiction. Each sale gives you 48 hours to save 40% on either the print or eBook edition of the featured title!

Today’s featured book is Best of Apex Magazine edited by Jason Sizemore and Lesley Conner. Save 40% off the cover price today and tomorrow by using coupon code BEST40.

Synopsis:

Whether wandering down endless stairwells, searching for answers in the desert, or reaching out to the stars, for more than six years Apex Magazine has entertained readers with stories that are strange, beautiful, shocking, and surreal. Now, for the first time, editors Jason Sizemore and Lesley Conner are collecting the award winning and nominated stories, those chosen by readers as Story of the Year, and their own personal favorites into one anthology.

A Veil that wipes the experiences of war from soldiers’ memories. A witch who faces down both God and the devil to save a soul. A swaying dance that crosses the galaxy to transmit a message. A vampire caught in a web of politics and law by his responsibility to his family. Within this collection, you will find 21 stories that explore what it means to love, to regret, to be human.

With stories by Ursula Vernon, Ken Liu, Rachel Swirsky, Sarah Pinsker, Rich Larson, and more, Best of Apex Magazine: Volume 1 brings readers some of the best stories Apex Magazine has published so far.

Don’t miss it! This is a great chance to save on fantastic short fiction! Use coupon code BEST40 at checkout to take advantage of this fantastic deal! Get your copy today!

 

Best of Apex Magazine: Volume 1 is here!

By Lesley Conner
on January 12, 2016

Today's the day! The release of Best of Apex Magazine: Volume 1 edited by Jason Sizemore and Lesley Conner is available now in print and eBook editions!

Buy Best of Apex Magazine: Volume 1 now!

Whether wandering down endless stairwells, searching for answers in the desert, or reaching out to the stars, for more than six years Apex Magazine has entertained readers with stories that are strange, beautiful, shocking, and surreal. Now, for the first time, editors Jason Sizemore and Lesley Conner are collecting the award winning and nominated stories, those chosen by readers as Story of the Year, and their own personal favorites into one anthology.

A Veil that wipes the experiences of war from soldiers’ memories. A witch who faces down both God and the devil to save a soul. A swaying dance that crosses the galaxy to transmit a message. A vampire caught in a web of politics and law by his responsibility to his family. Within this collection, you will find 21 stories that explore what it means to love, to regret, to be human.

With stories by Ursula Vernon, Ken Liu, Rachel Swirsky, Sarah Pinsker, Rich Larson, and more, Best of Apex Magazine: Volume 1 brings readers some of the best stories Apex Magazine has published so far.

TABLE OF CONTENTS 
Jackalope Wives by Ursula Vernon 
Going Endo by Rich Larson 
Candy Girl by Chikodili Emelumadu 
If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love by Rachel Swirsky 
Advertising at the End of the World Keffy R.M. Kehrli 
The Performance Artist by Lettie Prell 
A Matter of Shapespace by Brian Trent 
Falling Leaves by Liz Argall 
Blood from Stone by Alethea Kontis 
Sexagesimal by Katharine E.K. Duckett 
Keep Talking by Marie Vibbert 
Remembery Day by Sarah Pinsker 
Blood on Beacon Hill by Russell Nichols 
The Green Book by Amal El-Mohtar 
L’esprit de L’escalier by Peter M. Ball 
Still Life (A Sexagesimal Fairy Tale) by Ian Tregillis 
Build a Dolly by Ken Liu 
Multo by Samuel Marzioli 
Armless Maidens of the American West by Genevieve Valentine 
Pocosin by Ursula Vernon 
She Gave Her Heart, He Took Her Marrow by Sam Fleming

Cover art by Adrian Borda 

Also includes a foreword by Jason Sizemore and afterword by Lesley Conner.

Buy Best of Apex Magazine: Volume 1.

Best of Apex Magazine - Readers' Choice

By Lesley Conner
on November 17, 2015

Best of Apex Magazine: Volume 1 is coming in early December. Editors Jason Sizemore and Lesley Conner have selected 20 stories to be included, and now it is time for you, the readers, to select the 21st!

Preorder Best of Apex Magazine: Volume 1 edited by Jason Sizemore and Lesley Conner

The current table of contents is:

  • Jackalope Wives by Ursula Vernon (Issue 56)

  • If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love by Rachel Swirsky (Issue 46)

  • The Green Book by Amal El-Mohtar (Issue 18)

  • Candy Girl by Chikodili Emelumadu (Issue 66)

  • Falling Leaves by Liz Argall (Issue 60)

  • A Matter of Shapespace by Brian Trent (Issue 51)

  • Blood from Stone by Alethea Kontis (Issue 43)

  • Sexagesimal by Katharine E.K. Duckett (Issue 40)

  • Keep Talking by Marie Vibbert (Issue 67)       

  • Going Endo by Rich Larson (Issue 74)

  • Remembery Day by Sarah Pinsker (Issue 72)

  • Pocosin by Ursula Vernon (Issue 68)

  • She Gave Her Heart, He Took Her Marrow by Sam Fleming (Issue 79)

  • L’esprit de L’escalier by Peter M. Ball (Issue 16)

  • The Performance Artist by Lettie Prell (Issue 44)

  • Advertising at the End of the World by Keffy R.M. Kehrli (Issue 3)

  • Armless Maidens of the American West by Genevieve Valentine (Issue 39)

  • Blood on Beacon Hill by Russell Nichols (Issue 78)

  • Build-A-Dolly by Ken Liu (Issue 47)

  • Still Life (A Sexagesimal Fairy Tale) by Ian Tregillis (Issue 17)

    So what will it be? What will be the 21st story - the readers' choice? Fill in the form below and let your voice be heard!

    To refresh your memory on all the amazing stories Apex Magazine has published so far, check out our back catalog.

    Back issues 1 - 50

    Back issue 51 - current

     

     

    Best of Apex Magazine: Volume 1 Cover Reveal and Table of Contents!

    By Lesley Conner
    on November 05, 2015

    The final cover design for Best of Apex Magazine: Volume 1 edited by Jason Sizemore and Lesley Conner is complete and ready to be unveiled!

    Cover art is by Adrian Borda.

    Cover design is by Justin Stewart.

    Best of Apex Magazine: Volume 1 will be 21 of the best stories published in Apex Magazine from issue 1 to issue 79. Twenty of the stories have been selected by the editors. The final one will be selected by you, the readers.

    The stories selected by Jason and Lesley are:

    • Jackalope Wives by Ursula Vernon (Issue 56)

    • If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love by Rachel Swirsky (Issue 46)

    • The Green Book by Amal El-Mohtar (Issue 18)

    • Candy Girl by Chikodili Emelumadu (Issue 66)

    • Falling Leaves by Liz Argall (Issue 60)

    • A Matter of Shapespace by Brian Trent (Issue 51)

    • Blood from Stone by Alethea Kontis (Issue 43)

    • Sexagesimal by Katharine E.K. Duckett (Issue 40)

    • Keep Talking by Marie Vibbert (Issue 67)       

    • Going Endo by Rich Larson (Issue 74)

    • Remembery Day by Sarah Pinsker (Issue 72)

    • Pocosin by Ursula Vernon (Issue 68)

    • She Gave Her Heart, He Took Her Marrow by Sam Fleming (Issue 79)

    • L’esprit de L’escalier by Peter M. Ball (Issue 16)

    • The Performance Artist by Lettie Prell (Issue 44)

    • Advertising at the End of the World by Keffy R.M. Kehrli (Issue 3)

    • Armless Maidens of the American West by Genevieve Valentine (Issue 39)

    • Blood on Beacon Hill by Russell Nichols (Issue 78)

    • Build-A-Dolly by Ken Liu (Issue 47)

    • Still Life (A Sexagesimal Fairy Tale) by Ian Tregillis (Issue 17)

    Voting for the reader-selected story will open on November 16th, so take a good look at the stories already included in Best of Apex Magazine: Volume 1 and decide which story you would like to see added to the list.

    Preorders open next week!

     

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