Words from the Editor-in-Chief

by on Feb 7, 2017 in Nonfiction | 0 comments

Welcome to issue 93!

The writing profession is filled with rumors, half-truths, and whispers. People that make up speculative fiction all day enjoy speculating about matters. Imagine that!

One of the most common misconceptions spread by writers is the concept of black lists. In publishing, a black list is a collection of people an editor will not work with. You’ll hear rumormongers saying “You better not do this or do that or an editor will place you on his/her list!”

Some of these theoretical acts include:

  1. Established publishing professionals who threaten to use their influence to prevent an editor from considering the work of another author.
  2. An author espousing extreme political/social views on the internet.
  3. Being published in “inappropriate” venues.

The truth about black lists from my perspective is that they are mostly imagined. As a whole, most professional editors care little about the person behind the story (except in extreme examples). They’re only interested in the story. But like most things, there are facets to personal black lists that make things not so cut and dry.

Do I have people I absolutely would not publish? You bet. I am not going to publish someone that I am aware actively harbors and promotes hateful ideas. Do I keep a list of people who might have slighted me in the past? Yes, I scratch their names on a wall every night before I sleep—I WILL NOT FORGET. But will that keep the person from appearing in the magazine or books I edit? The answer is a 99% “nah.” The remaining 1% are the extremes … those who have threatened physical violence to my family, those who have falsely accused me of bad behavior, those who I know have denigrated the Apex brand, etc.

The reality about black lists? If you’re an extreme asshole, you might be closing some doors on yourself. Otherwise, you have no reason to fear any editor putting you in “do-not-publish” jail.


I want to bid our amazing poetry editor Bianca Spriggs a fond farewell. She’s a wonderful person, a force of nature. We wanted her to join our fiction editing team, but alas, she elected to move on. I have no doubt you’ll be hearing more from Bianca in the future.

This month we will run our last poem selection for the foreseeable future. We love the form, but we want to narrow our focus in the coming months.


Congratulations to our Apex Magazine Story of the Year winner Alexandria Baisden. Her heartbreaking short “The Old Man and the Phoenix” is our readers’ choice! Read it here.

Also, congratulations to Marcela Bolivar, our Apex Magazine Cover of the Year winner. Her piece from issue 87 is readers’ choice! Click here to see a full-sized image of the cover.


This past November we asked you to send us your best flash fiction stories about love/Valentine’s Day … with an Apex twist of course. And you definitely answered the call!

We received around 500 submissions! Stories about love, obsession, Cupid, and hearts!

After reading through all the wonderful submissions, we have selected the top three which will be published in this issue of Apex Magazine—just in time for Valentine’s Day!

The winning entries are “As Long as You Can Stand It” by Joanna Truman, “Butterfly Man” by Tonya Walter, and “St. Theophilus the Penitent” by Rich Larson. You can read all three winning entries in this issue!

Congratulations to our winners and thank you so much to everyone who entered!


We welcome a whole bunch of nice writers to issue 93. Nisi Shawl is known as one of the nicest people in scifi, and we have her! She contributes her original story “Queen of Dirt.” Also new this month is “The Bells” by Lyndsie Manusos. The ubiquitous Rich Larson gets edgy with “You Too Shall Be Psyche.” One of our readers’ favorite authors returns as we reprint Samuel Marzioli’s “Servant of the Aswang.”

In nonfiction we have two interviews and an article. Russell Dickerson interviews our cover artist Adrian Borda. Andrea Johnson talks to Nisi Shawl about “Queen of Dirt.” I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Mac Rogers, the writer of the popular podcasts LifeAfter and The Message. Finally, poet Simona Sušec gives us “Fury.”

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