It’s been almost a month since my last “What I’m Reading” post. That’s due in part to the fact my reading slowed down significantly recently. It’s something I’m not happy about but what ya gonna do? I also had a couple reviews I really needed to take care of as I was getting behind. I’m still behind (but so are many of you so we’re all in the same boat).
Anyway, that’s not really the point of all this. The point is to introduce my current read…The Shadow of The Gods by John Gwynne.
My next read is one I was approved for on NetGalley. I’ve actually got three more NetGalley reads to finish between now and mid-May. I’m slowly inching my way toward getting that badge for reviewing ten books on the platform. This will be book number seven I think.
Anyway you don’t care about that, you care about what it is that I’m reading. Well…it’s The Helm of Midnight by Marina Lostetter.
My current read is a YA novel. That isn’t necessarily anything spectacular in and of itself, it’s just that I don’t typically read YA. It isn’t because I hate YA or anything (I don’t), I just don’t normally read it. And now I feel like I’m trying to justify reading this book which isn’t the point of this at all, and not what I’m trying to do. But yeah I’m giving YA a shot. Why you ask? Well I’ll explain below.
So what is it that I’m reading? Well…It’s Shadow And Bone by Leigh Bardugo.
My next read is one I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. When Orbit posted the cover on Twitter I knew I wanted it even before I read the synopsis. And then I read the blurb and was like yep, just give me a big heaping plate of that. This one checks off a bunch of boxes for me and I’m struggling to make myself finish this post before I start reading.
So What am I reading? Well…it’s The Unbroken by C. L. Clark.
After a short break where I was reading a couple traditionally published novels I’m right into the swing of things with a self-published offering. If you read my recent goals post you know I’m hoping to even out my traditionally published reads with self-published reads to be about 50/50 this year. The book I’m about to start is one I’ve been looking forward to and dreading. I’ll explain why below.
So What am I reading? Well…it’s Oh That Shotgun Sky by Sarah Chorn.
Something new for me and the blog this year is that I’m planning to be more consistent with reading sci-fi/fantasy magazines. It’s something I’ve wanted to do more of the past few years and just never really did it. I’m hoping in doing so to stumble across some great short-fiction to share with you.
What this also means is that I’ll pretty consistently be reading one magazine at the same time as I’m reading another book. More accurately I’ll read and finish multiple books in the time it takes me to complete one zine. My pace so far is to read at least one but maybe two or three stories a week and slowly progress through the zine over the course of a whole month. We’ll see how it goes.
This month I’m reading Wyldblood Magazine issue 1.
My fifth book of the year is one I’ve sat on since September. Orbit sent it to me at my own request and as is usual one thing after another came up and I’m just now getting to it. I might have put it off longer if it weren’t for a recent dust up on Twitter which I’ll discuss below.
So what am I reading? It’s The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso.
I’m starting my fourth book of the year, and the first published by a traditional publisher. This is somewhat out of character for me. Waiting this long in the month/year to read a traditionally published book I mean. This wasn’t pre-planned really but it does feel odd. But I’m plugging ahead with a book I’ve been anxious to read since…well since I finished reading the first book in the series back in the summer of 2019.
So what am I reading? Well…it’s The Fires of Vengeance by Evan Winter!
Before you say anything, YES I’ve posted a few of these What I’m Reading posts in a row. I’m in-between reviews at the moment and will have one go up as part of a book tour next week. I also happen to be reading two things at once which is abnormal for me. Anyway, here’s another What I’m Reading post, this one about Apex Magazine issue 121.
Apex Magazine is a bi-monthly zine that publishes, “short stories filled with marrow and passion, works that are twisted, strange, and beautiful. Creations where secret places and dreams are put on display.” Here’s what they say about their mission…
We strive to entertain you with interesting, diverse, and thought-provoking fiction. Our goal is to challenge your perceptions, rattle your beliefs, and shake you free of the expected path.
We want you to read our content and then afterwards think now that’s only a story you’d find in Apex Magazine.
Apex Magazine Mission Statement
I first discovered Apex Magazine with issue 105 from February 2018 which included Alix E. Harrow’s story “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Short Compendium of Portal Fantasies” which went on to win a Hugo Award. I like to think of Apex as my local zine as it’s kinda based hear in Lexington (or at least this is where its editor-in-chief is from) and that makes me want to support it even more. I picked up a couple more issues in 2018 which I enjoyed but I didn’t become a subscriber because…well because I got lazy. Then in 2019 the magazine went on a hiatus due to some health issues experienced by its editor-in-chief. In 2020 Apex launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to relaunch itself in 2021. I decided to go all in and pledged enough for a subscription to the entire year. This is the first of 6 bi-monthly issues that will be published in 2021.
This issue includes new fiction by Fargo Tbakhi, P. H. Lee, Cassandra Khaw, Alix E. Harrow, Elana Gomel, Merc Fenn Wolfmoor Charles Payseur and as well as other stories by Tonya Liburd and LH Moore. There’s non-fiction by Usman T. Malik, Malka Older, and AC Wise. There’s also interviews of Fargo Tbakhi and P H Lee by Andrea Johnson, and of cover artist Vicki be Wicked.
I’m reading through the issue slowly, one story a week or so and just sort of enjoying it in small doses as I work through my books. So far I’ve read “Root Rot” by Fargo Tbakhi, “Your Own Undoing” by P H Lee, “Love, That Hungry Thing” by Cassandra Khaw, and “Mr. Death” by Alix E. Harrow. I’ve enjoyed them all and absolutely LOVED “Mr. Death.” Click the link for the review. That story broke me and mended me all in the space of a few pages.
I can’t wait to finish issue 121 and eagerly anticipating issue 122 which just had a cover reveal.
I hope to post additional reviews of stories out of Apex. I’d love to do at least one from each issue. We’ll see how it goes. But review or not, I know I’ll get to experience some great short fiction in a zine that in my opinion punches above its weight class. I hope more readers decide to pick up Apex Magazine this year and get to join in the experience.
If you read Apex or have a subscription let me know. I’d love to chat with you about the stories you love, whether they lift you up, break you, or make you ponder what could be.
I’m starting my third read of the year, and once again it is for a book tour hosted by my friends at Storytellers On Tour. If you don’t know about @sot_tours check them out. They are a blog and Bookstagram tour service dedicated to sharing their love of indie fantasy and science fiction novels. This will be my fourth “tour” as a “roadie” with Storytellers On Tour and I’m really, really excited. The tour is February 7 – February 13, and I’m posting on February 11, but I want to be sure to get the book read and the review written with time to spare.
So what am I reading? Well…it’s Vultures by Luke Tarzian.