APEX BOOKS

In 2004, publisher Jason Sizemore suffered an early mid-life crisis at the age of 30. Stuck in a go nowhere city job supporting risk management software, the need to do something interesting and exciting overcame him. For better or for worse, he wanted to make a mark on the world.

Thus happened Apex Publications!

What started as a single quarterly print magazine of dark SF short stories (the well-regarded Apex Science Fiction & Horror Digest) has turned into a busy small press with over 40 titles in print and the monthly ezine Apex Magazine.

Along the way, Apex has had the opportunity to publish some of the most exciting and interesting writers in speculative fiction: Brian Keene, Damien Angelica Walters, Douglas F. Warrick, Nick Mamatas, Jennifer Pelland, Lavie Tidhar, Chesya Burke, Chris Bucholz, and many, many more.

Our books and magazine have been the recipient of some of the top awards in science fiction, fantasy, and horror: the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the Stoker Award, the World Fantasy Award, among others. In 2014, the third anthology in our international SF series, The Apex Book of World SF: Volume 3, was selected as one of NPR's top 40 books of the year.

PLAGUE BIRDS

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Glowing red lines split their faces. Shock-red hair and clothes warn people to flee their approach. They are plague birds, the powerful merging of humans and artificial intelligences who serve as judges and executioners after the collapse of civilization. And the plague birds’ judgment is swift and deadly, as Crista discovered as a child when she watched one kill her mother.

In a world of gene-modded humans constantly watched over by benevolent AIs, everyone hates and fears the plague birds. But to save her father and home village, Crista becomes the very creature she fears the most. And her first task as a plague bird is hunting down an ancient group of murderers wielding magic-like powers.

As Crista and her AI symbiote travel farther from home than she ever imagined, they are plunged into a strange world where she judges wrongdoers, befriends other outcasts, and uncovers an extremely personal conspiracy that threatens the lives of millions.

Plague Birds is a genre-bending mix of science fiction and dark fantasy and the epic story of a young woman who becomes one of the future’s most hated creatures, with a killer AI bonded to her very blood.

THE GRAND TOUR

Step right up! Come one, come all, to Jackson's Unreal Circus and Mobile Marmalade. The steam train may look older than your great-grandmother's china, but within her metal corridors are destinations you have only ever dreamed. They're real, friends, each and every one—and yours for the taking.

Witness Rabi, Vanquisher and Vanisher Extraordinaire, who can make coins and the past vanish before your very eyes. Dare to visit the Beauty and the Beast, our conjoined twins who are terrible and tortured by turns. Sample Beth's marmalade, the sticky sweetness containing the very memory of the day you turned sixteen, and your beloved's lips touched yours once and never again.

It's worth the price, traveler. Jackson's Unreal Circus is where you can be whoever or whatever you want. Whether it be a ride on the Ferris wheel, slipping inside a skin that is not your own, or the opportunity to live as you never have before—it is all possible on this, the grandest of tours. The train beckons you—come, come!

For the first time, E. Catherine Tobler has compiled a collection of her popular circus stories. With nine stories ranging from the first published work within this universe to a previously unreleased piece, this is your ticket to her magical world. Welcome to The Grand Tour.

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AETHERCHRIST

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The digital era: Analog is all but dead, but the rusted towers still strobe on the evening horizon. They project a conflicting myriad of hope, despair, and eyeless ghouls who claim to see the world in gigahertz.

A small town in Vermont broadcasts prophecies of its residents’ deaths. Rey, a cutlery salesman, seems to flicker at the center of every murder on screen. He thinks the town is rigged with cameras, or the locals are trying to set him up. But as the broadcasts grow increasingly surreal, and maniacs start showing up in town to remove his sensory organs, Rey starts to realize that the images pulsing beneath the static-riddled airwaves have woven him into a battle between people who believe that analog is the frequency of the gods.

NEXHUMAN

There is Alba. And there is everything else.
 

In a future threatened by the spread of "kipple" (garbage & trash), Peter Payne is part of a fringe society that scavenges junk to survive. His days are spent in the refuse of humanity and running with a teenage gang called The Dead Bones lead by his brother Charlie. But when Peter finds beauty in the world in the shape of Alba, an advanced model female nexhuman, he finds purpose ... and love. When Charlie and The Dead Bones destroy Peter's dreams for the future, Peter embarks on a quest to rebuild the object of his obsession.

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STAY CRAZY

After a breakdown at college landed Emmeline Kalberg in a mental hospital, she’s struggling to get her life on track. She’s back in her hometown and everyone knows she’s crazy, but the twelve pills she takes every day keep her anxiety and paranoia in check. So when a voice that calls itself Escodex begins talking to Em from a box of frozen chicken nuggets, she’s sure that it’s real and not another hallucination. Well … pretty sure.

An evil entity is taking over the employees of Savertown USA, sucking out their energy so it can break into Escodex’s dimension. Escodex needs Em’s help to save his dimension and to keep hers from collapsing. But Em isn’t certain she wants to help Escodex. She has other things to worry about, like staying off the Savertown USA bowling team, busting her sister’s chops about her newfound religion, and getting out of Clear Falls, PA.

When her coworkers start mysteriously dying, Em realizes that she may be the only one who can stop things from getting worse. Now she must convince her therapist she’s not having a relapse and keep her boss from firing her. All while getting her coworker Roger to help enact the plans Escodex conveys to her through the RFID chips in the Savertown USA products. It’s enough to make anyone Stay Crazy.

MARS GIRLS

Nanoannie is bored. She wants to go to clubs, wear the latest Earth fashions, and dance with nuke guys. But her life is not exciting. She lives on her family's Pharm with her parents, little sister, and a holo-cat named Fuzzbutt. The closest she gets to clubs are on the Marsnet. And her parents are pressuring her to sign her contract over to Utopia Limited Corp before she's even had a chance to live a little. When Kapera—a friend from online school—shows up at her Pharm asking for help, Nanoannie is quick to jump in the rover and take off. Finally an adventure!

What Nanoannie and Kapera find at the Smythe's Pharm is more than the girls bargained for. The hab has been trashed and there are dead bodies buried in the backyard! If that wasn't bad enough, the girls crash the rover and Kapera gets kidnapped by Facers, who claims her parents are murderers! Between Renegade Nuns, Facers, and corp geeks, Nanoannie and Kapera don't know who to trust or where to go. Kapera only wants to find her parents so they can get to Earth Orbitals and she can be treated for her leukemia. Nanoannie wants to help her friend and experience a little bit of Mars before selling her contract to the first corp that offers to buy it.

Life isn't easy when you're just a couple of Mars Girls.