* Online lit mags are publishing some of the most intriguing writing available today. Every Monday, I post a pointer to a site that offers fiction and/or poetry either as free content or as samples from subscriber issues. Today’s pointer is to Apex Magazine.
We do not want hackneyed, cliched plots or neat, tidy stories that take no risks. We do not want Idea Stories with no character development or prose style, nor do we want derivative fantasy with Tolkien’s serial numbers filed off. What we want is sheer, unvarnished awesomeness. We want the stories it scared you to write. We want stories full of marrow and passion, stories that are twisted, strange, and beautiful. We want science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mash-ups of all three—the dark, weird stuff down at the bottom of your little literary heart.
fiction excerpt from “Portage” by An Owomoyela:
When it came time to carry her father’s soul down from the mountain, she had nothing to carry it in. The bowl her mother had carved from heirloom ivory, fitted together like a puzzle mosaic and watertight without needing glue, had been shattered that morning in an argument with her father’s retainer. No other bowl had been carved with the requisite love for him. But her father’s soul couldn’t be left up at the temple on Mount Ossus, so she went with the pilgrims to claim him before the sun did.
She stood in rank with them as the soul-preparers poured distillations from the cleaned skulls of the dead. When they came to her, a girl whose name was soon-after forgotten, she set her jaw and cupped her hands like a beggar. “Give me my father,” she said.