Apex Magazine #33, February 2012

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Apex Magazine #33, February 2012

“Bear in Contradicting Landscape” by David J. Schwartz
“My Body, Her Canvas” by A.C. Wise

Reviewed by Bob Blough

The stories in Apex this month fail to impress me, but for different reasons.

The first, “Bear in Contradictory Landscape” by David J. Schwartz is a bit of inoffensive puffery about an author meeting up with his characters in real life. The writer’s character by the name of Eddie from an unpublished work known as “Walk Out” meets him on the bus and offers his card. The writer and his tattooed girlfriend go to dinner at his home. The wife is a disciple of Elvis. There is a lot of symbolism concerning rabbits and bears, Elvis and tattoos. The story appears to riff off the question of the nature of  reality. Are we real? Is nature real? Do we create reality with our stories? Great questions but the narrative is rather bland. I neither hate nor love this one.

The second story, “My Body, Her Canvas” by A.C.Wise is not very good, either (or I should say not to my taste). It’s a dark artistic vision of a human being becoming a living canvas. A woman is tattooed in order to carry the demons of the artist inside her body. It came across as overwrought and boring.

Both stories are significantly about tattoos this month. A new meme happening in the SF community – or just coincidence?