Apex Digest Needs (and Finds) Help

UPDATE: (2/13/07) Thanks to an amazing grassroots campaign, Apex Digest is alive and well. Read the Louisville Courier-Journal article about Jason Sizemore and the magazine’s success at this link.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post.

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Original Post: (9/20/07) Apex Digest, the critically acclaimed science fiction/horror magazine started by writer and editor Jason Sizemore in 2005, needs our help.

Jason’s story is much like mine, in some ways. We were both unemployed for four months last year, we’ve both had bad dealings with commercial printers (though in different ways), and we both have had a long standing dream of starting our own speculative fiction magazines. Of course, Jason did it, and I didn’t. The closest I came was editing the Fort Lewis College literary magazine, Images, in 1987.

The loss of Jason’s job last year put Apex Digest in jeopardy. The magazine was receiving good reviews and starting to break even, but when Jason lost his job, he could not afford pay the debt he had accrued in starting the magazine. The commercial printer for Apex Digest, which had been understanding about late payments, suddenly lowered the boom, and now the magazine needs 200 new subscribers to stay afloat.

Apex Digest is a quarterly; it puts out four issues per year. Some big names have appeared in its pages in only six issues: Tom Piccirilli, Ben Bova, Poppy Z. Brite, M.M. Buckner, and James P. Hogan, to name a few. Apex Digest is something of a rare breed; a professional, printed, perfect bound market for science fiction and horror stories. Sure, there are other digest-sized SF/F/H markets, but there’s room for more, and we need to encourage the quality of fiction that appears in Apex Digest, not allow it to fade away.

A one year subscription costs $20 (for U.S. buyers, $24 for Canadian buyers, and $34 for all other international subscriptions.) I wanted to subscribe last year, but my own unemployment precluded that. I’m employed now, and I don’t think $20 is too much to pay for a year of good writing delivered to my mailbox.

How about you?

Apex Digest Subscription Page

(When) Did You Graduate?

During my early college years, one of the most common questions asked of me was, “Where did you go to high school?” I would answer, and the next question was usually, “When did you graduate?” That seems like a normal course of conversation to me, though it’s been a while since anyone asked me when I graduated.

However, I heard a variation while I was at work the other day. I was on site at a local restaurant, and two young women were discussing their school years while waiting for customers to come in. The conversation went something like this, though the names of the schools have been changed.

“So, how old are you?” asked the brunette.

“Nineteen,” replied the blonde.

“Hm. I’m twenty. Too old to be working here. Where did you go to school?”

“Harrison,” said the blonde, “though not by choice. I wanted to go to Paulson, but I couldn’t get in before the open enrollment ended.”

“Ah. I went to Northside,” said the brunette, wiping a plastic glass with a towel. “Did you graduate?”

I did a mental double take. What did she say? I thought.

“Yeah,” replied the blonde, as if she expected the question.

“I didn’t,” said the brunette. “That’s why I’m still working here at twenty.”

I was completely floored that asking whether a person graduated is considered to be a normal course of conversation these days. I checked it out with my son, who is a high school senior.

“Oh. Yeah,” he said, monotone. “That’s pretty normal.”


Since when did it become normal to ask a person “if” they graduated? I know the high school dropout rates continue to climb, but when did they get to the point where it’s necessary to ask “if” someone graduated, rather than when? Is there anything we can do to reverse this trend?

Somehow, I don’t think the “no child left behind” edict has come to fruition. In fact, it seems that more children are being left behind than a few years ago, and that upsets me.