Tag Archives: jason-sizemore

Postcard Micro-fiction

I’ve been a fan of Apex Magazine almost since the day of its inception. So when Jason Sizemore posted on his Facebook page recently that he had free Apex postcards, I immediately thought, Sweet! Free Apex stuff! and messaged him to make sure he had my current address. Then I promptly put it out of my mind.

Until the package showed up a few days later containing 30 beautiful postcards. I had two subsequent thoughts upon opening the package: 1) Wow, these are a really nice! and 2) Oh. Um, what the heck am I going to do with postcards?? I don’t even write letters anymore? The solution I came up with is both simple and apropos — write very short stories on each postcard and then mail them out to random people. Only I’d rather mail them out to people who request them and would enjoy a unique story experience.

You can read through the story archive here on my site and get a sense for the kind of fiction I write. If you’re interested in receiving a very short, handwritten story from me, the only thing you need to do is let me know. You can use my contact form to email me your address or, if you’re friends with me on Facebook, send me your address via Messenger. (Please don’t post your address in the comments in either place, as I’d like to protect personal information.)

I have 30 postcards in stock, 15 in two different layouts, so it’s first come, first serve. This gives me an opportunity to spread my writing around a little in a fun way while giving one of my favorite speculative fiction publishers a little more visibility. And please feel free to give this a signal boost to your friends and family who might enjoy this. I’d love to meet new readers.

New Apex Digs

Apex Book CompanyIt is done! “Apex Digest”:http://www.apexbookcompany.com has a brand new website! What’s nice about this is that, before, Apex Digest had its own website and then the Apex catalog had _its_ own website. The new website brings these two halves of Apex Book Company together into a cohesive unit, with the addition of some new features, like a discussion forum, mailing list, and RSS feeds for new product announces and Apex Online. Hopefully, in the near future, we’ll also be unveiling some new features and making Apex that much better.

I’ve been living and breathing this project for the last three weeks and have sunk countless hours into the redesign. It’s all been worth it, though, and I’m really happy with outcome. So, feel free to step over and check it out, but be aware that some things are still a little askew. At this point, I’d say the site is about 99% complete, and I’ll be spending some time over the new several days massaging the code and pushing things into proper place.

I’ve had a lot of fun with it, so I’m glad Jason – fool that he is – gave me enough of his trust to take on a massive and important project like this. Go and buy some books, order a subscription to Apex Digest, and keep your eyes on Apex Online. I’m hoping to continue bringing you stories and interviews from notable writers and driving Apex that much closer to global domination.

Apex Digest and Clarity of Night

A couple of items of note:

* “Apex Digest”:http://apexdigest.com is running a subscription drive. They need more subscribers in order to be able to raise the pay rate for contributing writers. If you like science fiction and horror, then I highly recommend this publication. Go order a subscription or three!
* Jason Evans at “The Clarity of Night”:http://clarityofnight.blogspot.com has opened his seventh short fiction contest. Go to his blog to see the writing prompt and rules and then send him your 250-word or less story!

Book Giveaway: Apex Digest #6

Ok, this week, I’m not giving a book away, exactly, but it may just be the next best thing. Heck, it may even be better. And it’s a perfect giveaway for Halloween!

I’ve been a huge fan of _Apex Digest_ since the journal’s inception a couple of years ago. Jason Sizemore, the founder and editor-in-chief, has done a remarkable job of building this new science fiction and horror journal from the ground up.

Now – I have an extra copy of Apex Digest Issue #6. Mint condition. Never been read. Except maybe by the little fuzz monster that lives under my desk. It’s possible _he_ might have cracked the cover one night while I was sleeping. But if he did, he cleaned up when he was done because the journal still looks pristine.

So what is _Apex Digest_? It’s science fiction. It’s horror. Even better, it’s the love-child of the two. And it’s fabulous. If you like your sci-fi with a bit of darkness (or vice versa), then _Apex Digest_ is for you, and I have just the appetizer to whet your appetite.

_Apex #6_ contains stories from writers like Ben Bova, Bryn Sparks, Mary Robinette Kowal, and more. There are also interviews with Poppy Z. Brite and Kage Baker.

Just leave a comment (with valid email address) on this entry for your chance to win Issue #6 of _Apex Digest_. One comment only per person, please. Entrants with multiple comments will be disqualified. I’ll randomly choose a winner next Wednesday, Nov. 7. Everything clear? Yes? Good.

Apex Survives!

It’s amazing what happens when a community pulls together. Jason “announced”:http://apexdigest.livejournal.com/5791.html last night that within the span of 7 days, not only did fans of “Apex Digest”:http://apexdigest.com manage to meet the magazine’s financial need of $2000, they exceeded it. This means that Apex will continue to thrive, with Issue 7 going to the printer today. Additionally, the pay rate for contributing authors increases, as well as the pay for artists. A lot of good stuff, and I’m excited that this one will be able to continue.

Help Apex

I’ve written here before that I’m a huge fan of “Apex Digest”:http://www.apexdigest.com because of it’s unique take on combining science fiction and horror. I’ve sung this magazine’s praises and have bought a copy of all six issues that have thus far been produced.

Well, now Apex Digest is in trouble. Jason Sizemore, the magazine’s editor, has put out a “call for help”:http://apexdigest.livejournal.com/4066.html. He needs 200 new subscribers in order to pay off the magazine’s printing debt.

If you enjoy science fiction, if you enjoy horror fiction, if you’ve discovered that the two work together well, if you haven’t already bought a subscription to Apex Digest, then you really ought to do so now. Go to the “Apex Store”:http://apexdigest.myshopify.com/collections/magazine/ and put in your order now. This magazine is too good to let die now.

Apex Obtained. Finally.

They deliver despite rain, snow, sleet, hail, heat, and cold. But that doesn’t stop the US Postal Service from periodically losing your mail.

A few weeks ago, I noticed a “plug”:http://blog.apexdigest.com/articles/2006/07/21/auctions#comments on Jason Sizemore’s blog, “A Writer’s Vanity”:http://blog.apexdigest.com, about an opportunity to win signed copies of the first five issues of “Apex Digest”:http://www.apexdigest.com plus a one-year subscription to the magazine. At that point, there were no bidders and only two days left on the auction, so I went ahead and put my bid on. Well, the auction closed, and I became the proud winner of nine issues for the low, low cost of two issues (including shipping costs). ((I actually still feel kind of bad about it, almost like I stole something. But at the same time, I’m ecstatic that I was able to snag a complete collection at a time when I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to save up the dimes I’d need to purchase every back issue.))

This is where the headaches began.

This had been my first eBay auction since moving to my new home. So, before I paid for my prizes, I made a point of updating my information inside of eBay. Well, as it turns out, eBay is kind of tricky. When you update your address, you actually have to make sure that you are updating both your registration information as well as your shipping/billing information. I didn’t realize that the two things were separate, let alone that updating one does not populate that information across to the other. So, it wasn’t until two days after I’d paid that I discovered that my shipping information still pointed to my old address. It was also several months after moving, so I had no idea if my forwarding request was still active at my previous post office.

I emailed Jason in a panic, hoping to give him my correct address _before_ he shipped everything out. I didn’t want my magazines to get delivered to my old address; I knew I’d never see them again. He responded quickly and told me that I did, indeed, catch him in time and that he would be shipping them out soon.

Relieved, I sat back to wait. And wait. And wait. A week went by and no Apex. I emailed Jason again to inquire about the shipping status. He replied that he had sent them out priority mail so I should have had them by now. He asked that I wait another few days and if they still didn’t arrive, then he would ship out another batch. Or I could go down to the “Destination Apex”:http://www.apexdigest.com/destination.shtml event held on August 5 in New Albany, IN, and pick them up directly from him. I would have loved to do that, except for the fact that it was my birthday and I had family in that weekend. (Plus time and budget simply haven’t allowed for much travel lately.)

So I waited another few days. Wednesday arrives and still no Apex. So I let Jason know, and he said he would ship another batch out. Unfortunately, he didn’t have anymore signed copies, so he said he would toss in a copy of Issue 6 as compensation. Fine by me, I said. The autographs would have been nice, but the main prize for me was the content itself. Apex Digest is a fabulous magazine, and I just wanted to devour the stories held in its pages.

Finally, I received a notice from my post office that they had an item too large for my mailbox. New problem: ours is a small-town post office, so they open after I leave for work and close before I get home. This makes it very difficult to pick anything up from the window. I called asking to have it delivered to my house; they said, No way, José; you’re not on a delivery route; you’ll have to come pick it up. At this point I just wanted to be able to close this deal, to tell Jason I had his product in my hands, to be able to complete the details on eBay by leaving my feedback for him. The post office had delivered things to my house before when I couldn’t come get it myself, so I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t do it now. I admit it – I lost my cool. I didn’t quite go off on the lady, but my tone of voice made it pretty clear I was very unhappy.

But I calm down after a while, and I realized that it wouldn’t hurt anything to wait until Saturday to pick things up from the post office. I was content, then, to sit back and wait a few more days.

This story does have a happy ending, though, because when I got home last night, what should greet my eyes than my Apex purchase waiting on my porch for me. Apparently, someone at the post office repented and decided it was okay to deliver it, after all.

With glee and a sharp knife, I slashed open the envelope (careful to avoid injuring my prizes, of course), and out fell six shiny chapbooks filled with wonderful stories. I was joyous. An email was sent to Jason to let him know I finally had the magazines – still with a couple of signatures, but with fewer than the original batch – and feedback was left to complete my eBay obligations.

In all of this Jason was very patient with me. Numerous panicked emails and questions were sent his way, so many that he was probably tired of hearing from me before it was all done. ((I admit to being somewhat irrational with worry at several points. I don’t really handle stress all that well, as anyone who knows me can attest.)) I appreciated him sending another batch at no additional cost to me, which I again felt bad about since it was an additional loss for him.

My aggravation was with the postal service for losing yet another important piece of mail (the third within the last year). I still half-expect the original batch to show up at some point – I find it hard to believe that something that size could get lost forever – but I cringe to think what condition it might be in if it does. ((The first item that was lost last year was a bill that finally showed up a month last with the top half completely missing.)) Chances are good, though, that it’s gone forever. Should it turn up, it will end up back in Jason’s hands for another lucky customer to snag.

A long ordeal, stressful to say the least, but completed successfully, despite the bumps in the road. I’m very pleased with the product, and I started in on Issue 1 last night. If you’re a sci-fi and a horror fan, I urge you head over to “Apex Digest”:http://apexdigest.com right now and put in your order for a subscription. The writing is high quality, the chapbooks are beautiful, and the magazine is a wonderful addition to your speculative fiction library. I’ve become a fast and loyal fan and customer of this particular publication.

Thanks to Jason for the wonderful opportunity to snag such good fiction so cheap, and to the entire Apex staff and writers for creating such a fantastic publication.

Now, wasn’t that just a whole lot of information you really didn’t care about?

More Technical Difficulties (of a Different Sort)

Over the weekend, I won some back-issues (and forthcoming issues) of “Apex Digest”:http://apexdigest.com on eBay. I was thrilled, partly because I’ll be able to get caught up on reading everything and partly because several of the issues have been autographed by various contributors to the magazine.

I noticed a problem today, though – it turns out that when I updated all my address information in eBay, that information didn’t populate over to the primary shipping address for some reason. I’m pretty sure I told it to do so and even made a of point verifying it; I’m paranoid about this sort of thing. The shipping address that was placed on the purchase order is my old one, now seven months defunct. Our forwarding address information with the post office has long since expired.

I’ve been in a low state of panic for the last couple of hours since I noticed. I sent a quick email off to Jason Sizmore, the editor of Apex and the seller of the auction, notifying him of the problem and hoping that I noticed it before he got around to shipping the order. If I missed then I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to need to do in order to make sure I receive my merchandise. So, here’s waiting and hoping (and trying to figure out what Plan B might be, in the event of worst case scenario).

Fingers crossed…