Thursday, December 16, 2010

Apex Day 2010.

Saturday, December the 11th was Apex Day.

For those of you who don't know, Apex is a Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Publisher, based out of Kentucky, and owned by the awesome Jason Sizemore. Some of Apex's authors include: Alethea Kontis, Lavie Tidhar, Fran Friel, Maurice Broaddus, Jerry Gordon, R, Thomas Riley, Wrath James White, and Gary A. Braunbeck. They also produce Apex Magazine, (Issue 19 for December, 2010 just came out).

To Each Their Darkness
December the 11th was also the release date for Gary A. Braunbeck's non-fiction book: To Each Their Darkness, a reworking of an earlier account on writing that had been published several years ago, called Fear in a Handful of Dust: Horror as a Way of Life. Braunbeck has stated many times in the past, and in the introduction of To Each Their Darkness, that at the time of writing Fear in a Handful of Dust, he hadn't lived enough in order to pull off the things that he wanted to convey. And that's why To Each Their Darkness was written.

Although I plan on doing a full review for To Each Their Darkness for the blog sometime in the future, the best way I can explain To Each Their Darkness, is this: take Stephen King's On Writing and amplify it by 12.

Yeah, it's that good...

Saturday was an early day for me, having to get up and meet the rest of the IHW (Indiana Horror Writers) so that we could carpool to Lexington, Kentucky. On the way down, I inquired as to where Apex Day was going to be held, to which I was told: Joseph Beth Booksellers. I had never heard of the bookstore, but was excited to find out that it was a two story bookstore, filled to the roof with books of all kinds. As soon as I walked into the store, I was blown away. The Architecture of the place was absolutely gorgeous!
They even had an escalator!

Overall, my first impression of Joseph Beth Books was one of awe. However, on closer inspection of their books, I found just about every Lansdale book that I didn't want to have to order from my local B&N (that means a lot). But, because of finances, I had to talk myself out of picking them up, much to my chagrin. And when I looked lost and (I'll admit it, still awestruck with the place) confused, a nice sales-boy stopped to help me find my place before the IHW would have to send a search party to find me.

Chatting with the guy (unfortunately, his name escapes me as of the moment, I'm sorry) I was surprised to find that he knew, and had read almost as many horror books as me, including Jack Ketchum, Richard Laymon, Brian Keene, John Skip, Joe Hill, and even, yes, you guessed it... Joe R. Lansdale!

I digress... Back to Apex Day.

Gary reading from To Each Their Darkness, Apex Day 2010.
 Coming in late, we (the IHW) found some seats and sunk into them to absorb the second and third readings that Gary was giving from To Each Their Darkness. Afterwards there were giveaways... lots and lots of giveaways. In fact, everyone who came in before and during the reading ended up landing a book. However, only the first ten or so actually landed a book either by, or with Gary in it. Those who received a Braunbeck prize, also received a burnt copy of a short film called One of Those Faces, which was based on Gary's short story "Rami Temporalis." I happened to walk away with a copy of Future Net (look for a future review of this book as well), and a copy of One of Those Faces.

Future Net and a DVD copy of One of Those Faces
After Gary's reading it was time to buy books and get things signed, and time to just chill out and talk with people. Outside of the Apex authors in attendance, there were several other authors there as well, including: Michael West, RJ Sullivan, Stephen Zimmer, Michele Lee, Debbie Kuhn, Lucy A. Snyder, and Nicole Cushing.

After my explorations of the store, I returned to find that I had more books than what I had originally intended to pick up, which shouldn't have been a surprise, considering it happens to me every time. There were several titles I had been looking for, that I knew would be my only chance to pick up for a while, most notably Braunbeck's In the Midnight Museum (Tansmaniac Publications), and Lucy A. Snyder's Sparks and Shadows (HW Press).

From left to right: The Exodus Gate, To Each Their Darkness,
Sparks and Shadows, and In the Midnight Museum.
 I also managed to pick up To Each Their Darkness by Gary, and the first book in Stephen Zimmer's Epic Urban Fantasy series: The Exodus Gate (Seventh Star Press). I also received a bunch of promotional items for The Exodus Gate, including a couple of cover flats and two bookmarks, thanks to Stephen who was kind enough to give them to me.

December 11th, 2010 is one of those days I won't soon forget. Call it an early Christmas... Okay, one of many. Look for reviews for these titles to pop up within the coming months. And if you can't wait for the reviews, might I suggest going out and picking up a copy of one, or all of these titles for yourself, or maybe add them to your Christmas List... it's never too late for Santa!



  1. Rodney:

    Thank you so very much for your kind words about TO EACH THEIR DARKNESS. This made my day.

    -- Gary

  2. It was great to meet you at Apex day! And thanks for putting the pic of THE EXODUS GATE in your blog. Really hope you enjoy it! Apex Day was a lot of fun! And the mystery worker at Joseph-Beth sounds like it might have been Andrew Moser. he's an awesome guy and incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to speculative fiction.

  3. I have always wanted to visit this bookstore. Looks amazing. Perhaps one of these days.

    Hey, I found this post from your tag "Indiana Horror Writers." I am one of those, sorta kinda.

    Nice to meet you!