Shimmer #18, In Review

EliseIssue 18, ReviewsLeave a Comment

Shimmer 18, cover art by Kurt Huggins

Shimmer 18, cover art by Kurt Huggins

Shimmer #18 hit the streets like a boss in February, and here are three reviews as to its gorgeousness!

SF Revu on Shimmer #18, “Shimmer Number 18, again I say, one of my favorite small press magazines. This issue is guest edited by Ann VanderMeer and she does a fine job with a very mixed lot of stories.”

Casual Debris, “There is less fantasy in a good sense, and instead a healthy combination of fantasy, science fiction and psychological horror.”

Lois Tilton at Locus Magazine, “The best is the Dustin Monk.”

We hope you loved Shimmer #18, and that you will join us for Shimmer #19 on May 1st, when we go absolutely and positively digital!

EliseShimmer #18, In Review

Shimmer: The Next Step

BethFeatured, News2 Comments

Welcome to the new Shimmer!

We’ve completely redesigned the site — and our publishing model. We’re going digital — all our fiction will be free to read online, with the support of our subscribers. This means a steady supply of Shimmery stories for our readers, and a much wider readership for our authors. It’s the next step in Shimmer‘s evolution, and we’re thrilled to see where this new adventure will lead us.

Fresh Fiction, Faster

We’ll release a new 4-issue story on the first of every other month — this year, that means May, July, September, and November. We’ll put a fresh story up on our web site every two weeks, so you can read each story for free. Don’t want to wait? No problem; you can buy each issue in convenient DRM-free digital formats, or subscribe and have each issue delivered to you. Subscribe today, and support Shimmer‘s brand of elegant and distinctive fiction.

Annual Print Anthology

But print is awesome, you say? We agree; we proudly produced print editions since our first issue. We still think it’s a great format, so we’ll release an annual print anthology collecting all of that year’s stories. The anthology will also be available in electronic formats. Why, yes, it does make a splendid holiday present — it will be available in early December, just in time for holiday shopping.

Issue 19, Table of Contents

Here’s what you have to look forward to:

The Earth & Everything Under, by K.M. Ferebee. Available May 6.

Peter had been in the ground for six months when the birds began pushing up out of the earth.

Methods of Divination, by Tara Isabella Burton. Available May 20.

The universe breaks so quietly…

Jane, by Margaret Dunlap.  Available June 3.

You will not believe the paperwork you have to fill out when you save someone’s life, and then your ungrateful patient turns around and bites you.

List of Items Found in Valise on Welby Crescent, by Rachael Acks. Available June 17.

1 ticket stub for Dr. Birrenbaum’s Stupendous Sideshow, with subtitle: Feel the Raw Power of the Ferocious Tiger Boy! Hear the Heartbreaking Song of the Bird Woman! Dream Darkly as You Gaze Upon the Siren!

Celebration!

To celebrate, we’re giving away 3 subscriptions. This’ll get you a 6-issue subscription, delivered right to your inbox. Just leave a comment below, and you’ll be entered in a drawing.

Gratitude

Thanks to all the readers who have supported us over the years. We’re looking forward to bringing our stories to new readers, too. And huge thanks to Robert N. Lee for his work on our web site redesign, to the Shimmer authors who are gracefully weathering the transition with us, and to all the Shimmer staffers who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this happen, especially E. Catherine Tobler and Sean Markey.

BethShimmer: The Next Step

Shimmer 19

EliseFeatured, Why We Rock!1 Comment

Shimmer's New Look!

*glitter* MEOWtastic! *glitter*

As it has always done, Shimmer Magazine strives to conquer new ground in the SFF community.

As Bright and Fierce People of Indeterminate Ages, we are gravely concerned with the continued graying of our glorious genre. Why stand on these increasingly shaky and crumbling foundations when we can soar through bright and/or dark new skies only somewhat possibly potentially muddied by the deepening haze and stench of global warming myths?

We envision a world where kittens and rockets live side by side! We envision a future where fluffy balls of fluff are shot into the darkest depths of space to spread peace, love, and purrs to everyone they meet! As 2014 goes forward, Shimmer Magazine remains staunchly committed to ensuring there will always be rainbows, glitter, and kittens.

Issue #19 – Table of Contents:

Dogs Live in Vain, Catwainer Smith

Fahrenheit OMG Sunbeamzzzzz, Rae Strawberries

The Cat Who Was Purred In, James Upatree, Jr.

The Left Hand Of Petting My Tummy, Ursula Le Kitten Heels

I Eated Algernon, Daniel Macavity

The Littery, Shirley Youjest

Johnathan Strange and Mr. Whiskers, Susanna Crookshanks

Good Omeows, Neil Greebo and Terry Pixel

The Nine Billion Names of Cats, Art “Holy Cats” Clarke

The Man Who Sold the Cat a Moon Made of Cheese, R. Fineline

 

The future’s so bright pink and yellow and glitter, we gotta wear shades! Download the PDF of issue #19 and roll around in it!

In upcoming issues, you can look forward to: A Girl and her Cat, The Word for World is Yarn, I Have No Kibble and Must Scream, The Cats Men Don’t See, and the novella-length We Can Shred It For You Wholesale, and The Catnip Chronicles.

 

PEACE, LOVE, AND PURRS

EliseShimmer 19

Year’s Best Weird, Vol. 1

EliseFeatured, Issue 17, Why We Rock!Leave a Comment

Issue 17 Cover by Sandro Castelli

Issue 17

I am super delighted to say that “Like Feather, Like Bone” by Kristi DeMeester will appear in Year’s Best Weird Volume 1, edited by Laird Barron. To check out the story with its original artwork, be sure to pick up Shimmer #17 in paper or digital formats.

You can find the full table of contents here, which includes three other Shimmery authors, if not for their Shimmery works: Damien Angelica Walters, A.C. Wise, and Karen Tidbeck.

Congrats to all authors — the collection looks to be amazing.

EliseYear’s Best Weird, Vol. 1

Shimmer 18 – Jeff VanderMeer

EliseAuthor Interviews, Featured, Issue 18Leave a Comment

jeffvandermeer-smallJeff VanderMeer’s story in Shimmer #18 ties into the same universe from which his new novels spring! It’s beginning to look a lot like fungi…

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Tell us how “Fragments from the Notes of a Dead Mycologist” came about.

I was at San Luis park, took photos of lots of fungi then started to build a story around them. There are a couple of elements that echo little bits of ANNIHILATION although the stories are not connected.

Wonderbook recently published; tell us how this amazing book came to be.

THE STEAMPUNK BIBLE for Abrams Image was very successful. They had wanted to do a creative writing book for a while. When I pitched the project based on the Shared Worlds teen  writing camp, they asked if I would consider doing a general writing book instead.

I jumped at the opportunity because I knew it would be full color coffee table book. And they were willing to give me complete creative control over text , images and layout. The ability to realize the vision fully meant it could be a very layered book that you can dip into or read straight through. I am very happy with the reception of it.

What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

THE BOOK OF MIRACLES from Taschen books.

What’s in your iTunes/Spotify/8-track lately?

We Are Wolves. The latest Arcade Fire. I have also done a lot of listening to Three Mile Pilot and Lloyd Coles last two albums.

What’s your favorite Ray Bradbury book/story?

As a kid I remember SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES. Can’t really think of a single story that stands out as there are so many good ones.

EliseShimmer 18 – Jeff VanderMeer

Rachel Marston, Shimmer #18

EliseAuthor Interviews, Issue 18Leave a Comment

rachelRachel Marston blows things up in Shimmer #18 with “The Birth of the Atomic Age.”

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Tell us how “The Birth of the Atomic Age” came about.

I was in a folklore narratives class and we were discussing urban legends and folktales.  I was living in Salt Lake City, where the conversations about Downwinders, those affected by fallout from nuclear testing in Nevada, is pretty prevalent. I realized that, though I was from Las Vegas, Nevada, I knew very little about the Test Site and the history of testing. I was also intrigued by the way comic books, particularly superhero stories, and B-movies had taken up the questions of radiation exposure. I began researching more about nuclear testing and reading eyewitness accounts. There were stories of people, particularly in Southern Utah, who had gone out to watch the tests.

My maternal grandfather had a winter wheat farm in Alton, Utah. He’d drive down every summer from Reno, Nevada to harvest the wheat. I decided to ask him if he’d ever seen any of the tests. When he told me he had, I pressed him for a little more information and he described the watching of the tests in such a nonchalant way, almost as if describing going on a picnic with your family. The story was born in many ways from that moment.

Tell us something about Minnesota. If we came to visit, where might you take us?

That is a hard question to answer in some ways since Minnesota is still so new to me. You would fly into Minneapolis, so I would definitely take you to the Mill Ruins Park on the Mississippi. Parts of former mills on the Mississippi have been excavated and revealed and another former mill has been turned into a museum discussing the history of milling in Minnesota.

Then we’d go to a deli, Rye, for delicious poutine (fries with cheese curds and gravy – trust me, it is delicious!). We would then drive about an hour and half northwest to St. Cloud, where I currently live, and then over to Collegeville to explore the arboretum and lakes on the campus where I teach. There are lakes everywhere in Minnesota (really!) and to be surrounded by so much water, especially living in the high desert my whole life, is pretty remarkable.

What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

Kathryn Davis’s Duplex, a novel out from Graywolf Press. Davis deftly balances formal experimentation and story in an intriguing way. The book is also full of magic and other strangenesses, but constructed so that these things, while remarked upon in the book, are also accepted by the reader as very much part of the world.

What is currently in your cd player/iTunes/Spotify/8 Track?

I’ve been listening to a lot of Nick Drake lately, as well as The Organ.

Check out Rachel’s story in Shimmer #18, now available!

EliseRachel Marston, Shimmer #18

Shimmer 18 – Rachel Marston

EliseAuthor Interviews, Issue 18Leave a Comment

rachelRachel Marston blows things up in Shimmer #18 with “The Birth of the Atomic Age.”

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Tell us how “The Birth of the Atomic Age” came about.

I was in a folklore narratives class and we were discussing urban legends and folktales.  I was living in Salt Lake City, where the conversations about Downwinders, those affected by fallout from nuclear testing in Nevada, is pretty prevalent. I realized that, though I was from Las Vegas, Nevada, I knew very little about the Test Site and the history of testing. I was also intrigued by the way comic books, particularly superhero stories, and B-movies had taken up the questions of radiation exposure. I began researching more about nuclear testing and reading eyewitness accounts. There were stories of people, particularly in Southern Utah, who had gone out to watch the tests.

My maternal grandfather had a winter wheat farm in Alton, Utah. He’d drive down every summer from Reno, Nevada to harvest the wheat. I decided to ask him if he’d ever seen any of the tests. When he told me he had, I pressed him for a little more information and he described the watching of the tests in such a nonchalant way, almost as if describing going on a picnic with your family. The story was born in many ways from that moment.

Tell us something about Minnesota. If we came to visit, where might you take us?

That is a hard question to answer in some ways since Minnesota is still so new to me. You would fly into Minneapolis, so I would definitely take you to the Mill Ruins Park on the Mississippi. Parts of former mills on the Mississippi have been excavated and revealed and another former mill has been turned into a museum discussing the history of milling in Minnesota.

Then we’d go to a deli, Rye, for delicious poutine (fries with cheese curds and gravy – trust me, it is delicious!). We would then drive about an hour and half northwest to St. Cloud, where I currently live, and then over to Collegeville to explore the arboretum and lakes on the campus where I teach. There are lakes everywhere in Minnesota (really!) and to be surrounded by so much water, especially living in the high desert my whole life, is pretty remarkable.

What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

Kathryn Davis’s Duplex, a novel out from Graywolf Press. Davis deftly balances formal experimentation and story in an intriguing way. The book is also full of magic and other strangenesses, but constructed so that these things, while remarked upon in the book, are also accepted by the reader as very much part of the world.

What is currently in your cd player/iTunes/Spotify/8 Track?

I’ve been listening to a lot of Nick Drake lately, as well as The Organ.

Check out Rachel’s story in Shimmer #18, now available!

EliseShimmer 18 – Rachel Marston

Shimmer 18 – Ben Godby

EliseAuthor Interviews, Issue 18Leave a Comment

Ben Godby’s Shimmer #18  story isbengodby ”Anuta Fragment’s Private Eyes,” and try typing that three times fast! Here, Ben makes  a shameful display of being a speculative fiction writer — his own words, dear reader.

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Tell us how ” Anuta Fragment’s Private Eyes” came about.

I thought of the name first. I imagined this awesome female wrestler totally crushing people — “fragmenting” them, if you will. Then I pulled in an evil corporation, a few references to a medieval philosopher, lost the wrestling arc, and the rest is history.


If you could take us one place in Ottawa, where would you take us?

The Rideau Falls. They’re totally majestic, and lend themselves to a dreamscape of aquatic ogres living in their shadow, ready to snatch up tour boat leftovers.


What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

Everything by Joe Abercrombie. I find most medieval fantasy to be very cheesy (even when I enjoy it), but Abercrombie defuses the absurdity that mars a lot of epic and heroic fantasy by making a lot of extremely hilarious jokes. I literally read Joe Abercrombie for the LOLs.


What’s in your iTunes/Spotify/8-track lately?

The “Opus Eponymous” and “Infestissumam” albums by the Swedish band Ghost. Imagine if the Pope worshiped Satan and joined a rock band; that’s Ghost!


What’s your favorite Ray Bradbury book/story?

To be honest, I’ve only read “The Martian Chronicles.” And it was really good. But, yes, I fully realize I am making a shameful display of being a speculative fiction writer.

EliseShimmer 18 – Ben Godby

Shimmer 18 – Christine Schirr

EliseAuthor Interviews, Issue 18Leave a Comment

 

christineshirrChristine Schirr’s delightful story proved a formatting challenge, with layers of story unfolding in footnotes and letters.

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Tell us how “The Story of Anna Walden” came about.

I was toying with a story about a child bargaining with fate for months before I left on an extended trip to China, but the tale just would not “flow.” Then the night before I departed, unable to sleep with excitement, I turned my attention back to the story. Yes, the story was about Anna, but what if she had a psychologist? Then, what if the story was told by a third narrator? What if the narrator was bombastic and overly dramatic? I kept playing with it until dawn and then abandoned it for ten months until I returned to America. When I got back, I was really startled by what I’d written!

You are an artist and a writer; does one pursuit feed the other?

I would love to say there’s synergy between my writing and art, however it’s exactly the opposite — they’re like two bickering boyfriends vying for my attention in obnoxious ways. Sometimes I just have to ignore them both.

What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

I read a lot of non-fiction these days and lately my attention has turned to the crazy workings of the brain. If you ever are in need of a good scary story when a copy of Shimmer isn’t handy, check the psychology aisle.  I’ve loved all of V.S. Ramachandran’s books, but his latest, The Tell-Tale Brain is a masterpiece.

What’s in your iTunes/Spotify/8-track lately?

I’ve put together a Spotify playlist about working hard, making money, and achieving goals. There are some joke songs thrown in, but man, what a great way to self-motivate. “Work” by Iggy Azalea, “F–k Sleep” by Kid Ink, and “T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)” by Will.i.am — complete with Mick Jagger cameo — are my favorites.

What’s your favorite Ray Bradbury book/story?

As a child, it was rare for our family to go into a real bookstore (for fear of going broke). So when I was 13, it was a real treat to go to Borders and pick out a brand-new book that I didn’t have to return within two weeks. I think I must have taken more than a half-hour to select one, going through every aisle of the fiction section. I chose I Sing the Body Electric & Other Stories by Ray Bradbury, largely for the alluring golden sarcophagus on the cover.  Eventually that book fell apart from hard use.  I loved every story, but the titular work left the most enduring impression.

EliseShimmer 18 – Christine Schirr

Shimmer 18 – Ramsey Shehadeh

EliseAuthor Interviews, Issue 18Leave a Comment

Shimmer 18 author ramseyRamsey Shehadeh tells me this is his first interview. How is that possible?!

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Tell us how “Psychopomp” came about.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had it in my head to write a story about a guy whose job it is to ferry people between life and the afterlife. This isn’t quite that story, but it’s close.

I’m not entirely sure why this stuff interests me so much, except that I grew up sort of half-immersed in faith, and the notion of an afterlife plays to a lot of my obsessions: the troubling contradictions of a benign god who allows hell to exist, the magical things that happen at the borders between places, the enduring danger of absolutes.

But I didn’t really start “Psychopomp” with an agenda in mind. I’ve tried that before, writing to plan, and it always leads to sickly stories that eventually just sort of keel over. This one started with the first image, a demon in an alleyway holding a soul under a flickering fluorescent light, and went from there.

Apple Maps vs. Google Maps? Dungeons vs. Dragons?

Google Maps, because I enjoy arriving at my destination. Apple Maps does get you very prettily lost, though.

Dungeons and Dragons, of course. You can take the dragon out of the dungeon, but you can’t etc.

What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

Lately it’s The Circle, by Dave Eggers. I distrust how much I love this book, because it plays perfectly to all my paranoid fantasies about ubiquitous internet companies inching their way into every aspect of our lives, and then quietly taking over the world. But I think it really is just a fantastic novel.

The best I’ve read in the last couple of years is Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel. My profound ignorance of history really paid dividends with this one, because almost everything that happens in it was a complete surprise to me. Mantel is a ridiculously talented writer, and her Thomas Cromwell is the most fully-realized character I’ve met in a while.

Another book I absolutely adore is Jeff VanderMeer’s Shriek: An Afterword. It’s a kind of a dual narrative, two people telling the same story at the same time, each piggybacking on and extending the other’s view of their shared history. It’s so absorbing and scary and well-written that you barely notice what an amazing technical feat it is.

But my favorite of all is probably Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro. I’ve never read anything that’s drawn so much beauty out of so much tragedy. The novel’s final image still haunts me.

What is currently in your cd player/iTunes/Spotify/8 Track?

Frightened Rabbit, Jonathan Coulton, and Vampire Weekend are my mainstays lately. The Pixies, They Might Be Giants and Springsteen always have a spot on my playlist.

I’m also listening to a lot of terrible 80s music. There was good music floating around in the 80s, but I grew up listening to the crappy stuff, so that’s what I listen to still, helplessly.

What’s your favorite Ray Bradbury book/story?

“The Veldt.” It really holds up. The notion of our technology eating us is even more relevant now than it was in the 50s.

EliseShimmer 18 – Ramsey Shehadeh