Issue #21, Editorial

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Sandro Castelli

Shimmer is old enough to drink.

What do you suppose a Shimmer cocktail would look like?

Two parts darkness to one part starlight and one part desolation, served with the shard of a blade that pierced the hide of a manticore while crossing the wastes of Io during spring thaw?

One jigger of bittersweet, three jiggers of sour, with a sprig of Plutonian thyme served over glacier chips from an expedition to Europa’s poles in 1871?

Three drops of paper crushed with one drop of a ghost’s breath in a sieve of bones, served upside down with a candied lemon rind (from the orchards of Orthosie) on the edge of a dream just beginning?

Our cover story is served by Seth Dickinson, over dry ice; it carries a hint of the desert heat in its depths, the grit of sand, the tang of blood. A cold and alien presence slides down your spine with every sip; you cannot yet define it, but it knows you. All tastes explode across your tongue with desperate regret, eternal need.

Vajra Chandrasekera makes his Shimmer  debut with a concoction to move your tongue in still new and unfamiliar ways, around the rim of a glass that looks like a descent into Hell. This landscape will surprise you with a burst of fire, a hint of snail–snail, surely not, but yes, oh yes, see the way all spirals inward before moving out again? Infinity.

A. C. Wise returns to Shimmer’s pages with a brew of the sea and all the beasts therein; the earlier snail has hastened your appreciation for the sunlit salt water that now kisses your lips. A coil of seaweed slides by, enfolding a gleaming pearl inside its slick darkness a moment before the tide pulls all to its breast.

Our selections for this round close with Erica Satifka, a blend that is one part frosted Forest, one part turmoil, and two parts body-flesh. These words slide into you, become you, become us, and carry you deep into Forest boughs, where you-in-us suck snow from stardust-spiced needles.

We have some wonderful things coming in the next few weeks and hope you will join us.

E. Catherine Tobler
Senior Editor


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E. Catherine Tobler’s fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and her first novel, Rings of Anubis, is now available. Follow her on Twitter @ECthetwit or her website, ecatherinetobler


EliseIssue #21, Editorial

Issue #20

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Shimmer #20, art by Sandro Castelli

Shimmer #20, art by Sandro Castelli

One of the coolest things about Shimmer is the variety of stories we see in our submissions. While we see a steady stream of the usual tropes (vampires, fairies, and mermaids, oh my), our attention is best caught by something that turns a standard trope on its ear, or something that’s completely out of left field.

Issue #20 is a great reflection of the beautifully unexpected things we discover in our submissions, and the surprising things we end up loving as editors and readers both. Shimmer leans toward stories that cover new ground, and these four do that. They also feature authors making their Shimmer debuts–I love when that happens.

Jenn Grunigen on “The Seaweed and the Wormhole”: When I think of “The Seaweed and the Wormhole” I think of two things: progressive metal, and consumption.

Eden Robins on “Ellie and Jim vs. Tony the Nose”: I have it on good authority that the afterlife is, indeed, an automat.

Sam J. Miller on “Allosaurus Burgers”: dinosaurs make every dramatic fact about the human condition more dramatic.

Laura J. Pearlman on “Why I Hate Zombie Unicorns”: A zombie Tooth Fairy would be the most devastating, and the creepiest. Actually, the Tooth Fairy is pretty creepy even without being a zombie. She buys children’s body parts!

…twenty issues of Shimmer. Good gracious, that’s something, isn’t it? I hope you’ll be with us for twenty more!


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EliseIssue #20

Shimmer #19: Flashy Valise

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Shimmer 19

Shimmer #19

I am notorious in some circles for flash fiction being a super hard sell with me. This is chiefly because most flash seems to exist to set up a pun, or doesn’t actually do anything with all the awesome bits it contains. I find it uncommon for flash to tell a whole story.

Rachael Acks proves that it’s possible to a) write flash that contains awesome things, b) write flash that contains a whole and shimmery story, and c) sell me flash.

She sets the bar pretty dang high, this one. I hope you’ll enjoy “List of Items in Leather Valise Found on Welby Crescent” as much as we do. Check her interview too, where we talk about rocks. Rachael rocks–go read!


EliseShimmer #19: Flashy Valise

Shimmer #19, “Jane”

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Margaret Dunlap

Margaret Dunlap

How awesome is Margaret Dunlap? Pretty darn!

She was a writer and co-executive producer on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which won a motherfucking Emmy, and also co-created Welcome to Sanditon, Pemberley Digital’s follow-up project.

Somehow, “Jane” is Margaret’s first published short fiction, and we are so very pleased to share it with you in Shimmer #19! You can also learn more about Margaret and “Jane” in our interview. Maybe next time, I’ll ask her why her twitter handle includes “spy.” Deep down, she’s gotta be James Bond…right? Right!


“Bennet…Lizzie Bennet…”


Jane, by Margaret Dunlap
Interview with Margaret Dunlap
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EliseShimmer #19, “Jane”

Issue #19, Methods of Divination

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Shimmer 19

Shimmer #19

I first encountered Tara Isabella Burton’s writing through her non-fiction, one of her travel pieces, so was excited to see her name begin to turn up regularly in Shimmer‘s submissions.

She is brand new to Shimmer‘s pages and we’re delighted to have her. Her story in Issue #19, “Methods of Divination,” is haunting and if it leaves you with a vague sense of unease at the end, it’s only proper. It’s a Shimmer story, after all.

Be sure to explore Tara’s interview, and if you haven’t dived into our cover story…well, you have such wonders to discover.

EliseIssue #19, Methods of Divination

Shimmer #19: The Earth and Everything Under

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Welcome to the first digital issue of Shimmer!We are delighted to begin sharing the stories from Issue #19 with you.

Shimmer 19

Shimmer #19

We begin Issue #19 with our cover story:

It can’t possibly be a secret that K.M. Ferebee is one of our favorite authors. Her latest Shimmer story, “The Earth and Everything Under,” is in Issue #19,  but she’s been in Shimmer twice before. Issue #13 contains her well-reviewed tale “Bullet Oracle Instinct,” and “The Bird Country,” recommended by Locus, appeared in Issue #15.

Join us every other Tuesday for something Shimmery — and if you can’t wait that long, acquire the entire issue immediately!

Buy Shimmer #19!
EliseShimmer #19: The Earth and Everything Under

Shimmer #19 Arrives

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Shimmer 19

Shimmer #19


Have you heard the news? Shimmer has gone digital and Issue #19 is officially here!

We have so many lovely things to share with you in this issue, beginning with our cover. The artwork by Sandro Castelli is inspired by “The Earth and Everything Under,” by K.M. Ferebee. Ferebee has appeared in Shimmer before, with “Bullet Oracle Instinct” (Issue #13) and “The Bird Country” (Issue #15). We think she’s made of awesome, and are sure you will too!

We are also thrilled to welcome Robert Lee as our new Creative Director. He has brilliantly captured the spirit of Shimmer in his new design for us, and we can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeves!

In #19, we also welcome three new-to-Shimmer authors: Tara Isabella Burton, Margaret Dunlap, and Rachael Acks. If you haven’t already been exposed to their work, we believe their stories here will make for an excellent introduction.

Where can I get this wonderful thing, you are no doubt wondering! Issue #19 can be found in PDF, ePub, and mobi formats, all DRM-free.

You can grab Shimmer on this very site, Weightless, and of course Amazon. And for the first time, you can grab a Shimmer subscription from Weightless, too! When you subscribe to Shimmer, it’s like getting an issue free!

Note to subscribers: You should have received Issue #19 via email. If you haven’t gotten it yet, please take a moment to drop us a note via the contact form, and we will hook you up!

You can add #19 to your Goodreads lists, too!
EliseShimmer #19 Arrives

Shimmer #19, a sneak peek

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Shimmer #19 is fast approaching, but we could not wait to give you a peek at the gorgeous cover. The artwork for “The Earth & Everything Under” by K.M. Ferebee is by our art director, Sandro Castelli, with design by Robert N. Lee. We are positively certain you will join us on May 1st, to discover our first digital issue in its entirety!

Shimmer #19

Shimmer #19

EliseShimmer #19, a sneak peek

Shimmer #18, In Review

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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

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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!


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.


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