Shimmer #21: The Drinking Game, Part 2

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Shimmer-21-CoverIn my editorial for issue #21, I played around with the notion of drinks for the stories, being that Shimmer was twenty-one and legal to drink. And then I thought “hey, drinks for stories.” Thus, we present to you drinks for each of the stories in Shimmer #21!

Our drinking game concludes with drinks from Andrew Romine, and Brooke Bolander!


Drink of the Fisherman’s Wife (for “Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife”)
by Andrew Penn Romine

1.5 oz Mezcal
.5 oz Campari
.5 oz Punt e Mes
careful pinch of sea salt
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Stir all ingredients over ice and strain into a rocks glass. Express swath of orange peel over drink to release the oils, then drop peel into glass for garnish.

A.C. Wise’s wonderfully evocative “The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife” conjured up intense imagery of the salty sea, the tang of smoke, and the passions of the blood. I like strong flavors, and I wanted to create a drink that honored these three visceral components of Wise’s story.

I chose mezcal for its smooth, resinous smokiness, and also because it pairs well with citrus. Campari is a favorite too, a strong, bitter citrus-flavored liqueur that adds bite to any drink. In this case, it also helps to give the cocktail a ruddy cast. Punt e Mes is a strongly flavored vermouth that balances the bitter components with a subtle sweetness.

Angostura bitters are a pretty standard way to round out any drink, but here I also added a small pinch of sea-salt to give an extra bite to the finish. A swath of orange peel is the perfect garnish, and the citrus helps brighten and clarify both the aroma and flavor.

I’d like to think both wife and husband would pass the interminable hours of longing between their waking dreams imbibing a few of these!




The Us-In-You (for “We Take the Long View”)
by Brooke Bolander

Between 1/2 and 3/4ths of an oz Laphroaig
1/2 oz Four Roses Single Batch Bourbon
1/2 oz Lapsang simple syrup  (a good recipe can be located here)
1/4 oz Root liqueur

Combine ingredients with ice in shaker. Shake for 10 seconds or until your hands are as cold as snow-covered branches. Strain over more ice, finish with a sprig of rosemary. Note the immediate burst of earth and peat from the scotch, the more subtle maple-sap flavour of the bourbon, and the distant pine smoke of the Lapsang. The sharp wintergreen sweetness of the Root liqueur rounds out the flavour profile. Drink one and you’ll feel the Forest’s love; two and you may experience some mild telepathy. Enjoy!

If you haven’t read Shimmer #21, get a copy and a drink and settle in!
Our bartenders:

Andrew Penn Romine lives in Los Angeles where he works in the visual effects and animation industry. A graduate of the 2010 Clarion West workshop, his fiction appears online at Lightspeed Magazine, Paizo and Crossed Genres as well as in the anthologies FungiWhat Fates Impose, By Faerie Light, Coins of Chaos, and Help Fund My Robot Army. You can find his full list of publications at the Bibliography link. He’s also contributed articles to Lightspeed/Fantasy Magazine and blogs at Inkpunks. He also blogs about cocktails as The Booze Nerd. You can also follow his day-to-day adventures on Twitter: @inkgorilla.

Brooke Bolander is a human in an ill-fitting person suit pretending to be a writer. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Nightmare, and many other fine publications. When not concocting potions for Shimmer, she enjoys kittens, long walks on the beach, and updating her website, You can reach her on Twitter at @BBolander, if so inclined.

E. Catherine Tobler likes piña coladas and getting caught in the rain, she’s not much into health food, but is into champagne.

EliseShimmer #21: The Drinking Game, Part 2

Shimmer #21: The Drinking Game

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In my editorial for issue #21, I played around with the notion of drinks for the stories, being that Shimmer was twenty-one and legal to drink. And then I thought “hey, drinks for stories.” Thus, we present to you drinks for each of the stories in Shimmer #21!

We begin with drinks for “Anna Saves Them All” and “Dharmas,” concocted by Molly Tanzer and Jessica Leonard.


Venom (for “Anna Saves Them All”)
by Molly Tanzer

Venom, by Molly Tanzer

Venom, by Molly Tanzer

Complex and seductive, bitter and floral, cloudy as a moral quandary, medicinal and yet pleasantly sweet, Venom is the pale mint green of louched Absinthe… but with so much more depth of flavor lurking beneath the surface.

Arak is a Levantine spirit, clear and anise flavored, similar to ouzo. It turns cloudy when mixed with water, so make sure to use lots of ice to produce the cloudy, milky quality that results from this mixture.

1 3/4 oz arak (or rakı, or ouzo–just NOT arrak, which is entirely different!)
3/4 oz Chartreuse
1/4 of a juicy lime
Dash orange bitters
Dash orange flower water

Shake everything together with lots of ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, add a long, serpentine twist of lime. Drink quickly, while cold.


The Bloody Hell (for “Dharmas”)
by Jessica Leonard

For this story, I feel like only a drink with some real heat will do.  For this, I give you The Bloody Hell.  There are different versions of the drink, most involve a variation on the Bloody Mary, but my favorite recipe is a little different.  This Bloody Hell gets its color from blood oranges.  When not in season they can be hard to find, but you can always juice and freeze them for the off-season.  The drink features bourbon and jalapeños for extra kick and spice. And if you garnish the glass with a jalapeño slice, hmm, doesn’t that remind of a snail shell?  For the beer I say add your favorite, but I’d stay away from certain seasonal flavors as they will overpower your cocktail.  A good bourbon barrel beer will work nicely.

2 oz blood orange juice
1 ½ oz bourbon
1 tbs agave
1 jalapeno, sliced
2 oz beer

In a shaker filled with ice add the blood orange juice, bourbon, agave, and jalapeno sliced. Shake well, pour through a strainer into a highball glass with ice.

Add beer, stir.

Join us next week for two more Shimmery cocktails, and if you haven’t already, grab your own copy of Shimmer #21!
Our Bartenders:

Molly Tanzer is the Sydney J. Bounds and Wonderland Book Award-nominated author of A Pretty Mouth (Lazy Fascist, 2012), Rumbullion, and Other Liminal Libations (Egaeus, 2013), the forthcoming Vermilion (Word Horde, 2015), and a second novel that will be out in 2015 — but she can’t say anything further about that yet, on pain of death. Her short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in, among many other places, The Book of Cthulhu (I and II), Strange Aeons, and The Book of the Dead. She lives in Boulder, CO with her husband and a very bad cat. When not writing, she enjoys mixing cocktails, experimenting with Korean cooking, and (as of recently) training for triathlons. She tweets @molly_the_tanz, and blogs — infrequently — at

Jessica Leonard is the author of stories about people and the things they do.  She also co-hosts the Books and Booze podcast, a weekly show featuring author interviews, good drinks, and great books. You can find Jessica’s writing at The Menacing Hedge, and Counterexample Poetics , as well as on Amazon. Books and Booze just wrapped up their 110th episode!  You can find all the past episodes at  You can also join the discussion on Facebook!  Join the group for updates on new episodes, guests, giveaways, promotions, and you opportunity to submit questions for your favorite authors.

E. Catherine Tobler likes piña coladas and getting caught in the rain, she’s not much into health food, but is into champagne.

EliseShimmer #21: The Drinking Game

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


Buy Shimmer #21! | Subscribe to Shimmer
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!


Issue #20 | Subscribe to Shimmer!
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