Shimmer #16, author interview: A.C. Wise

A.C. pens “Tasting of the Sea” in Shimmer #16, a story that oozes with Shimmerability! Go on, get some on you.


Tell us how “Tasting of the Sea” came to be.
“Tasting of the Sea” is one of those odd stories where I thought I was sitting down to write one thing, and I ended up writing something else all together. The story changed again during the revision process, and once again became a completely different beast. So, I guess the answer is: the story made its way up from some deep, dark corner of my brain, despite my best efforts to write a different story entirely!

You co-edit the Journal of Unlikely Entomology. Why bugs?
Oh, there are so many ways to answer to this question! The short version is that is started as a joke, and morphed into something serious. For the longer version, you’ll have to find me at a con and ask in person. I do have to say I’ve gained a new appreciation for bugs since working on the Journal. I’d still prefer they stay out of my house and off my immediate personage, however.

What’s your favorite thing about Philadelphia?
Probably the people I’ve met here. I also have to say Philly is an incredible town for food. I think it gets over-looked a lot, being so close to New York City, but there are some really incredible restaurants here.

I know we both loved The Drowning Girl (Kiernan), but what other books have you read lately that you think should gain a wider audience?
The first book that comes to mind is Livia Llewellyn’s collection Engines of Desire: Tales of Love and Other Horrors. It’s absolutely brilliant! It’s not an easy read by any means, and it’s downright brutal at times, but it’s also gorgeous, and well worth it if you enjoy fiction that’s dark in the truest sense of the word. I also have to give a shout-out to Benjamin Parzybok’s Couch. I’d never heard of it until a friend gave me a copy, but it’s a wonderful, surreal, epic quest novel about…a couch. What’s not to love?

What is your favorite Bradbury story/novel?
I’m going to cheat a bit and say the related novels Death is a Lonely Business, A Graveyard for Lunatics, and Let’s All Kill Constance, taken together make up my favorite Bradbury story. But really, I love pretty much all his stuff.

What’s next for you?
I’m sort of, kind of working on a novel, but shhh, don’t tell me, or I might freak out! I’ve also got a handful of short stories in various states of completion simmering away. On the editing side of things, Issue #5 of the Journal of Unlikely Entomology, and our special one-off architecture themed issue are next on the horizon.

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