Shimmer #17 sees the return of Sunny Moraine and Lavie Tidhar makes his debut Shimmer appearance! Both writers give us challenging stories that may have you questioning reality. As you should!
Sunny Moraine, “Love in the Time of Vivisection”
It really started with me thinking about relationships – about mine and others’. Many of my stories deal with painful/broken relationships in some way (I swear, my own is really very happy), but what drove the imagery of this story was a meditation on honesty, about how it’s vitally important in keeping a relationship of any kind alive but can also be agonizing and even deeply destructive. Love can feel like a trap, like being forced into things you may not have otherwise done, or wanted to do. So I tried to capture some of that pain and dread with the most literal interpretation possible. I gave myself permission to go into a really dark place and see what I could bring back out.
It was also indirectly inspired by Kij Johnson’s “Mantis Wives”, which is one of my favorite short stories that I’ve read in the last few months.
Lavie Tidhar, “Fishing”
It’s set in Vientiane, in Laos, where I lived for two years. That Dam (the Black Stupa) is also where Joe, the detective, has his office in my novel, Osama. It all comes from day-to-day experiences, just filtered through a slightly weird lens.