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
|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, http://www.ecatherine.com.|