Category Archives: News

2017 Award Eligibility Doings

Greetings, gentle reader.

It’s Hugo Award season, so we’re happy to present you with a list of everything Shimmer published in 2017. Shimmer only publishes short stories–we do not traffic in the tastiness of novelettes or novellas.

Authors to consider for Campbell Award nomination are: Lucia Iglesias, L.M. Davenport, and Emily Lundgren. Shimmer is eligible as a Semiprozine. Cover artist Sandro Castelli is eligible as Fan (?!?) Artist, and our editor E. Catherine Tobler is eligible as Editor (Short Form).

January 2017, Shimmer #35
Hic Sunt Leones, by L.M. Davenport
Shadow Man, Sack Man, Half Dark, Half Light, by Malon Edwards
Trees Struck by Lightning Burning From the Inside Out, by Emily Lundgren
Your Mama’s Adventures in Parenting, by Mary Robinette Kowal

March 2017, Shimmer #36
Birds On An Island, by Charlie Bookout
The Cold, Lonely Waters, by Aimee Ogden
Extinctions, by Lina Rather
And in That Sheltered Sea, a Colossus, by Michael Matheson

May 2017, Shimmer #37
Fallow, by Ashley Blooms
Feathers and Void, by Charles Payseur
We Lilies of the Valley, by Sonja Natasha
Dandelion, by John Shade

July 2017, Shimmer #38
Salamander Six-Guns, by Martin Cahill
Itself at the Heart of Things, by Andrea Corbin
Maps of Infinity, by Heather Morris
The Moon, the Sun, and the Truth, by Victoria Sandbrook

September 2017, Shimmer #39
The Creeping Influences, by Sonya Taaffe
En la Casa de Fantasmas, by Brian Holguin
Fixer, Worker, Singer, by Natalia Theodoridou
Hare’s Breath, by Maria Haskins

November 2017, Shimmer #40
Boneset. by Lucia Iglesias
The Atomic Hallows and the Body of Science, by Octavia Cade
Raise-the-Dead Cobbler, by Andrea Corbin
The Weight of Sentience, by Naru Dames Sundar

We thank you for your consideration, and hope you love these stories as much as we do.

Psyched For the Sequel

Last year around this time, we were getting psyched for Hunger Makes the Wolf, the debut novel from Alex Wells (whom you might know from Shimmer pages as Alex Acks). THIS year, we’re psyched for the sequel, Blood Binds the Pack, wherein everything is turned up to at least eleven.

Blood Binds the Pack is out today from Angry Robot (well today in the UK, in the US it’s February 8th!), and Alex was awesome enough to share some thoughts with us about writing, workers’ unions, and hey, video games!

Blood Binds the Pack is the sequel to 2017’s Hunger Makes the Wolf; how is writing a book two different from writing a book one? What was easier? What was made more challenging?

Writing a second book was actually very intimidating. I’ve written a lot of first books before. This is the first time I’ve ever written a second book—discounting the novella series I did, which feels like a different thing since it was supposed to sort of episodic anyway. I was afraid that I’d have lost the voice, for example, because I wrote most of Hunger Makes the Wolf over five years ago. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to make the second book as cool or fun as the first book. I was so intimidated by this that I put off writing for way longer than I should have, and all that kicked me into gear was my agent gently but implacably reminding me that I needed to have this thing ready to turn in by a due date. (I do work better to due dates, though. There’s a point where I know I have to stop procrastinating, and I calculate it out fairly precisely.) Once I got over the psychological hump, actually writing the book was a lot easier than I expected. I got my outline done first so all of the major plot mechanics issues were already hammered out, so then I could just write, and I knew exactly what I needed to be writing when. I finished the rough draft in about three months, which is the fastest I’ve ever completed a book.

Blood Binds the Pack deals heavily with workers’ rights, with the idea that workers are people and are entitled to, gasp, certain protections in the course of their work. Where/when did your interest in labor politics begin?

It’s something that’s always been with me, though largely dormant until I hit my late twenties or early thirties. I grew up in a union household—my dad was the Chief Steward for the CWA local 7750 for a while—and we went through one strike while I was pretty young. Then I was actually part of the CWA while I worked for AT&T, right after high school. At the time, I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have—it was later, once I’d been through several jobs and started really noticing shady labor practices (my favorite bit of subtle ick: the way everyone is discouraged from discussing how much they’re paid with coworkers), that I began to realize how much power workers had lost because most don’t have access to unions. That personal experience and Colorado’s local labor history (see: Ludlow Massacre) were really the foundation that all this grew on.

For readers who might be interested in learning more about such topics, can you point them to any good non-fiction reads?

Here, let me just give you the bibliography that will be at the back of Blood Binds the Pack:

Andrews, Thomas G. Killing for Coal: America’s Deadliest Labor War. Harvard University Press, 2010.

Clyne, Rick J. Coal People: Life in Southern Colorado’s Company Towns, 1890-1930. Colorado Historical Society, 2000.

Green, James. Death in the Haymarket: A Story of Chicago, the First Labor Movements and the Bombing that Divided Gilded Age America. Anchor, 2007.

Jones, Mary Harris. The Autobiography of Mother Jones. Dover Publications, 2012.

Martelle, Scott. Blood Passion: The Ludlow Massacre and Class War in the American West. Rutgers University Press, 2008.

Papanikolas, Zeese. Buried Unsung: Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre. University of Nebraska Press, 1991.

Was there anything fascinating you discovered in the course of research, but it still didn’t fit into the book?

Pretty much every real detail of the Colorado Coal Field War isn’t included, since I used the history as inspiration but didn’t want to get too precious about it. Some of the stories that Mary Harris Jones tells in her biography will simultaneously make you laugh and curl your hair. I think the book that made the biggest impression on me was actually the one about Louis Tikas, though. Since there isn’t that much information about Tikas in the records, a lot of the book is a history that examines more the general lives of the Greek immigrant miners, and the way they went from outsiders to the backbone of labor resistance.

What was the most fun scene to write in Blood Binds the Pack?

Definitely the heist scene. I had a ridiculous amount of fun writing all the dialog for that, particularly Dambala’s. (Also, the chapters leading up to the heist when the plan is conceived.) I don’t want to get into more detail than that because it’s major spoiler territory, but the whole thing was so fun and easy to write!

How the hell do you keep writing when the world is on metaphorical and literal fire, and have these fires changed the way you approach and continue your work?

It’s hard as hell. The only reason I got Blood Binds the Pack done in good time was that I had a deadline, and flogging myself through deadlines is what got me through both undergrad and graduate school so I’m still in the habit. But the amount of time I’ve wasted angrily reading Twitter is downright shameful, and sometimes it’s hard to focus after all that. So I’ve had to just set times where I have to write, and set myself pretty stringent goals just to keep from getting distracted. I’ve noticed that everything I’ve written lately has been a lot angrier, though, even when I don’t want it to be. And it’s made me more determined to write about workers saving themselves, and rich people being shitty, and queer people being everywhere.

I hear you’re good at trivia; what’s one fun bit of trivia you learned while writing Blood Binds the Pack?

The current fastest helicopter in the world is the CH-47F Chinook, which looks like something out of an Avengers film, can fly 315 kilometers per hour.

I also happen to know that you enjoy a good game, be it tabletop or video. What’ve you played lately that you think your readers might dig?

Video game-wise, I’m still eternally stuck on Destiny, since that’s the game of my heart. Titan for life, basically. For tabletop, I’m now in two different D&D Fifth Edition campaigns, and this is a big deal for me… I’ve never actually liked D&D until this edition. And now suddenly, I can understand the rules! It’s glorious. It also doesn’t hurt that I have two great DMs that I play under. I’ve also loved playing Mysterium, which is by the same people who made Dixit, and you can play using Dixit cards if you want. It’s a semi-cooperative sort-of board game, where someone playing a “ghost” tries to communicate with you using very abstract cards. It’s easy to enjoy because it gets silly, and the cards are beautiful.

What’s next for you?

I’ve done some work for Six to Start’s Racelink, so hopefully those will be out in the world soon! And I just finished writing a scifi novel (not related to Hob’s world) so I think something fantasy is definitely next on my list. Oh, and I owe this really cool anthology about Battle Bards a short story…

HEY, that’s probably Sword & Sonnet, which readers should also check out. But first, go grab a copy of Blood Binds the Pack, and if you aren’t already on the Hob and Mag train to Wonderland, get Hunger Makes the Wolf while you’re at it! Alex, thanks for coming by, and thanks too for an AWESOME book!

B&NAngry RobotAmazon
Goodreads
Alex’s Website!

#resist

On its own, a badger may be a small thing, but en masse, badgers can do mighty things.

Simply put, we’re bringing you some quality badger goods, and every quarter, we’ll be donating profits to organizations intent on resistance and democracy for all.

Badger Josh Storey has contributed some amazing artwork for this project, beginning with a badger tribute to Rosie the Riveter. We can do it — with your help! We’ve got stickers, mugs, cards, tees, and MORE.

This quarter, all profits from our shop will benefit
The Southern Poverty Law Center.

THE SHIMMER SHOP: YAY DEMOCRACY!

 

New Badgers!

Callooh! Callay!

From time to time, we like to shake things up in the badger meadows at Shimmer HQ, and we are delighted that all this latest round of shaking has produced three new badgers. (We cannot say much about the process, but it involves thistles, bourbon, and shooting stars.)

We are delighted to introduce you to Suzan, Josh, and Lindsay, who will be helping us read your submissions and decide what’s Shimmery!

suzanSuzan Palumbo lives in Ontario, Canada, where she is an ESL teacher and writer. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, her life is a fusion of Caribbean and Canadian culture. She grows tomatoes in the summer, sips warm drinks in the winter, and is always wrangling her two kids.

joshJosh Storey has only ever had three career ambitions: astronaut, Superman, and writer.  Since he’s no good at math and (as far as his parents will admit) not from Krypton, he’s going with option three. Josh occasionally blathers about writing, comic books, and other geekery on Twitter @soless.

lindsayLindsay Thomas is a writer based in Denver, Colorado. She can often be found playing trivia at her neighborhood brewery, competing in poetry slams, peering at the sky for funnel clouds, or serving as commissioner of her fantasy football league. Her work has appeared in The Skinny and The Fogdog Review. She tweets and retweets at @finstergrrrl.

Please give them a warm welcome! We think they’re going to fit right in…

Do You Wanna Be a Badger?

Maybe you find yourself thinking, I just don’t eat enough grubs.

Maybe you think your day could be improved by yes, more grubs, and lazy stretches in a wide meadow full of soft, long grass.

Deep down, you’ve always wanted to be a badger, haven’t you?

Badgers wrap rejections for delivery in an industrial factory
Badgers wrap rejections for delivery in an industrial factory

The good news is: Shimmer would love to add a couple more badgers to our dedicated team (why badgers?! ). Your dream of being a badger can come true.

Shimmer is a semiprozine, raised in the wild meadows and skies of a planet called Earth, hand-rolled and assembled by free-range badgers. If you would like to be a first reader for Shimmer (helping us read incoming fiction submissions), we would love to hear from you. The ideal badger will be able to:

  • Dedicate 5-6 hours per week to read incoming stories;
  • Advocate for the stories they love;
  • Come to understand what makes a story Shimmery.

If you want to be a reader for Shimmer, please send an email to shimmersubs@gmail.com, with TEAM BADGER in your subject line. We’ll get back to you with details on How to Be a Badger. We’re taking emails from August 15 to August 20th. The following week, the 21st to the 27th, we’ll choose badgers.

Please note:

  • Don’t self reject.
  • If you are a person of color, we would love to hear from you.
  • If you identify as non-binary or LBGTQIA, we would love to hear from you.
  • If you have ever wanted to read slush, we would love to hear from you.
  • If you are a writer who wants to read slush to improve their craft, we would love to hear from you.
  • Don’t self reject.
  • We would like to add at least two readers this time around; we will be taking applications this week (August 15th-20th), and making decisions next week (August 21st-27th). We reopen to submissions on September 3rd.
  • If we have published you, it’s still okay to apply, but once you’re a badger, you cannot submit stories to Shimmer for consideration.
  • Don’t self reject. If you want to read slush, we want to hear from you.
  • This is a volunteer gig for everyone, however readers will receive a subscription to Shimmer.

Wanna be a badger? You know what to do!

If you have questions, feel free to ask Elise (@ecthetwit) or Sophie (@sayitwhirly) on the Twitters!

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School’s Out For Summer

We’re doing something we rarely do around here: we’re taking the summer off!

Shimmer will be closed to submissions from May 31st (midnight your timezone) to September 3rd, 2016.

Our reasons for this temporary closing are good — there’s much more ahead, and we’re eager to share it with you, but we’ve got to tend to those things so that we can share them with you. #Badger Business

This won’t impact stories in the current maybe stack; those stories are still under consideration. And this won’t impact the rest of 2016’s issues; all shall continue! All shall be well!

You’ve got a few weeks before we close. Write us something beautiful! To the guidelines!

Readers’ Favorites

300_Shimmer 27 September 2015Dearest Readers,

In our 2015 survey, you just could not decide between all the wonderful stories we published when we asked for your favorite. But slowly, two rose to the top, like cream!

“Dustbaby” by Alix E. Harrow, and “The Law of the Conservation of Hair,” by Rachael K. Jones were tied for favorites! Both stories were from Shimmer #27.

Lessons from this: publish more stories from authors who use their middle initials!

(The best news is, all the stories were published were someone’s favorite.)

Thanks for voting, readers!

2015: The Stories

A handy-dandy list of the fiction and authors Shimmer published in 2015! We hope you enjoyed the journey — we’ll have a fresh issue for you on January 1st. Thank you for your support!


The Half Dark Promise, by Malon Edwards (3600 words)
Of Blood and Brine, by Megan E. O’Keefe (2900 words)
Be Not Unequally Yoked, by Alexis A. Hunter (7100 words)
Monsters in Space, by Angela Ambroz (5000 words)
The Scavenger’s Nursery, by Maria Dahvana Headley (4500 words)
The Cult of Death, by K.L. Pereira (3000 words)
You Can Do It Again, by Michael Ian Bell (5700 words)
Come My Love and I’ll Tell You a Tale, by Sunny Moraine (2000 words)
The Proper Motion of Extraordinary Stars, by Kali Wallace (7000 words)
The Mothgate, by J.R. Troughton (5900 words)
Good Girls, by Isabel Yap (5400 words)
In the Rustle of Pages, by Cassandra Khaw (4000 words)
The Star Maiden, Roshani Chokshi (4800 words)
The Last Dinosaur, Lavie Tidhar (1600 words)
Serein, Cat Hellisen (2000 words)
States of Emergency, Erica L. Satifka (3800 words)
Dustbaby, by Alix E. Harrow (5000 words)
A July Story, by K.L. Owens (6000 words)
Black Planet, by Stephen Case (2500 words)
The Law of the Conservation of Hair, by Rachael K. Jones (900 words)
Even In This Skin, by A.C. Wise (5200 words)
In the Pines, by K.M. Carmien (4900 words)
To Sleep in the Dust of the Earth, by Kristi DeMeester (3700 words)
A Drop of Ink Preserved in Amber, by Marina J. Lostetter (4500 words)

Shimmer Supports Hugo Voters

You know what would be neat? If everyone in the science fiction and fantasy world voted in the Hugo awards. If everyone read widely and discussed what they loved. If all the voices were heard, not just the loudest. A healthy ecosystem is one that’s teeming with millions of kinds of life; let’s find ways to include more people.

If you can afford a supporting membership to WorldCon, I strongly encourage you to buy one. It’s $40. A supporting membership gives you the right to vote in this year’s Hugos — and the right to nominate in next year’s.

If you can’t afford a supporting membership… Mary Robinette Kowal is offering to pay for a supporting membership to WorldCon for ten people who cannot afford it.

This is a splendid idea. Shimmer’s happy to join Mary. We’ll match her offer: ten memberships for people who can’t otherwise afford one. Email beth@shimmerzine.com with your name, phone number (just as backup in case your email doesn’t work), and a paragraph telling me a little bit about yourself and why you’d like a supporting membership. I expect to get more than ten people interested, so will ultimately choose at random.

Please help us spread the word. Tell a friend, tell your family, tell your community members. Reach out and help us make the table bigger.

And while you’re reaching out? Talk to them about science fiction and fantasy. What are you watching or reading that’s awesome? What are you creating?

I think my favorite thing I read this week was Ishq, by Usman Malik, a reprint in this month’s Nightmare. It’s a story about family and hope and death, and it’s wonderful and terrible.

Comments on this post will be heavily moderated. Don’t be a dick.

Edited to add: vote for whatever works you want; that decision is entirely up to you, and you don’t owe Shimmer (or me!) anything.

Hugo Eligible

Shimmer published five issues last year, so here’s what we have for your consideration when it comes to Hugos, Nebulas, and Academ– Er.

Shimmer 19
Shimmer #19

Original Short Stories:

Artists:

  • Sandro Castelli
  • Kurt Huggins
  • Zelda Devon

Editors (short form):

  • E. Catherine Tobler
  • Ann VanderMeer

And indeed, Shimmer Magazine is eligible in the Semiprozine category.