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.
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!
Suzan 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.
Josh 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.
Lindsay 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…
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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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!
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 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 email@example.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.
People often ask me, “what makes a story Shimmery,” and it’s not always easily answered — sometimes, you don’t know a story is Shimmery until you hit the end, and you realize there is a change inside you.
Sometimes, it’s more easily answered, as the shimmer is distinct from the point of entry. A confident voice that knows where it’s going from the first line, even if I, as a reader, don’t know. The immediate delivery of an image that is unusual, arresting; an image that makes you pause and want to see more. The stories in Shimmer #23 accomplish both things for me as editor and reader both.
Something moves in the half dark two gas lamps ahead of me.
Gas lamps! Something? In the half dark? I’m already intrigued, even if we don’t yet know what the something is. Does our narrator know? Indeed she knows, and will show us everything soon.
Child’s mistress was out when the scentless woman entered the shop and laid a strip of severed cloth upon the counter.
A scentless woman, a severed cloth. A character named Child? Where is this going? There are a few things to unpack, beautiful threads that foreshadow much to come.
When I think oil rig, I think big metal Viking onslaught in the night.
Immediate hook — pounding metal music exploding through a winter night. Hammer of the gods! Ships to new lands! You are on that ship, holding on.
Things used to be pure inside me.
How Shimmery is that opening line? So Shimmery. Seven words that convey a huge image, a big idea the story will unpack piece by piece. What things, why are they no longer pure, what changed?
Something inside you may change as you read this quartet of stories. My thanks to Sarah Pinsker and Madison Bell for their help in proofing the Haitian Creole herein.
Holy badgers, Shimmer had an amazing year! It kinda looked like this:
Shimmer went digital this year, and published twenty-eight stories! Of those, twenty-four authors were new to Shimmer, and of those, I believe three authors made their debuts with us. Ann VanderMeer guest edited issue #18 for us; when we went digital with issue #19, we welcomed Robert N. Lee as our creative director. Laura Blackwell joined us as a copy editor, while Sandro Castelli remained as art director.
Overwhelmingly, Shimmer was well received. Lois Tilton of Locus Magazine recommended “A Whisper in the Weld,” “Cantor’s Dragon,” and “The Earth and Everything Under,” and readers seemed to love…everything? What a delight to see stories from Seth Dickinson, Vajra Chandrasekera, Kelly Sandoval, and Alix E. Harrow blow up in social media circles.
Early estimates say that Shimmer badgers wrangled 4500 submissions over the course of 2014. And who are those Shimmer badgers anyhow? A huge shout out to them, because we couldn’t do anything without their paws: Sophie Wereley, Joy Marchand, Nicola Belte, Pam Wallace, and Stacey Janssen. Keffy Kehrli, Cory Skerry, and Gra Linnaea also saw us through 2014, some more dragon than badger.
We are looking ahead to 2015, and whatever it may bring — so far, January 1st brings a kick-ass issue filled with four more new-to-Shimmer authors. Want to be one of those? We reopen to submissions on January 12th.