Category Archives: Why We Rock!

Ann VanderMeer Guest Edits Shimmer Issue

Just over a year ago, Shimmer turned pro. Why? Because the new owners of Weird Tales made a series of missteps, and we felt that the best way to respond was to become even better ourselves. We believed that Shimmer had always been excellent; and now it was time to raise the bar for ourselves. With the generous support of Mary Robinette Kowal, we were able to do that, and now provide a strong professional home for the kind of intelligent, innovative speculative fiction that we loved at Weird Tales.

Amazing things happened after that. The speculative fiction community was incredibly supportive. Our sales soared, as did submissions.

And a guy named Patrick Rothfuss offered to contribute some more money. We knew exactly what we wanted to do with the money: hire Ann VanderMeer to guest edit our 18th issue. What better way for us to honor Ann for her excellent work?

Check out the table of contents:

In the Broken City, by Ben Peek
Atomic Age by Rachel Marsten
Psychopomp, by Ramsey Shehadeh
The Story of Anna Walden, by Christine Schirr
Anuta Fragment’s Private Eyes, by Ben Godby
Unclaimed, by Annalee Newitz
Fragments from the Notes of a Dead Mycologist, by Jeff VanderMeer
The Street of the Green Elephant, by Dustin Monk

This issue will be available in early 2014.

Honorable Mentions, Best Horror of the Year Vol. 5

Shimmer 15

The wicked-talented Ellen Datlow has once again assembled the long list for her honorable mentions when it comes to the past year in horror and dark fiction.

Shimmer is proud to say it has a couple mentions on that list:

K.M. Ferebee’s “The Bird Country” and Dustin Monk’s “What Fireworks” from Shimmer 15! Congrats to both authors!

You can find the list here: Part One, Part Two

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

I’m pretty sure my summer anecdotes aren’t going to beat this one that came in from “Goodbye Mildred” author Charlie Bookout (Shimmer #16):


I’ve attached a photo of me standing in front of Stephen King’s house holding a copy of Shimmer #16. I chucked it in his yard just after the picture was taken. I hope his groundskeeper reads it and has nightmares.

We hope so, too, Charlie. We hope so, too…

Six Questions

Issue 16

Every morning, I wake and wonder: what was Beth thinking when she started Shimmer? Did she realize exactly how fantastic it would be?

Wonder no more! Beth talks with Jim Harrington over at Six Questions For…, and ponders this herself. What was she thinking? Seriously!

“Really I was very naive: there’s so much more that goes into running a magazine than the editorial side. I’ve had to learn a lot about marketing and accounting and coordinating volunteers and taxes and printers and a hundred other non-sexy things.

Best Of

Shimmer 15

It’s that time of year, when award ballots are tabulated and editors throughout the realm determine which stories they liked best from the year prior. These tales are bound anthologies so readers can sprawl about in the wonder!

I am super-pleased to tell you that “The Bird Country” by K.M. Ferebee (Shimmer #15) will appear in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2013 (Prime Books). Shimmer‘s own Cory Skerry will also be part of the anthology with “Sinking Among Lilies” (Beneath Ceaseless Skies).

Congrats, K.M. and Cory!!

Shimmer Goes Weightless

Considering all the cake I eat, it’s silly…being weightless…but of course I mean Weightless Books!

Shimmer 14 cover
Shimmer Issue 14

We are super stoked to announce that Shimmer is now available at Weightless Books. Our current issue, #14, is there, but all future issues will be there as well, and, of course, back issues!

For all your electronic Shimmery needs, you can easily access our page here, which includes cover art and sneak peeks at each and every story.

Back issues will be added in PDF-only, but future issues will be released in PDF, mobi, and epub, and of course they will be DRM-free.

Shimmer on, people. Shimmer on!


Ellen Datlow has once again put together a list (starting here) of honorable mentions to accompany the stories in her Best Horror of the Year 4 collection. Shimmer is honored to have four stories on that list.

Congratulations to K.M. Ferebee (“Bullet Oracle Instinct”), L.L. Hannett (“Gutted”), E.C. Myers (“All the Lonely People”), and J.J. Irwin (“Haniver”).

You can find all four in Shimmer #13.

Thank you, Ellen!

Windows, Mirrors, PodCastles!

Ferrett Steinmetz’s “A Window, Clear as a Mirror” is this week’s featured story at PodCastle. The story first appeared in Shimmer 13. Congrats, Ferrett! Readers, if you haven’t already lost yourself in this tale, seems like now is an ideal time.

Malcolm Gebrowski returned from his job at the stamp factory to discover his wife had left him for a magic portal. He stared numbly at the linoleum floor of his apartment’s walk-in kitchen, all scuffed up with hoofprints, the smell of lilacs gradually being overpowered by the mildewy stink of the paper plant next door. All that was left of eight years of marriage was a scribbled note on the back of the telephone bill.

He’d crumpled the note in his fist without thinking. He smoothed it out against the refrigerator to read Julianne’s last words again:

Remember when I said you could sleep with Dakota Jewel if she ever dropped by? I sure hope so. ‘Cause if you had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sleep with the most beautiful movie star in the world, I’d want you to take it. And remember when you said that if I ever found a magic portal, I could go?

Guess what? A magic portal opened.

2011 In Review

It’s December (for a little while yet!), so surely that means it’s time for a look back at the year that was. This past January, we looked at what we hoped to achieve in the coming year — did you make the goals you set? What are you planning for 2012?


Shimmer received approximately 2400 submissions in 2011–which seemed big, but when I looked back at 2010, with 1800 submissions, seemed even bigger! Of those 2400, about 6% (136) were passed up the editorial chain for further consideration.  We accepted eight out of those 136, a smaller number than usual (and split between issues fourteen and fifteen). Six stories were from women, two from men.

It’s much harder to break down overall gender stats, but a glance at the reams of email looks to be about 500 male submissions for every 300 female submissions.


Our blog became a regular thing in 2011, with the addition of the Advice for Newer Writers feature. We hope to take that to the next level in 2012, pushing you beyond the basics. Do you have a topic you’d like to see us tackle?

In March, we were part of #zinechat on Twitter, with editors wrangling questions from writers and readers. This lead to a great conversation about exactly what Shimmer wants in its stories, as well as our next themed issue which is still in the planning stages. Want to follow the Shimmer staff on Twitter? You can start with @bethwodzinski and @ecthetwit and go from there!

World Fantasy Con saw a Shimmer reading and party! Among those in attendance were: Beth Wodzinski, Sean Markey, Keffy Kehrli, Grá Linnaea, Ferrett Steinmetz, Nicole Taylor, Cat Rambo, Vylar Kaftan, Caitlyn Paxson, M.K. Hobson, Shweta Narayan, and Marissa K. Lingen!

We released two issues in 2011, lucky #13 and #14.


There were some changes to the staff line up, most notably Beth shifting her role and handing off senior editing duties to me. (And what is there to know about me? I like the Oxford comma, I appreciate cupcakes, and have fallen in love with Gabriel García Márquez.)

Grá Linnaea and Keffy Kehrli were promoted to full-blown editors, the talented Sandro Castelli joined us as Minister of Art, and Matt Barron as Minister of Layout! We gained Associate Editors Shalene Gupta and Josh Vogt. Associate Editor Sophie Werely leaves us as the year winds down and while we will miss her smiling face, we know she’s destined for bigger and better things.

Goals for 2012

Three issues of Shimmer! Shimmer for your eReaders! A themed issue? More cake! More monkeys! Maybe we’ll finally get our very own TARDIS… There will certainly be more conventions, and parties, and readings.

Thank you

Thank you for being part of Shimmer this past year. We can’t do what we do without you. Publishing is constantly changing, but our goal remains the same: to bring you amazing fiction that stays with you long after you close an issue. If we did that this year, we were successful! Onward to the next.