Shimmer’s 14th issue is now available! (Hooray!)
If you grabbed a copy of issue 13, you already know the kind of wonderful stories we publish. But if you’re here for the first time, let me tell you what some people have been saying about Shimmer:
The stories themselves, for the most part serious or even melancholy, are built on fresh ideas or at least interesting twists on established ones. Their fantastical elements range from the overt—mermaids and magic portals—to the mere shimmer of possibility hovering just beneath their surfaces. -Jessica Barnes, The Portal
Issue 14 contains 10 delights: we’ve got carnal carnivores, haunted bridges and houses, balloon girls, mud boys, werewolves, an uncanny trashman, ghosts, soldiers, tea-harvesting robots, and of course, an Einstein-award-winning mathematician.
Lois Tilton, of Locus fame, gave two stories the coveted “Recommended” — check out “Food My Father Feeds Me, Love My Husband Shows Me,” by A. Al Balaskovits, and “Gödel Apparition Fugue,” by Craig DeLancey.
At just over 100 pages, the print edition is slim and sturdy enough to carry with you to read anywhere. Shimmer’s one of the best-looking magazines out there: glossy covers, lovely illustrations, and perfect-bound (just like a paperback book). Or get the PDF edition if you prefer to read in DRM-free digital form.
It’s friggin’ awesome.
Click the buttons below to buy either the sleek print version, or the DRM-free electronic edition. Or click here to buy your copy of Shimmer Issue 14 for your Kindle today!
Table of Contents
Food My Father Feeds Me, Love My Husband Shows Me, by A. A. Balaskovits
My father is a great man of meat. Inside the hot wooden house where he keeps the geese, he stretches their long necks into straight lines and gavages grass and corn into their bellies, and when their wings can barely lift their plump bodies into the air he guts them and sears their livers with pepper and salt. In the pasture he keeps four fat, black cattle that he names after my forefathers: Luc, Pierre, Maurice and Yves. When their bellies skim the ground, he makes tartars of their loins with shallots and piquillo peppers. Then he buys four more fat black cows and names them Luc, Pierre, Maurice and Yves. When he loves me best over my sisters he makes my favorite, Pot au Feu, and he cooks the meat so tender that no matter how much I suck on the flesh I still taste the bone.
I am often my father’s favorite. When all my sisters put their white and smooth hands to their chests and faint at the gore on his killing smock, I gently untie its knots and wash it with my bare hands until they stain red. Because of this, my father gives me the first and largest servings of leg and rib, and when he boils lamb’s head I am always allowed to chew on their glossy, black eyes.
Chinvat, by Sunny Moraine
Nolan hasn’t been on the bridge since the day of the quake, and in this he guesses that he might be the exception rather than the rule. It certainly seems like that, some of the time. For a while, coming to the Golden Gate had been a thing that, for whatever reason, people had done: to look, to feel, to come away and say that they had seen it. To make it real, maybe, what had happened to this corner of the world. He had never been sure.
And here he is at last. He turns and looks back, but can no longer see the mainland, the towers of San Francisco marching in stately order up the rolling hills—invisible now. Fog ahead, fog behind. Without a landmass to secure his perspective, he feels abruptly untethered, not quite lost but perhaps running parallel to the feeling. He doesn’t know that he had expected to feel this way. He doesn’t know that he expected anything at all. The bridge, in its permanent state of semicollapse, has moved beyond expectations into a place where no one wants to look at it but no one can stop. Just in the way that now, people don’t seem to be able to stop coming here.
Made of Mud, by Ari Goelman
The first time I saw the mudlings I had just taken the long way home to avoid Chris Evans and Billy Decker. It must have been ninth–no, eighth–grade because by ninth grade Chris and Billy were gone. That afternoon Chris and Billy were still in town, and they were looking for me.
This House was Never a Castle, by Aaron Polson
We’ve lived in the new house since the fire, and the new house has exactly fifteen interior doors. We keep the inside doors shut most of the time, like tiny little chambers in a nautilus. I remember reading about a nautilus in Grandfather’s library once. Sometimes I like to imagine our house stays above the mud of the forest floor because of the empty rooms—they make it buoyant like the pockets of air in a nautilus’s shell. It’s nice to have a home with so many doors, especially with the wolves and soldiers outside. We can hide should they come for us, Rosamond says.
Minnow, by Carlea Holl-Jensen
And then I swelled up like a helium balloon. I found myself stretched, skin thin. I grew transparent, empty.
I went up, broke my tethers, rose above the tops of all the whitewashed houses, where I could see all the green copper roofs of the city buildings. I swung there on the breeze and the clouds brushed cool and damp past my face. It was the beginning of spring, and even high up in the sky, the air smelled of damp hyacinth and ornamental pear blossoms, fresh, sweet, sickly.
Trashman, by A.C. Wise
The trashman knows all your secrets. He knows all the secrets up and down all the streets, everywhere. He knows you, maybe even better than you know yourself.
He’s pieced your life together from the shredded stubs of each bill you’ve paid. He’s tasted the remnants of every one of your meals, scrying coffee grinds and tuna cans, egg shells and banana peels, laying them out like an augur’s bones. He’s counted the bottles you set by the curb, sniffed the sticky-sweet residue trapped in green and blue and white glass. He understands the language of that which you’ve left behind: red wine the color of blood to drown your sorrow; vodka the color of melted snow to drown your dreams. He knows which pill bottles you’ve emptied. He knows what you’ve tried to burn and what you’ve tried to pretend never existed at all.
We Make Tea, by Meryl Ferguson
I made my way through the house to the dining room and surveyed the chaos. Kitchen Four crouched on her tracks in the middle of the room. She scooped her creations off the table and hurled them at the walls. Bread, cakes, pastries fell like rain. Serving staff rushed to collect ruined crockery, their narrow tracks grinding food into the carpet. K4, twice the mass of the little constructs that formed the wait staff, hefted a cast-iron bread pan with ease and flung it at the wall, showering nearby staff with plaster chips.
I left them to it.
Bad Moon Risen, by Eric Del Carlo
Moonup, and hear the bastards yowling. Squawk is there’s movement on the south edge of town, down by the burnt shell of the KFC. I got clear memories of when I was way young going there with my daddy, eating crispy-crispy chicken that was like nothing I can describe to anybody who hasn’t tasted it themselves. Now it’s canned beef and Relief corn and whatever you can grow in a backyard, but at least we eat. I’ve been hungry and seen starving, and both are better than being what’s ate.
“They gonna get through, gonna get through, gonnagetthr—”
Jinny swings her gloved palm, barely looking, pops Buck on the back of his head, shutting the little squeak up. I don’t want Buck with us. He’s too young, too scared, but he’s one more trigger. And maybe he’ll surprise me. I hope he does.
Some Letters for Ove Lindström, by Karin Tidbeck
It’s Saturday and it’s been thirty-six days since they found you. You lay in the apartment for three days before the neighbors called the police because the cat was howling. That was on a Friday. They said at the hospital it looked like a massive heart attack, probably quick. They asked if you and I were close. I said no: I couldn’t cope with your drinking, and broke off contact many years ago.
That same night I dreamed about Mum for the first time in many years. She was standing at the edge of the forest, her back turned. Her dark hair tumbled in tangles down her back. The hem of her red dress dragged at the ground. I was sitting in the sandbox. I couldn’t move. She walked in among the trees and there was a tinkling sound on the air, like tiny bells.
Gödel Apparition Fugue, by Craig DeLancey
Kurt Gödel pushes through the café doors. The clinking of cups punctuates the shouts of philosophers. Gödel heads for the back, but Moritz Schlick seizes his arm.
“Kurt! You missed the new guy, Wittgenstein.”
“Sorry,” Gödel whispers. “I was at a séance.”
Schlick rolls his eyes as Rudolf Carnap comes to his side. “How can you? You know it’s nonsense.”
“I don’t know that.”
Carnap rises to Gödel’s defense. “A philosopher needs an open mind.”
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