Issue #3 – Spring 2006
Nine stories, including two Year’s Best honorable mentions: the haunting “Litany,” by John Mantooth, and the devastating “The Little Match Girl,” by Angela Slatter.
This issue of Shimmer is full of the well-written slipstream and interstitial stories that show why the magazine has become a favorite with both the fans and the critics. — Tangent Online
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Table of Contents
A Warrior’s Death, by Aliette de Bodard
The room was in the most opulent part of the sacred precincts, away from prying eyes. Rich frescoes made it seem larger than it was, and a fountain whispered its endless song, giving a pleasant coolness to the air. But the room was no longer peaceful: its sanctity had been defiled by the murder of the War-God’s vessel.
The pale body lay on a makeshift altar of blood-spattered cushions, a gaping hole in its chest. It was a grotesque parody of the holiest sacrifice, and the vessel’s heart was nowhere to be seen.
Dog Thinks Ahead, by Clifford Royal Johns
You wouldn’t think a dog would be all that interested in something like boiled oatmeal with broccoli florets, and to be honest, I think his kibble smelled better. Still, I got no reason to complain because, based on what happened a while ago, I’d guess he has a plan.
I was living in an apartment with my girlfriend, Emma Sutledge . . . when I apparently began hiding her underwear under my pillow, although I didn’t remember doing that. She threw me out and said, “Take all your crap with you.”
Drevka’s Rain, by Marina T. Stern
Drevka pushed the shutters aside and inhaled deeply. Outside, rain fell on Terrebinth in fragrant silver curtains. She could barely make out Masha’s cottage down the lane; the house Andra and Aleki shared was lost in mist and illusion.
The Dealer’s Hands, by Paul Abbamondi
Greg and I found the Dealer right where we expected him, across Breaker’s Way. He was standing in the shadows of the rickety old barn, dressed all in brown: brimmed hat, swaying trench coat, gloves, muddied boots.
“Come on, Spence,” Greg said. “Let’s see what he has this week.”
Melancholix, by Joseph Remy
Litany, by John Mantooth
It was better in prison. Now that I’m free, I can’t go an hour, a minute without thinking of them. And the dog. The damned little dog.
Review: Larry Niven’s The Draco Tavern, by John Joseph Adams
Rubber Boots, Mr. President, by Bruce K. Derksen
He came off the main road one bright Sunday morning, his rhythmic strides swallowing up the length of the dirt trail that ran through our yard and up to our summer kitchen porch. His arms and legs pumped flawlessly in sequence like the big wheels of the steam engine that pulled into the landing of our town.
Paper Man, by Darby Harn
Very early on a Sunday morning, when the comet was at its closest, Millie stood at the kitchen sink washing her hands of the soft clay made of flour and water she’d been working with all night. She rarely felt the desire to see–with no memory older than her blindness, she never missed it–but descriptions of the comet weren’t enough. She wanted to see it for herself, the lacerated sky above as difficult to imagine as color.
The Little Match Girl, by Angela Slatter
The walls are a hard patchwork of rough stones. In some places, there’s the dark green of moss, birthed by moisture and the breath of fear. In others, there’s nothing but black. Soot from the torches is so thick on the stone that I could scratch my name onto it, if I knew how to write. The floor wears scattered straw for a coat, stinking and old. No natural light comes into this place; there’s not even a window, the opening bricked up long ago so no one might flee. And it stinks; the waste bucket sits festering in the corner.