Shmmer magazine has one of those Browse Stories by Tag! options at the bottom of their website. Clicking individual tags will take you to all the tales in their inventory with those tags. Some are a little headscratching (What’s the point of the awesome tag? Are some stories not awesome? Or maybe it’s awesome birds?), but overall, I’m enormously pleased to see that the most active tags this month are death ghosts haunted monsters. Shimmer, you’re all right.
Shimmer #35, the latest issue, is cover-dated January 2017, and it comes packed with new fiction by L.M. Davenport, Malon Edwards, Emily Lundgren and Mary Robinette Kowal. It’s been far too long since we’ve covered Shimmer, so let’s get down to it.
Shimmer is available in print and digital formats; the magazine contains four stories per issue (usually), all of which gradually become available for free on the website. Here’s the description for the latest issue, from the website.
This issue of Shimmer contains stories that tell us evil may be overcome even if we’re small and unsure. Love can be a weapon and a shield. Keep fighting in whatever way you can.
We’re excited to share with you Malon Edwards’ sequel to “The Half Dark Promise.” We also welcome Mary Robinette Kowal to the pages of Shimmer for the first time since she was Shimmer‘s art director. Two new-to-Shimmer authors also join the party, with stories of exploration, revelation, and ultimately, love.
And here’s the story descriptions (with active links, where available).
“Hic Sunt Leones“, by L.M. Davenport
It’s true that the house walks. It’s also true that you can only find it if you don’t know about it. Once, a boy in my high-school art class drew a picture of it, but didn’t know what he’d drawn; the thing in the center of his sketchpad had ungainly, menacing chicken legs caught mid-stride and a crazed thatch roof that hung askew over brooding windows. I knew it was the house right away because his eyes had that sleepy, traumatized look that people get once they’ve seen the house. I was used to seeing this look, mostly on my mother’s face. (2,000 words)
“Shadow Man, Sack Man, Half Dark, Half Light,” by Malon Edwards (available January 17)
You keep running, even though you know you can’t escape the fifty-foot-tall Pogo. But you were built for this. You are taller than all of the girls and most of the boys in your Covey Four class. Your legs are longer. Your steam-clock heart is stronger. Your determination is unmatched. Even against the rocks they throw. Even against the insults they hurl. Even when they entimide you and chase you home after school every day, all because your mother could not save their friends. (3,400 words)
“Trees Struck by Lightning Burning From the Inside Out,” by Emily Lundgren (available January 31)
It is sweet and fitting to die with one’s pack under the full moon, but the sky is clouded by the city lights: orange and yellow and red like fire. Roque is running. Like a cracked whip, without sense. Under a sliver of jagged sound, under the leering fray of glossy towers, he smells a dog without a leash, the sharp of silvered bolts. He sees a woman with a cardboard sign reading something-something about the world, who catches his eye, whose own eyes widen, whose mouth opens and makes a howling noise: something-something about wolves! wolves! The road towards dawn outstretches before him, choking on cars and steam and fur and bone. Roque is running, running. His paws thump in tandem with the code of his heart, and he transforms. (5,100 words)
“Your Mama’s Adventures in Parenting,” by Mary Robinette Kowal (available February 14)
Your mama adjusted her face mask and checked the chronometer on her eyepiece. Darn it. The filter would only be good for another fifteen minutes. She was nowhere near finished with the job. And this particular theft would fetch a good price on the energy market, what with the price of methane. She slid the siphon tube across to the capture valve and turned on the suction pump. If your mama could get most of the gas into the polysteel tank on her back… (1,400 words)
See the complete issue here.
Shimmer is published bi-monthly, and available in both print and your choice of DRM-free electronic formats (indeed, a wide range of formats, not just PDF and Kindle.) It has shown a talent for rooting out great fiction across a wide range of fantasy and SF, and describes itself as publishing “Speculative fiction for a miscreant world.”
A new story is released on the magazine’s website every other Tuesday; or you can buy the complete issue in a variety of formats. The digital version also includes some nonfiction content (interviews and an editorial).
Shimmer is edited by E. Catherine Tobler and published by Beth Wodzinski. Digital editions are just $2.99 in a variety of formats, and 6-issue (one year) subscriptions are only $15. Order directly from the magazine’s subscription page.
We last covered Shimmer with Issue #27.