I think of Shimmer primarily as a magazine of contemporary fantasy. While they also publish science fiction (and “a dash of literary horror,” according to their guidelines), I generally consider them a home for fantasy with a decidedly modern spin.
They’re certainly not my go-to publication for sword & sorcery or adventure fantasy, anyway. So I was surprised and pleased to find them stake out some more familiar terrain with their latest issue. Here’s the description for the July 2017 issue, now on sale.
Sometimes, especially now, you need a dash of the old-fashioned adventure story. You’ll find a couple of those herein, but we’ve also thrown old-fashioned out the window, because we’re Shimmer, and that tends to be what we do.
I first heard about it from Martin Cahill, whose new adventure fantasy tale is in this issue.
My new short story, “Salamander Six-Guns,” is now live at Shimmer Magazine! If you like queer, weird westerns of desperate men fighting anthropomorphic alligator people on the shores of a terrible swamp, then this is the story for you! Special thanks to my Clarion Class of ’14, who critiqued this as the last story of our six weeks together, and without whose help this wouldn’t be the story it is. Werecorgis for life! Please give it a read, and let me know what you think.
Shimmer #38 also contains new fiction by Andrea Corbin, Heather Morris, and Victoria Sandbrook. I looked all over the website but couldn’t find any mention of who did the cover, but I’m pretty sure it’s Sandro Castelli.
Shimmer is no longer available in print. It is published bimonthly in digital formats; it contains four stories per issue (usually), all of which gradually become available for free on the website.
Here’s the story descriptions (with active links, where available).
“Salamander Six-Guns,” by Martin Cahill
He descended on the town like a saint sent from Dark Heaven six-guns shining like twin torches in his hands, down to the border where we had our battle on. Summers are always the worst in Sunblooders Stand, as the scale-folk grow riled earlier in the bright days. (6,800 words)
“Itself at the Heart of Things,” by Andrea Corbin (available 7/18)
On the floor, I hiked my skirts up and began to disassemble myself, starting with my left knee. “How is that going to stop the Szemurians? How is that going to protect us? Can’t you help me, for God’s sake?” (3,000 words)
“Maps of Infinity,” by Heather Morris (available 8/1)
The difference between you and the humans, when it comes right down to it, is not in the protrusions of gnarled bone and horn that jut from the apex of your skull, or in the coarse fur that contrasts so spectacularly with the other parts of you, the parts that are mere human skin, or in your roar, or your pain, or their avarice. (3,400 words)
“The Moon, the Sun, and the Truth,” by Victoria Sandbrook (available 8/15)
Dust rising over the next scrub-covered hill gave away the rider’s position even before the incoming trash-guzzler’s growl settled around Andy’s ears. She waited as patiently as you could on a jittery horse that didn’t know you well, in sun that’d singe any hint of bare skin. (1,500 words)
See the complete issue here.
Shimmer is published bi-monthly in a wide range of DRM-free electronic 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 #35.