As we read stories for this issue, one question kept coming up, over and over again: “Will the readers be willing to do that?”
Will they be willing to read a story that’s told backwards?
Will they be willing to see the heart of this story, or will the viciousness be too much?
What about the ambiguity in this one, will they be OK with not knowing which character is which?
What about all the subtle hints in that one, will the readers take the time to put the puzzle together?
Every time we asked ourselves that, the answer was, yes.
While you’re over there, check out the Shimmer blog. We’ve got some cool interviews up with the Issue 16 authors.
K. M. Szparza talks about our cover story, “Ordinary Souls,” which has made more than one reader cry already.
Christie Yant tells us about the origins of her story, “The Revelation of Morgan Stern.” Awww. The origin story is as terrific as the story it inspired.
Helena Bell talks about stuffing her great grandmother’s bra for her funeral, poetry, and her story “In Light of Recent Events I Have Reconsidered the Wisdom of Your Space Elevator.”
Charlie Bookout talks about playing music in a mortuary, photography, and his story, “Goodbye Mildred.”
More interviews to come!
Shimmer Issue 16 is now available for preorders! The official release date is Tuesday, January 22.
I love this issue so hard.
This is the issue where we raised our pay rate for authors to three cents a word (with a comparable rate increase for artists). This tripled our pay rate (woo!). E. Catherine Tobler did a great job of selecting the stories for this issue, her second at the head of the fiction helm.
Would you like a taste of the stories? The issue closes with the story “In Light of Recent Events I Have Reconsidered The Wisdom of Your Space Elevator,” by Helena Bell. I’d read her strange and wonderful fiction before in Clarkesworld and other fine venues, so I was thrilled when this story came our way.
But I was even more delighted when Hel and her brother made this trailer for her story. Check it out!
Oh, this issue. “Ordinary Souls” by K. M. Szpara, “Tasting of the Sea,” by Shimmer veteran A.C. Wise, are quintessential Shimmery stories. They’re gorgeous stories of love and loss and yearning and the cost of magic. “The Sky Whale,” by Rebecca Emanuelson, a tale of a young girl’s incredible loss, made at least one staffer cry.
“Goodbye Mildred” by Charlie Bookout, and “Gemini in the House of Mars” by Nicole M. Taylor show a more wicked kind of love. “Goodby Mildred” has a delicously nostalgic tone, which it shares with “The Haunted Jalopy Races” by M. Bennardo.
“Lighting the Candles,” by Laura Hinkle, is our fourth unicorn story. I friggin’ hate unicorn stories, but somehow they keep being awesome enough to win me over.
“The Binding of Memories,” by Cate Gardner, is a curious confection of cake and revenge and memory. In “Word and Flesh,” by Dennis Y. Ginoza, the hero gets to eat all manner of treats, but to insidious intent. “Opposable Thumbs,” by Greg Leunig, also features sweets in a prominent role, but to very different results.
I have a real soft spot in my heart for “The Life and Death of Bob,” by William Jablonsky. Dying was the best thing that ever happened to Bob. It’s a feel-good life-affirming story — right up until the point when it isn’t, and then it just sort of makes you want to wash your hands of the human race. (Is it a spoiler to say a Shimmer story does not have a happy ending? I sure hope not.
Here’s another treat for you: the trailer for the issue, by E. Catherine Tobler.
Mmm. Preorder today.
Two quick Shimmer updates!
First, check out our interview with Shimmer editor emeritus Lisa Mantchev; we’ve also got a review of her book Eyes Like Stars.
Next, we were delighted to learn that no less than ten Shimmer stories made it on to Ellen Datlow’s Honorable Mentions in Year’s Best Horror. That’s really terrific. You can see the full list at Ellen’s blog; it offers a wealth of wonderful stories t0 read.
The Shimmer 10:
Slatter, Angela “Dresses, Three,” Shimmer 8
Slatter, Angela “The Hummingbird Heart,” Shimmer 9
Marchand, Joy “The Shape of her Sorrow,” Shimmer 9
Hobson, M.K. “The Hand of the Devil on a String,” Shimmer 9
Wallace, Tinatsu “Chimera and Qi,” Shimmer 9
Genge, Sara “Counting Down to the End of the Universe,” Shimmer 10
Wilson, Alex “The Spoils of Springfield,” Shimmer 10.
Lalumière, Claude “What to Do With the Dead,” Shimmer 10.
Paxson, Caitlyn “The Carnivale of Abandoned Tales,” Shimmer 10.
Yaniv, Nir “A Painter, a Sheep, and a Boa Constrictor,” Shimmer 10
Congrats to the authors!
Woo-hoo! Big news from Shimmer. Best American Fantasy 3, edited by Kevin Brockmeier and Matthew Cheney, is reprinting Kuzhali Manickavel’s “Flying and Falling,” from our Art issue. We’re just thrilled!
What’s more, two other Shimmer stories were selected for the BAF Recommended Reading list: Aliette de Bodard’s “Within the City of the Swan” from the Art Issue, and our cover story from Issue 9, M. K. Hobson’s “The Hand of the Devil on a String.”
So we’re celebrating with a sale: $3.00 off Issue 8 (The Art Issue) and Issue 9! That means:
Order your copies today, and read these terrific stories for yourself.