Shimmer

Tagged: Publication

US Online Magazine, semi-professional from issue #15 (Summer 2012), also available in print form for its first eighteen issues, though the print issues seldom sold more than 200 copies. It was published and edited by Beth Wodzinski in Salt Lake City, Utah, and planned as a quarterly from Autumn 2005 though it soon appeared only twice yearly from 2007 to 2013, and it was not until it shifted solely to online publication that it was able to appear bi-monthly from May 2014 to its final issue, #46, November 2018. Wodzinski remained publisher but E Catherine Tobler became editor from issue #12 (Autumn 2010), whilst John Joseph Adams guest-edited issues #7-#8 (Autumn 2007-Winter 2008) and Ann VanderMeer guest edited #18-#21 (February-September 2014). Mary Robinette Kowal was art director from the first issue to #10 (Spring 2009) and with Adams developed a special issue (#8, Winter 2008) where the artwork inspired the stories. George Mann also helped edit issue #11 (Winter 2009), called the "Clockwork Jungle Book" and featuring Steampunk animal fables.

The main thrust of the magazine was good storytelling of the "strange", regardless of genre. Most of the contents were contemporary fantasy or supernatural, but science fiction was seldom far away and issue #31 (May 2016) was devoted to sf. Examples of other distinctive sf stories include "Anna Saves Them All" (#21, September 2014) by Seth Dickson, where an Alien Spaceship lands in wartorn Iraq; "We Take the Long View" (same issue) by Erica L Satifka, where explorers on another planet become absorbed by a giant forest; "The Last Dinosaur" (#26, July 2015) by Lavie Tidhar depicting a near-future London reshaped by the lack of fossil fuels; "A July Story" (#27, September 2015) by K L Owens, set in a house which serves as a Time Gate, and "Indigo Blue" (#30, March 2016) by Rachel K Jones, an effective experiment in world-building. Sf continued through to the final issue with "Ghosts of Bari" (#46, November 2018) by Wren Wallis, where a salvage team explores an abandoned alien craft. Authors who made their fiction debut in Shimmer include Aliette de Bodard, Amal El-Mohtar and Alix E Harrow. In later years, Tobler assembled an annual print anthology of all the stories, starting with Shimmer 2014: The Collected Stories (anth 2016). Tobler also compiled The Best of Shimmer (anth 2020).

Shimmer can be compared with Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet and Say ... for its publishing of literate and unusual fantasies and sf. [MA]

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