Shimmer - Number 12
Edited by Beth Wodzinski
Cover Artist: Shawn Kavanaugh
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 25 October 2010
Links: Shimmer / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Shimmer Number 12 is here and is as enjoyable as ever.
The stories begin with "The Mike and Carly Story, Without the Gossip" by Peter M. Ball. Mike loves Carly but Carly doesn't love Mike and this might be just another high school romance except that Mike is a werewolf, like most of his family. This isn't a big secret and his family deals with it by going on camping trips for the full moon. Mike returns from one and can smell Oscar Delluna's cigarette smoke on Carly's lips. Where do things go from there? Well, there's a full moon coming up. This was written in the voice of someone who knew the whole story (without gossip) and it worked quite well.
"Seek Him I'th'Other Place Yourself" by Josh Storey is set in something like a faerie kingdom and the real world with alternating stories about a man missing his lost lover who has died in each one. In the faerie kingdom, he must journey to Hades. In the real world, he must try another way. Storey writes a good fantasy here.
Erin Cashier sets "Near the Flame" in a fantasy world in which Nygibe lives by the sea. Her name means 'Near the Ocean'. Because of her storytelling ability, she is chosen by the Agawa to become part of the Queen of Agawa's court. She will now be called Nygawa, which means 'Near the Flame'. Her storytelling ability enables her to conjure shapes out of the smoke of fires. This comes in useful during a crisis. This all comes together for another nice little fantasy.
As you might expect "Red and Grandma Inside the Wolf" by Carmen Lau, owes more than a little to a famous fairy take and it does. This is just a little different take on it and was quite cleverly done.
The title character of "An Organization Man in the Long Time After Legends" by Jen Volant, is John Smith who works for an organization that finds and destroys supernatural monsters. He is getting old and has had some trouble lately. The organization has sent a new man who will take over his latest case. Things work out in an unexpected way. Volant does a good job with John's character and making us care about him.
In "Crepuscular" by Ben Francisco, Jessica and her boyfriend Roger see the world differently. She is obsessed with charts and spreadsheets. He likes to build snowmen. When he builds one he called Monsieur Frosty, she wants it to just melt and Roger gets angry and leaves. Monsieur Frosty works his Gaullic charm on her and melts her heart. She and Roger go on a quest for Monsieur Frosty in an utterly charming fantasy.
"You Had Me at Rarrrgg" by Nicky Draden is a love story between the last living woman on Earth, Dr. Renee Arbuckle and Steve, the zombie she loves. She has an idea to stave off the catastrophe that has plagued the world but things are not that easy. This was an amusing little contribution to the ever growing body of zombie literature.
"No Place Like Home, or Building the Yellow Brook Road" by Krista Hoeppner Leahy certainly brings up memories of another great fantasy and this one uses the Tin Man and another character to weave an interesting story. The Tin Man has a job to do but there are those who would stop him. We get a very beautiful love story and I enjoyed this quite a bit.
Finally, there is "Five Letters from New Laverne" by Monica Byrne. This is, indeed, an epistolary tale told by our narrator, Jerome, writing letters to a lover, Hiro, about a visit to a planet in which people bleed spontaneously, like stigmata. Our narrator, becomes more drawn to the people of this planet and we find out more about Jerome and Hiro's story in the process. This was a nice, gently told tale.
Another wonderful issue of Shimmer, its twelfth. Letís hope there are dozens more. Subscribe!