Shimmer – Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring, 2008
Edited by Beth Wodzinski
Cover Artist: Aunia Kahn
Review by Sam Tomaino
Shimmer ISBN/ITEM#: SHIMMER200802
Date: 26 September 2008
Links: Shimmer's Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Shimmer Volume 3, Issue 1 is here and I've come to really enjoy this attractive magazine. All the stories got a Very Good from me.
The stories begin with "Chimera and Qi" by Tinatsu Wallace. Rei is a young woman who has left her husband, Jeremy and returned home to her mother. As the story progresses, we find out something strange about Rei, but more important, we find out what her mother really is. This was a beautifully written piece.
Angela Slatter follows with "The Hummingbird Heart". In some fantasy world, a woman (with the help of a doctor of some sort) is able to bring her daughter to life again by putting a live hummingbird in her chest in place of her heart. But there is a price to pay in this poignant tale.
Jenny Maloney's "Maybe Blue" features Quilt a guard in a particularly nasty prison. The other jailers bring in the beautiful Mathilda, who is in mime makeup. Mathilda is abused and experimented on but leaves a deep impression on Quilt. This was a grim but effective piece.
Alex Dally MacFarlane contributes "Juniper Grave", a nice little variant on a familiar tale from the Brothers Grimm.
D. Lynn Smith's "The Girl Who Lost Her Way" is a fanciful and poignant story about a little girl named Maya who was born when her mother was bitten on the leg by a coachwhip snake. Maya was born a week later and grows up quickly. She finds she can communicate with a saguaro cactus who teaches her many things. That is just the beginning of this imaginative piece.
"The Shape of Her Sorrow" by Joy Marchand features Hester who can ease the sorrows of the dead and send them off to eternity. But Jilly proves a lot more to handle. Marchand has written something truly memorable.
Next up is M.K. Hobson's "The Hand of the Devil on a Sting". Perseffany Anne Poole, known to all as Seff, works as a manicurist and is surprised to see Mrs. Dee, her abusive boyfriend's mother, ask for a manicure so she'll look good for her funeral. While Seff is working on her nails, Mrs. Dee tells her the story of the strange black object she wears around her neck. M.K. Hobson shows us here why her stories are so well-regarded.
"20th Anniversary Caveman" by Gra Linnaea tells of a young man who wants to give his parents a great anniversary present. He succeeds all to well in this funny piece.
First-time writer D.T. Friedman contributes a nice debut to this issue with "Even the Slowest Fall". Ensei and Tabor live in a world in which people can slow down and do magical feats when the do. To save the Steward of their land, Tabor has slowed down so much that she is lost to Ensei. What can he do to get her back? Friedman is talented and imaginative and I'll look forward to her next story.
Chad Brian Henry's "Distractions" is a one page piece about a man who is distracted so much that seeing the future does him no good.
"Lucy" by Chrissy Ellsworth is a nice little one page cartoon with a caption about a lesson that a little girl learns.
Finally, "The Glass Girl Looks Back" by Stephanie Campisi is, indeed, the story of a girl made of glass. This makes her life difficult and, although she has some happy moments, only understands her life at its end.
The editors of Shimmer have put together another fine issue, well worth your support.