Shimmer – Number 10
Edited by Beth Wodzinski
Cover Artist: Carrrie Ann Baade
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 24 April 2009
Links: Shimmer 10's Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Shimmer Number 10 is here and it's been a while since I've seen an issue of this attractive little magazine All the stories got a Very Good from me.
The stories begin with "Blue Joe" by Stephanie Burgis. Josef Anton Miklovic, called "Blue Joe" is the saxophonist in a band that consists of his half-brothers. They are located in Youngstown, Ohio and one night, Joe's father (who he had never seen before) shows up and wants him to go away with him. Joe refuses but his father says that he will change his mind. Joe and his brothers go off to fight World War II and Burgis tells us a fine tale.
Caitlyn Paxson comes next with "The Carnivale of Abandoned Tales", this issue's cover story. A traveling sideshow of interesting people, the Tattooed Woman, the Woman with the Endless Hair, The Hedgehog Man, The Girl Who Spits Toads, the Beauty who is always sleeping, and others who will resonate with you in a beautiful and sad story.
"A Painter, a Sheep, and a Boa Constrictor" is by Nir Vaniv and translated from the Hebrew by Lavie Tidhar. It's a short but very well-told piece involving an artist with a unique talent, asked to draw a sheep by a boy.
"One for Sorrow" by Shweta Narayan is a very Scottish tale about a young girl named Lainie who believes the gossip that "Auld Maggie" is a witch. When she sells the woman a special feather, she comes to believe something else. Narayan contributes a fine story that really puts you in Scotland.
Richard S. Crawford weighs in with "The Bride Price", a wonderfully bizarre tale of teenage angst, but this one involves a girl named Signe who tries out to be a cheerleader. This is especially difficult because she is dead and that's not her only problem.
The "Jaguar Woman" in the story by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a young girl taken by a Spaniard as his mistress. He tries to make her forget her heritage, but that is not so easy in this effective little story.
A little girl named Marta wonders about the strange lady, next door, who has an octopus living in a basket on her porch. Her parents don't care, but Marta is persistent in "Firefly Igloo" by Caroline M. Yoachim.
Jessica Paige Wick contributes "The Fox and the King's Beard" which is much like a typical fairy story in which a boastful man is taught a lesson. This was very well-written but awfully cruel.
"River Water" by Becca De La Rosa is a very classic kind of story about a descent into the Underworld. Allison works as a taxi-driver but wants to bring her beloved sister back from the dead. This was a nicely done version of a quest.
Claude Lalumiere tells us "What to Do with the Dead" in a series of beautiful vignettes detailing practices of "Peoples" of the Islands: North, East, West and South.
In "The Spoils of Springfield", Alex Wilson gives us a wry, little piece from the point of view of one of the living dead who finds out what is truly scary.
Last of all, there's "Counting Down to the End of the Universe" by Sara Genge, a chilling little piece on what it's like to be immortal.
The stories in Shimmer are like pieces of rich fudge, all very different but quite delicious. It is worthy of our support.