Shimmer – Number 41, January 2018
Edited by E. Catherine Tobler
Cover Artist: Sandro Castelli
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 27 January 2018
Links: Shimmer / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Here is Shimmer #41 with four wonderful and unique stories.
The first story is "Black Fanged Theme" by Sam Rebelein. -+- Jude Ostermann lives in a small New England town with his wife and two kids. He works in the family insurance firm that he will inherit. Every night at sunset, a strange figure walks down the street, trailing hundreds of small glass bottles by twine tied to his fingertips. In each bottle is a piece of paper connected to every resident age ten or over. I won't spoil anymore but just say that this story had a really unsettling feel to it. Like something out of a Shirley Jackson story. That's high praise by the way.
The second story is "An Incomplete Catalogue of Miraculous Births, or, Secrets of the Uterus Abscondita" by Rebecca Campbell. -+- Mary Toft miscarries after seeing a rabbit. Thereafter, she starts giving birth to rabbits. This is based on a famous hoax in 1726 England. Interspersed with this story are brief accounts of other odd births, either mythological or oddly real. Fascinating. I like the way Campbell takes a real event and adds fantasy to it.
The third story is "Me, Waiting for Me, Hoping for Something More" by Dee Warrick. -+- Our narrator is the "boy ghost" of a trans woman in transition. They have both noticed a second set of stairs has appeared in the basement of their apartment complex. She walks down them and finds a long room underneath. Against his objections, she decides to explore it. What do both of them find? Interesting exploration of a trans person.
The fourth story is "Held" by Ian O'Reilly. -+- Maru is a satchel that is centuries old. She has contained many unusual things, some from mythology. She is intelligent and bigger on the inside. She can hide things from her owner. She was handed down to her current owner, Eliza, by the young woman's grandmother and we get a glimpse of their lives together. Brilliantly imaginative.
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