Shimmer Magazine (#16)

Shimmer Magazine (#16) - E. Catherine Tobler, K.M. Szpara, Laura Hinkle, Nicole M. Taylor, A.C. Wise, Rebecca Emanuelsen, Charlie Bookout, Greg Leunig, Dennis Y. Ginoza, M. Bennardo, Christie Yant, Cate Gardner, Helena Bell, William Jablonsky For my full-length review, please visit Casual Debris.

Number 16 presents us with thirteen shorter short stories. There are some unfortunately weak entries in this volume, mingling with some effective ones. Despite a few good tales, the consistent tone and consistent shortness of these stories makes for a somewhat average read, an entirely different experience from Shimmer #15. I think I would prefer the magazine if it included greater variety in style, tone and in the case of this issue, length. The shorter stories make for a choppy, interrupted read, and the similarity in tone unfortunately fails to bind. Something longer? Something wilder? I don't think it would harm.

I like Shimmer quite a bit but feel it can be better than it is, a feeling emphasized when reading a weaker entry. A quote on the magazine's back cover and included on its webpage opines that the magazine features stories "built on fresh ideas or at least interesting twists on established ones," and that fantastical elements pervade each tale either overtly or via "the mere shimmer of possibility..." While true with most tales here, a few fall astray of this definition. There are a surprising number of stories that have no fantastical element, though they do imply fantasy and I suppose that is the "shimmer of possibility."

Shimmer has some entertaining author and staff profiles and little photos in their backpages which I genuinely enjoy. In fact, it makes me feel badly when I write less favourably about a particular story. This review, hence, makes me feel badly three times over :( My favourites are those by Leunig, Ginoza, Gardner, Jablonsky and Bell. (Sounds like a law firm.)