Posts Tagged ‘Shimmer’

Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest

Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest is having a Halloween raffle. Check it out.

You’ll find nothing but TREATS here, guaranteed! Here’s a chance to fill your pillowcase with all sorts of goodies, including rare items from some of the biggest names in the field. For only $1.00 per ticket. And, a percentage of all proceeds made will go to the National Center for Family Literacy!

One “ticket” will be selected as the winner for each item. So, the more “tickets” you buy, the greater your chances… Winners announced on Halloween at midnight . To bid on any of the fantastic items, just visit and simply put a “1” in the quantity field (for a charge of just $1). For a better chance at winning your item, just put in a “2” or a “3” (or a “20”) and your chances will increase accordingly! Good luck!

This is just some of what you’ll find to bid on:

* In-depth short story critiques offered by famed writers and editors.
* Copy edited original manuscript of Titan signed by Ben Bova.
* Signed HCs of Homebody, Magic Street or Pastwatch by Orson Scott Card.
* Signed MMPB of The Keeper by Sara Langan.
* Signed TPB French edition of The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum.
* Promotional Moral Orel photo or t-shirt signed by actress Carolyn Lawrence (voice of Orel).
* Signed copies of award winning writer M.M. Buckner’s: Hyperthought, Neurolink, and War Surf.
* Original hand-written poem framed with signed photo of Grim Trixter author Brandy Schwan.
* Signed reader’s copies of Mary Doria Russell’s new novel Dreamers of the Day.
* Awesome stuff from Aradani Studios (Paul and Michael Bielaczyc).
* Signed, HC limited edition copy of Dreadful Skin by Cherie Priest.
* Giant gift box from including videos, shirts, etc.
* Signed copies of Steven Savile’s Warhammer trilogy: Retribution, Dominion, and Inheritance .
* Three signed, sexy PR photos of author Angeline Hawkes-Fulbright.
* HC of DUNE: The Machine Crusade or Ignition signed by co-author Kevin J. Anderson.
* Signed, HC of Metal Swarm by author Kevin J. Anderson. This is the UK edition.
* Signed, MMPB of The Freakshow by Bryan Smith.
* Signed Tales of… pack by Geoffrey Girard: Atlantic Pirates, Jersey Devil, and Eastern Indians.
* One year subscription to Shimmer Magazine
* Signed & Limited Edition of I Sing the Body Electric! by Ray Bradbury (retail value of $150).
* Signed copies of The Magic Goblet and The Magic Ring edited by Dr. Amy H Sturgis.
* HC of The Last Rakosh by F. Paul Wilson.
* TPB of Wet Work by Philip Nutman.
* Signed, limited HC of Offspring by Jack Ketchum.
* Signed Sterling Edition (publisher’s copy with slipcase) of The Tery by F. Paul Wilson.
* Galaxy Press/Writers of the Future Educators Pack – many books!
* Blood-signed (by contributor Jodi Lee) TPB of Echoes of Terror anthology.
* Extended Play: The Elastic Book of Music anthology edited by Gary Couzens.
* Abaddon Books Gift Pack – many books!
* Autographed ARC of Robert McCammon’s Speaks the Nightbird.
* Brian Keene pack: The Rising, City of the Dead, Terminal, Ghoul, Conqueror Worms, and Dead Sea .
* And much, much more………

Shimmer‘s Pirate Issue, Trailer

Ye sly whiskered dog, ye can pre-order yer copy o’ Shimmer today. What better way to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day?

I’ll tell you what’s better: It’s a double-issue. 136 pages of piratical fiction.

I also have to say that I loved working with Sean Markey on making this trailer. He created the original music for it. And if you like the art in this, by James A. Owen, wait until you see the rest of the issue. Every story is illustrated.


I be preparing fer International Talk Like a Pirate Day tomorrow. Ye should be prepared to, or I’ll see that yer keelhauled.

Today: the cliff notes

Layout Shimmer
Lunch with Tempest: Mmm. Best risotto in the world
More layout Shimmer
Dinner with Dean: Watched Taxi Driver for the first time. I know. Should have seen it earlier, but didn’t. Good film.

Wow. First time someone’s cooked a meal at their home for me since arriving and then two meals in one day. Somehow, it feels like I am not a tourist any more.

Mary = Southerner = hospitality = home

Strange Horizons Podcast interviews me

Last week I spent an enjoyable hour being interviewedby Susan Marie Groppi for Strange Horizons‘ podcast. Susan was my editor for “Bound Man,” in Twenty Epics and also “Portrait of Ari” for Strange Horizons.

In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Susan Marie Groppi spoke with Mary Robinette Kowal. Mary is a puppeteer and writer, and she is also the art director of Shimmer magazine.

More mossEdited to add: I was just listening to this to make sure I didn’t sound like an idiot. Which I mostly don’t, until I try to speak a little Icelandic. In fact, I talk about Iceland a bit and figured I would throw some visual aids up here. If you’ve listened to the podcast and want to know what the Land of a Thousand Throw Pillows looks like, it looks like this.

See! I wasn’t exaggerating my description, was I.

Susan was a really gracious host to the podcast. The only thing she seems to have cut was my closing remark, which was something along the lines of “Strange Horizons is one of the best things going for short fiction.”

2007 Hugo Nominations list

200 Hugo NominationsI’m delighted today. If you take a look at the pdf of the 2007 Hugo Nominations you’ll note Shimmer’s name. While I’d love to see the magazine make it onto the ballot for semi-prozine, our spot on the list of runner-ups is very satisfying. Thank you to the ten of you who nominated us!

Marketing short fiction

Douglas Cohen has posted about having a subscription drive for short fiction genre magazines. Now, working on a small press magazine, Shimmer, I certainly support the idea of wanting more people to buy our magazine, but I think that the subscription drive is a matter of looking at the symptoms rather than the cause.

The problem is that fewer people are buying short story magazines these days. As Doug says, “…the short story market is dying. ” The question I don’t see anyone asking is: Why aren’t readers buying short fiction?

I’ll tell you what I think. I think it’s because genre fiction markets tend to be poorly designed and marketed. They tend to have people running them for the love, and not with any understanding of marketing or business. When an editor answers the question, “What’s your target market?” with “I don’t know, I just buy what I like,” that’s an editor who is not going to sell magazines. I’ve heard editors say this. It makes me crazy.

Look people. I made my living for the past seventeen years selling puppet shows. I know about marketing things that people don’t think they want. Things that people have preconceptions about. I’ll tell you that I’ve seen theaters run as non-profits and as for-profits. You know what’s interesting? The for-profits make money. Those folks who say, “I’m not doing this to make money,” won’t make money. When short fiction markets are run as a business with the intention of making money, then you will see them make money. And you will see changes.

Allow me to voice something that I have thought for a while and that no one else seems to be willing to say in public. And lord knows it will not make me popular. Here goes… The design of F & SF is dowdy. It is old and it will not appeal to young readers. It looks the way it did when I was in high school — twenty years ago. Have you picked up Asimov‘s? Analog? Do you see anything that will make a teenager want to own it? Heck, even want to be seen carrying it?


It’s not that I think these magazines need to cater exclusively to teens, but all markets need to recognize that what their target demographic finds appealing changes as new generations grow into that demographic range. Fashions change and we, as a genre, aren’t keeping up with the times.

You want more readers for short fiction? Then answer this question for me: Why don’t you buy short fiction magazines?

Now answer this one. What would it take to make you change your mind about reading short fiction?

Shimmer, Vol. 2, Iss. 2: A Review

Shimmer, Winter 07 cover
Here I am, in the middle of laying out the Art Issue of Shimmer and stumble across this lovely, lovely review of our Winter issue.

Do you like fables? Fairy tales? Mythic Realism? Writers like Patricia McKillip, Charles DeLint, and Neil Gaiman at his most fantastical? Then you’ll like Shimmer, I believe. It is a beautiful little zine, perfect bound, with eight art and nine fiction pieces (and one interview); around 80 pages of content when you subtract the front and back matter. I’m not sure about their other issues, but I was left shaking my head wondering if I would ever be able to write as beautifully as the authors included in this issue of Shimmer. I believe the readers and editors did a fine job of choosing material. In some cases it was like reading tapestry.

There’s more! She goes on to say more very nice things about the whole issue–and notices the artists in particular, which always makes me happy.

The Art IssueAnd if the art in that issue is good, wait until you see the Art Issue. I got to pick gorgeous art and then we asked some of our favorite authors to write stories to fit the art. Just take a sneak peek at this cover by none other than John Picacio. (He’s up for a Hugo, so wish him luck.)

Every piece of art in this issue is something that I’ve drooled over and coveted since I first saw it. Behold! I managed to convince the board to let us flip the usual artist and writer relationship on its head. The stories that we got out of this experiment are by turns chilling and beautiful. I’ll post a trailer for the issue early next week.

And the day started so nicely.

What a day. I’ll all in.

We started by having brunch with fab girl, her friend Leslie, Jodi and Jed at Cafe Deville. It’s a nice big open space with good food, but the service was questionable. We kept having to send water glasses away because they had floaters in them. Ugh.

After that, Rob and I spent a couple of hours tromping around to various paper and art supply stores looking for the paperwood I want for my laptop’s space bar. No luck. I finally picked up a piece of thin birch ply for model airplanes. I’ve found paperwood online, but there keep being minimum orders and, you know, I want to test it first. It’s very frustrating. If you know a store that carries it, do let me know.

Giving up on that, we headed to Home Depot to pick up paint for the living room and dining room. While I’m all for shopping locally, I just can’t plunk down $45 on a gallon of paint. Can’t. And that’s what the paint costs in my neighborhood.

In between painting, I wrestled with a couple of different computer programs trying to crank out an ad for Shimmer, because my software is still in the boxes coming from Iceland. All the trial versions of other software have expired, leaving me with nothing very useful. Again. Frustrating. So I went back and forth between that and the walls, which are also frustrating because they are just a wee bit uneven. It’s impossible to get a clean edge, even with tape, at any point. I do it better freehanding, really.

I’m heading off to shower and bed now. I’ve got a job interview for a temp position as a receptionist tomorrow. While I’m here to do puppetry, it usually takes a year or two to establish oneself in a new community. Gotta keep food on the table and paint on the walls while that’s happening, eh?

Shimmer Vol 2 #2 reviewed

Shimmer, Winter 07 coverOokami reviewedShimmer Vol 2 #2 and loves us. This makes me happy, particularly the note taken of the art direction. I think our artists are wonderful, so it’s nice when someone else agrees with me.

What I noticed about all the stories is the sheer intelligence that has gone into the writing, even the stories that appealed to me less. There is no flotsam here, but some fine writing that treats the form seriously (even Boogie-woogie man!). This, combined with the attractiveness of the package, means that I can happily recommend the magazine.

Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest interviews Shimmer’s editor-in-chief

Shimmer, Winter 07 coverApex Science Fiction and Horror Digest‘s online magazine interviewed Beth about Shimmer. During the interview, I am compared to a horse…

Beth Wodzinski is the Editor-in-Chief of Shimmer Magazine. You’ve probably heard of it…attractive perfect-bound magazine that could probably call itself the young cousin of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. Beth Wodzinski is respected and well-liked by the Apex staff, and we were pleased that she took the time to tell us more about her labor of love.

The Slush God Speaketh: Shimmer — The Pirate Issue: Table of Contents

The Slush God Speaketh: Shimmer — The Pirate Issue: Table of Contents

At long last, I present the table of contents for Shimmer — The Pirate Issue:

* A Hand for Each by J. Kathleen Cheney
* Captain Blood’s B00ty by Jeremiah Tolbert
* The Blackguard of God by Melinda Selmys
* Come to the Islands by Mikal Trimm
* Interview with the Founder of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by Jen West
* The Barbary Shore by James L. Cambias
* Pirates by Adeline Thromb Age 8 by Marissa K. Lingen
* The Sweet Realm by Jill Snider Lum
* The Furies by Rajan Khanna
* The Perfect Hook by Justine Graykin
* Hard Times for Bartleby Crow by Grant Stone

This was a lot of fun to put together. I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished product (and the artwork by James Owen!), and to hearing what people think of the stories.

And now, more computer angst

So…now my printer and my scanner won’t talk to my computer. I am annoyed. I have it narrowed down to something (probably) wrong with the BIOS but, lordy, I have no idea how to fix it except a system restore.

That would be fine, except that the program that I use to layout Shimmer is in one of the boxes coming from Iceland to NYC. You know, the ones we left behind because we thought we were going back? So, if I do a system restore, I can’t reload that program. Oh, I could download a trial version, but it’s only good for fifteen days. I could switch programs, but that means rebuilding all my templates. The timing on this is, shall we say, crappy.