Gary's Reviews > Shimmer Magazine 42

Shimmer Magazine 42 by E. Catherine Tobler
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The March/April issue of Shimmer has one of my favorite zine covers of the year so far, by in-house artist Sandro Castelli. All the stories in this issue have a surrealist bent and are written in a lyrical prose style; they also share a common theme, intersecting human needs/desires with elements of the natural world. Surrealism in fiction tends to alienate readers from the characters in a story, extinguishing any hope of emotional connection; the four tales here are admirable constructs that also kept me at arm’s length. While the general quality of the issue was good, overall it was not among the most memorable Shimmer has offered.
My favorite story in the issue was the first, “The Triumphant Ward of the Railroad and the Sea” by Sara Saab. It follows Neave, a “competitive eater” who lives on a train, the Dbovotav Coastal Express. Her only real friend the conductor Srdan, who is worried about disappearances among the passengers. For her part, Neave lost her family to the sea when she was a child and fears that it will take her too. Saab is also a poet, and the story often feels like a controlled experiment in aesthetics. It works well in that regard – the ending feels like it is drawn as much from patterns and stitches in the story’s prose as any natural development of plot.
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Reading Progress

April 5, 2018 – Started Reading
April 5, 2018 – Shelved
April 5, 2018 – Finished Reading

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