†3 Dark – Our First Story & What to Expect

Hello everyone,

The goal of †3 Dark is to publish 13 pieces of fiction by 13 astounding writers, but it is also to create a community. So, I’ll be dropping these blogs every once in a while to give you some updates on how it’s all going. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below!

When I set out to recruit these 13 writers, all of whom had authored work that reached me in a deeply personal way, I never imagined, for a second, I would successfully rally all 13. But, miraculously, it has happened. And now I’m working with 13 of my all-time favourite writers. I count my blessings every day.

For those who missed the announcement, you can check out more info on what †3 Dark is going to be here. Basically, it’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime project where you can help breathe new life into the publishing world, get your hands on incredible exclusive rewards unavailable anywhere else and read some of the best fiction out there. From subscriptions to world-class magazines, pre-release copies of truly innovative novels, to the usual cool T-shirts and merch, we’ve got something for everyone.

So, what have we been doing since the grand announcement?

Our first story, ‘Bethesda’ by Ross Jeffery, has been turned in, re-drafted, proofread and edited. Dare I say it: finished? In addition, our artist Shawn Langley is working on some initial sketches for the concept art. The contract is signed. The cover artwork is finished. I’m going to share that cover artwork with you now to give you a taste of what’s to come, the kind of quality you can expect:

lonely man standing on the sea under sunset sky,illustration painting
Bethesda is the first instalment of 13Dark. Check out the subtle details in the picture for some clues about the story…

As the image would suggest, this initial story is hopeful, down-to-earth, but still with that insight into human suffering, our place in the grand scheme, that renders the work suitable for a body of dark fiction such as this. It is an affirmation of miracles, though also a subversion of the form in which we believe they might sometimes take. A first reading of this story might give you the impression it’s dead simple, and in some ways it is, but read it back and you will see microcosms of the story buried in each subtle gesture, metaphor and description, a grander narrative buried in the details. When you read this tale for the third time you begin to see how intricately it has been worked. The mark of any great piece. None of this is to say it won’t knock you off your feet on the first reading with sheer emotionality. Ross has put a lot of his heart and soul into this piece, as well as basing it off real experience, and the result is staggering.

Will all the stories be this uplifting? I doubt it. We have some dark-minded authors on our team. Many of them can make your skin crawl. Others, shatter you with cathartic despair. Some of them you will have heard of. We’re honoured to publish an exclusive story by THE Richard Thomas, author of TribulationsDisintegration, Transubstantiation and many other neo-noir masterpieces. We’ll also be publishing stories from Veronica Magenta Nero, Moira Katson, Eden Royce and Christa Wojciechowski, all phenomenal writers with an incredible body of work. Though they write in different genres, what unifies them is their insight into the human condition, reality, the deeper spiritual truths we are, as a species, so hungry for and yet so in denial about. I recommend you check all of them out. And, I’ll be writing about their amazing stuff over the next couple of weeks.

†3 Dark will also introducing some new voices, ones we just know are going to be major writers;  we’re delighted say these new voices include Tomek Dzido, Anthony Self, Tice Cin, Matthew Blackwell, Ross Jeffery, Samuel Parr, Andy Cashmore and Jamie Parry-Bruce. Again there is huge diversity here, from horror to literary fiction, from sci-fi to dark, deep fantasy. But, insight and powerful writing unites them. You’re going to love what they do.

Anyway, that’s enough for now. I hope you’re digging what we’re trying to achieve. Our kickstarter launches in April, so mark the date in the diary (this not an April’s Fools or a drill!). In the meantime, why not connect with those fabulous writers and artists via Twitter & Facebook? You can also talk to me any time via this blog or social media. Follow @project13dark for regular updates.

Adieu & ogenki-de!


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