If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll probably have seen that the majority of the stuff I’ve tweeted lately has been… kind of odd. Little microfictions using strange words that don’t look real.
That’s ‘cos those words aren’t real; they’re the product of #AchtenWrite, a new writing prompt thingy that gives you a word a day to write something around. Achten Write, though, is an offshoot of something bigger: Tales from the Year Between.
Tales from the Year Between is a new anthology, hopefully to become a twice-yearly release, and it’s one of the weirdest and coolest things I’ve ever heard of, let alone been a part of. Each volume will be set in a different world, and each of those worlds will be generated by the contributors using a set of game mechanics designed to fill an empty setting with places, people, history, all sorts. Then each contributor goes off and writes whatever the heck they feel like writing within that shared world. There are stories, recipes, plays, hymns, flash fiction pieces, epistles, essays, and some of them mesh together and some of them outright contradict each other and basically it’s just a bizarre world that feels big and strange and wonderful.
Anyway, the first volume is ‘Achten Tan: Land of Dust and Bone’, and it’s due out on August 17th. I’ve got a few pieces in there, and it’s been genuinely fantastic to be part of this thing as it comes together. I’ve had the chance to make some seriously strange works, so it’s been a brilliant excuse to write as weird as I want, and there are also a lot of cool people working on it whom I’m very glad to have got to know.
So pre-order the inaugural volume on Kindle now! Or you can wait until the 17th and get a physical copy – there are some really nice maps and other bits of nice-looking things going into it, so I reckon having a copy you can hold in your hands will be really worth it. (You can also get a variety of digital formats over at Smashwords.)
To find out more – about this and future volumes – head to yearbetween.com. You can sign up to get email updates, find out more about how you could be part of the next volume, and also read a bunch of apocrypha: little pieces from the world that might or might not make it into the finished volume, but are still a part of the universe we’ve all created together. (See the page for the first volume for an archive of all apocrypha relating to Achten Tan, including a piece by yours truly.)
I’m seriously really excited for this incredibly strange new project to launch, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading the exceptional variety of works that have made ‘Achten Tan: Land of Dust and Bone’ such a fun thing to work on. Here’s to many, many volumes of Tales from the Year Between!