TALES FROM THE YEAR BETWEEN is the flagship publication of Skullgate Media. It exists at the intersection between Dungeons & Dragons and a group of friends sitting around a campfire. It sits in the Appendix to Return of the King, and in M.T. Anderson's Viriconium. It's one part literary anthology, one part worlds largest writing prompt, and seventeen parts weird. Shake, serve over ice with a twist of lemon and a splash of wormwood. Voila!
Each volume in the series is set in a different, unique world -- a world that didn't exist before the anthology itself. Each contributor explores our new, shared world in their writing -- through flash-fiction and short-stories, though poems, songs and recipes.
The first 2 Volumes -- Achten Tan: Land of Dust and Bones and Under New Suns are available NOW wherever slightly off-kilter books are sold! Order at the Skullgate Shop, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Ko-Fi, or support small bookstores and shop at BookShop.org.
Most anthologies have themes: a genre, a tone, a mood. Tales From the Year Between has nothing ... nothing but an entire world that doesn't even exist before we embark on an adventure of creation together!
We start with a few rough building blocks -- a genre, the name of a town. That's it. Then the writers use a modified version of a collective story telling game to create a world. For Volumes 1-2 we used The Quiet Year; for Volume 3 we're using I'm Sorry, Did You Say Street Magic?) Over a week the contributors create locations, characters, and dramatic narrative threads. From a handful of blank google documents, we create a world!
Once the "game" is complete, we have a sprawling, messy playground in which to create. A world with history and a population, with local chieftains, warlords, and warriors, long abandoned towers and mysterious worms burring beneath the desert sands. Using this shared "canon," everyone is free to expand and explore and contradict one another in a tangled, surreal mess of interlocking fiction.
The question we ask is: is it fabulous? If so, it gets into the final issue. Standard flash and short-fiction? Sure. But letter from the mayor to his mistress? Great. A recipe for mammoth ribs combined with Nanna Pel'tor's memories of growing up in the Tar Wastes? Even better. A song cycle in a made up language set to gamelan music? Now we're talking. Think your idea is too weird? Our motto is "Factum Est Bonum." It's all good.
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