ACHTEN TAN: A land of bone & blood & really big ants

On the edge of the Bone Wastes, huddled between the arcing ribs of a long extinct monstrosity, lies Achten Tan

The first volume of Tales from the Year Between is set in Achten Tan, a post-apocalyptic fantasy city where elves ride massive ants and gnomes farm algae in cursed, subterranean caves. Having weathered generations of warfare against the giant, intelligent rats known as the Craven, the people of Achten Tan hoped that the sudden peace this last winter would presage a year of prosperity. (Spoiler -- it didn't).

A dark elf wizard, long thought dead, will return to direct the sand-worms in some obscure search. Mad prophets will arrive with severed heads; gladiators will bleed and die in the desert sand; and sleepers, unable to wake, will mutter in an ominous, unknown tongue. 

Welcome to Achten Tan!

Achten Tan: Land of Dust and Bones is available n a variety of digital formats and paperback. Right now you can buy it in Kindle or paperback ad Amazon or an eBook through Smashwords. You can also order the paperback at Barnes & Noble or wherever slightly off-kilter books are sold!


Contributors to Tales From the Year Between

Volume 1 - Achten Tan: Land of Dust & Bone (August 2020)

These are the brave (and slightly disturbed) souls who answered my Call on Twitter to bring you the inaugural issue of Tales from the Year Between! They did it for no money, with no proof of concept from me, and with no idea what they were getting into. (To be fair, I didn't either.) My gratitude to this group knows no bounds. No matter where TFYB or Skullgate Media ends up going, it all started with a Tweet, and the writers you see here.

Chris Vandyke

Chris started The Year Between because he was bored and it seemed like a good idea at the time. He is also the founding president of Skullgate Media.  You can see things he writes at and follow him at @aboutrunning

Darby Cupid

Darby isn't sure how she ended up on the giant ant to Achten Tan, but has enjoyed the ride. You can usually find her hiding from her kids, writing YA and MG books. Find out more at or find her on Twitter @darbycupid.

Gregory Coley

Gregory is a disabled writer from Dallas, Texas. In 15 years he has written everything from poetry to novels. He enjoys writing supernatural/fantasy with the help of his cat Luna. His website is:

Ian Barr

A fantasy author hailing from Northwestern Ontario, Ian joined The Year Between project for the opportunity to express some of the rogue ideas rattling around in his mind between his solo projects. You can find him on Twitter @RoyalsNRogues

Benjamin Blattberg

Benjamin is a software developer, improviser, and writer currently living in Austin, TX. His stories have appeared in Tina Connolly’s Toasted Cake, Crossed Genres, Pornokitsch, Podcastle, Pseudopod, and Diabolical Plots.
He tweets as @inCatastrophe

Chapel Orahamm

Illustrator, academic, &  author, they live in the middle of no-man's-land big sky country. They have a passion for slipstream, romance, LGBTQ novels & the odd short story. Straddling the line between grunge and sappy prose, their world can be found online at the Kavordian Library

Gabrielle Awe

Gabrielle is the writer and narrator of the  podcast Stories in the Dark. She has previously published a collection of stories from the podcast titled "Stores in the Dark: The Horror" as well as "Empire of Sky," a YA Fantasy. Read more at

Chris Durston

Chris Durston lives in England’s West Country, where he subsists on cider and ‘taters. He doesn’t know what’s going on, ever, but is OK with it. His first novel, Each Little Universe, was released in April 2020 and isn’t half bad, he hopes. Find his stuff on or on Twitter @overthinkery1

Sarah Parker

S.L.Parker, world builder, wonderer & as a result, writer. Plays well with words & others. Prior publications in poetic & academic veins. WIP exploring creation of civilization & what if step-sisters of the divided ruling family were Fear and True Love. Tweets via @isparkit 

Kelly Washington

A third-generation soldier, Kelly Washington's writing has appeared in Pulp House Fiction Magazine, Kaleidotrope, Heart’s Kiss, and various Fiction River Anthologies. You can find her on the web at She tweets as @kellywashwrites

Sarah Remy

Sarah Remy/Alex Hall is a nonbinary, animal-loving, proud gamer Geek. Their work can be found in a variety of cool places, including HarperVoyagerEDGE and NineStar Press. Find them online at or on twitter at @sarahremywrites

Jesse Nolan Baily

Jesse is an indie author who prefers to explore the dark and weird in his stories. With one dark fantasy book and more on the horizon, this anthology seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out shorter fiction in a collaborative way. Check out his work at:


Erin Rae Hoffer

Erin Rae Hoffer writes about post-fossil fuel futures in the hope that positive imaginings might slap humanity hard enough to change things. You can find her  website here and her tweets at @erhoffer

Sarah Houck

Sarah wrote fanfiction for years and is now working on her first Contemporary Romance novel. Originally from Southern California, Sarah currently lives in Anchorage, Alaska with her husband, son and two cats. She Tweets @sarahhouckbooks


Kyle Beers

Kyle is an all-around nerd and lover of nerdy things. When not writing, Kyle meditates, hikes, cooks, paints, and spends time with his dogs. He enjoys turning traditional fantasy tropes on their heads. You can find Kyle on Twitter at @KDBAuthor and online at Wordpress.


Debbie Iancu-Haddad

Having grown up but never matured, Debbie channels her inner teen into YA SFF. She lives & writes in Meitar, Israel, balancing a day job as a public speaker with writing VSS on twitter. Follow her on @debbieiancu or at her author website

CD Storiz

CD Storiz loves to escape by reading and writing Science Fiction and Fantasy. Her previously published novelette, Relevant, can be found at Kyanite Press.  As @LeChatGris3, she tweets samples of her writing and rants about her cat.

Allison N. Moore

Allison is a stay-at-home mom who lives in MN. She may look sweet and innocent, but her characters know better.  She is querying her first adult fantasy novel, which you can find out more about at her website: Her Twittter is @MooreWriting89.

Paul Worthington

Paul Worthington lives happily in South Wales U.K. with his partner and two children.When not working a mundane day job likes to write Sci-fi, Horror, Fantasy and Post-apocalyptic fiction. He tweets as @werthyp, and can be found both on Wordpress and YouTube.

Rosalind Dando

Rosalind is a primary teacher, artist, and master of procrastination. When not writing fantasy, she can be found knitting, playing board games with her partner, or hibernating with a book and her grumpy Turkish Angora cat.  @ortyallin

Dan Berison

Weaver of tales, drinker of ales and dancer of rock... in any order. Betwixt my lips and fingers rests a million stories waiting to be told.
Author of the Starlab Chronicles and Molly Banjo series, released 2020. Tweets as @StarlabChronic1

Imelda Taylor

Imelda Taylor was an English Tutor before becoming a full-time mother. She's fond of creating things that shape her daughter's imagination. She lives in Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire England. Follow her on Twitter @lostsheep2 & Instagram

Vincent LaBate

Produces and plays on The Chimera, an actual play RPG podcast, where his roles have included a loud-mouth vampire, a living financial instrument,, and a hippopotamus bartender. Writes in fit and starts. Passable tweeting at @MrReciprocity and @chimerapod.

Elvira Canaveral

Garris, Son of Key Lore is a sincere satire ( of Elvira Canaveral creator of, Go to for work or dial HAHACOMICS for Rep Ryan Richards

Roger Kristian Jones

Idaho-born and raised, Roger moved to NYC to write plays and fall in love and apparently teach English to Brooklyn high school students.  Sonneteer, novelist, screenwriter, playwright.  Blessed with a wife who celebrates nerdom and a teen daughter who hasn't gone to the dark side.

Darius Bearguard

Born in British Columbia Canada, Darius grew up in a town caught between a village and a city nestled within acres of  mountain and backwoods. He started his writing journey writing fan-fiction for the Duke Nukem games, and has been enamored with writing since. @OSTBear

Diana Gagliardi

Diana C Gagliardi talks to kids about books at a middle school & has written for various East Coast LARPS. While accused of being fictional, she lives outside of Philly PA with four feline companions, three guitars, & a ukulele. She & her child enjoy singing in harmony & quoting Monty Python.

Iseult Murphy

Iseult is drawn to horror, fantasy and science fiction. She currently resides on the east coast of Ireland with four dogs, two cats, a parrot and a couple of humans. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, and purchase her horror novel and short story collections on Amazon.

Jonathan Beck

Jonathan is a singer & writer from Northern Ireland who loves cats, whiskey and traveling; in the absence of the latter is hitting the other two pretty hard. When he’s not running or watching Star Trek, he’s can be found in coastal cafes, writing odd tweet-sized stories under the name @diminufiction.


A year is a long time. A lot can happen in three-hundred in sixty-five days, and not all of it can be contained between the pages of one Anthology. Each week, 1-2 pieces from the current Volume will be posted for your edification, amusement, and horror. Think of it as a peek behind the curtain, a small hint at the larger world waiting for you in the pages of the completed book...

SVAALTI GIRL, by Imelda Taylor

THREE POEMS, by Chapel Orahamm, Darby Cupid, and Dan Berison

AN ESSAY ON THE HYMN OF BIRTH AND REBIRTH, by Nathilaen the Literate (aka Chris "Terry" Durston)

SPEECHLESS, by Debbie Iancu Haddad

THE FINE ART OF RIDING A TRAINED GANT -- Part 1 of 3, by Dan Berison (29/6/2020)

LAKSHMI'S FATE, by Paul Worthington (22/6/2020)

AN INTRODUCTION to the First Definitive Edition of the Achten Tan Codex, by Brother Animius (15/6/2020)

PREFACE to the Second Edition of the Achten Tan Codex, by Doldor Blanch (15/6/2020)



"An'cher with Gant" painted by Daniel Jackson @WorldofMrGrey on Twitter and YouTube at Dan Jackson Draws and World of MrGrey

Want an audio tour behind the scenes of Achten Tan? Listen to and subscribe to Sounds From the Year Between, the podcast companion to the book!

Listen on Spotify, YouTube, BuzzSprout, Stitcher, or wherever fine but not-quite-right podcasts are found!

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