Darkness Wired – Modern Lovecraftian Horror

Darkness Wired, Illustration by Luke Spooner

Cover for the Darkness Wired anthology

New tech, meet Old Gods. Who’d win?

After all the Old Gods are sooo yesterday. Modern technology can tell us it rains diamonds on Saturn, it provides for artificial hearts and other medical marvels. Modern technology can bring about unparalleled destruction or miracles. What’s an Old God to that?

Find out in this exciting anthology, where our writers take on Lovecraftian Mythos and older Gods with modern technology!

Join in!

Cosmic evil has tainted and corrupted humanity and a new disease that turns people to living bone is loose on the world. Lurker in the Comments will tell you all about it. Yet one more war has broken out and is tearing the planet apart under the corrupted gaze of Nyarlathotep,  the fight rages on in Dark Iliad!

Black Fish Wind Talking pits orcas and AI against sea monsters.
Madness in the Fluid takes a modern twist to the Wendigos, and in Skewed Perception find out how augmented reality helps a team of soldiers cross over into a new dimension with stolen technology.

In Patient Zero read about a disease that slowly turns you to bone and drives you mad with hallucinations.

An oceanographer with a gift for music and audio in Ethereal Neural Guitar completes the score of Erich Zann finds in the hope to bring peace on hearth.

In GateHunt meet up with a carnivorous airplane. Or is it a hungry shape shifter?

And at last The Woman with the Bleeding Eyes takes us to Mars to malevolent titans.

New original fiction delivered by uniquely talented authors. Enjoy, tell your friends and let us know what you think!

 

Anthology and Contest Resources Pt.1

Darkness Wired is about the intersection of old monster, even older Gods and mythologies and human innovation in technology and medicine. For you writers who do not normally peruse technical sites, our CEO, Notch has grabbed some handy links that might inspire you.

Technology Resources

Intel
Ars Technica
Wired
Phys.org
Popular Mechanics
Medical Xpress
Tech Xplore

How to get accepted into the anthology, or improve your likelihood of winning the contest

Read the requirements!

The short stories should include or take place during the events in the timeline provided. Modern or future technology should be a part of it, as much as Lovecraftian mythology.

Fiction that has nothing at all to do with the theme and requirements will not be accepted.

Check out tried and true strategies!

Judges tend to know what they’re looking for and we’re no exception. These submissions must match the theme but you can still utilize recommended techniques for all story writing.  You can WOW us by ensuring there are creepy elements/atmosphere, relatable characters and appropriate twists/compelling ending.

Proofread!

Only the best of the best stories will be accepted into the compilation. You can increase your chances with excellent editing strategies. Make sure the time continuum makes sense and has proper grammar.  Minor mistakes that were missed won’t discount all your hard work but if the story requires major editing overhauls, it will be sent back to you first to correct.

 

The First Dead Man

Luke Spooner Illustration for Anthology Honeycomb: Set One by Cavanagh

Excerpt from Honeycomb: Set One by Wren Cavanagh and Junior Sokolov

The First Dead Man

Luke Spooner Illustration for Anthology Honeycomb: Set One by Cavanagh
They got him on the surgery table, hooked him up to a blood bag and undid the tourniquets. Whatever had gotten a hold of him had sheared through the flesh and bones of the lower legs as neatly as a bolt cutter. It took him hours to repair the damage, to ensure the kid wasn’t going to die on him. He then applied the protein pain gel and clean up and suture the wound so that once the prosthesis were ready, Haru wouldn’t find them too hard or painful. Then the clean up of the sick bay followed. Then a very short respite, before at last with Zara, he run the health exams for the new six arrivals.
“Yeah, it did. But we were supposed to get it done. Zara, please incinerate the torso and hose down anything it touched with heavy duty cleaner. I’m going to take a closer look at our friend.”
Napier a stocky, barrel chested man, with the waist size to match; he’s getting on with the years, a veteran of a war, something else he calls a skirmish, and decades of work on commercial and industrial ships, but can still move lightly on his feet. He doesn’t want to wake Haru, who’s still weak and needs rest, not to mention depressed as hell, but he needs to be sure. He goes to the small semi-private patient’s room, pulls up a chair next to the young man and gets his syringes, containers, and tubes set up then sits next to him.
“Haru, hey Haru, wake up,” he says and shakes the man’s shoulder.
Haru opens his eyes. The dark circles beneath them are still stark but not as bad as yesterday, at least today he has some color to him. “Wasn’t sleeping.”
“Don’t mope, back home they’ll grow your limbs back. Not even cybernetics, it’ll be real feet and real legs you’ll be getting back. You can even ask them to make you taller.”
“Right now, I’m useless, and I can feel them. I can feel my feet. It’s freaky as hell, but at least they don’t hurt. ” Haru replies, the recent trauma has weakend him and softened his voice, but Napier can still hear the tang of anger around its edges. Haru pulls himself up on his elbows until he’s almost sitting in up in the bed, then moans and shuts his eyes tight. “I feel woozy.”
“Lay back down, the woozy feeling will pass soon as you get something to eat. As for the feet, it’s a phantom sensation, it’s common, and it’ll probably be with you for a while. And you aren’t useless, we’ll get you up on legs exos, and you’ll be walking out of here and breaking everyone’s balls again in no time at all. For now, I’m taking some of your blood, and I need you to poop and pee for me too.”
“Like, fffh…What, why?! What is this, the twentieth century? How ‘bout a heavy duty scan?! You maybe got some leeches you’re dying to try while you’re at it?”
“There’s the Haru we know and love! Some critters that look like sand fleas came out of that miner’s body. I want to make sure you don’t have any weird parasite that hitched a ride. Don’t worry; we’ll do a heavy duty scan too.”
“There weren’t any in the water; they were in the sand.”
“So, you are an expert biologist now?”
“No, but the sand fleas, worms and other critters were squirming and hoppin’ all over down there. But, on the dry stretches. I grew up in a fishing village, I know those critters, and anyway; I had my suit on, read the report.” He replies and crosses his arms.
Napier smiles, nods then gently holds one of his wrists and unfold one of his arms. “I will do that, meanwhile, make a fist.”

“Not taking any chances,” Zara says to herself as she stuffs herself in a too-tight biohazard suit before entering the small morgue down a ways from sick bay. It’s a cold small room, on a regular day it would also smells cold. And it would also smell of medical cleansers and metal. It has a metal floor, walls, and ceiling; inside it’s barren, sterile and minimalistic with scant few edges present for anything alive to hide behind.
But this past two days have been far from regular, and today the stench of rot from the miner’s remains permeate the room, they lie on the metal table near its center drained of color, gray and waxy meat. She sprays the now hollowed-out torso with its lone remaining limb, the internal organs that they had pulled for inspection are just by it, with the harshest biohazard cleaner they have on the ship. She soaks the remains inside and out, over and under, until the man’s faded tattoos, so old that the artless blue and black lines have smudged to ugly blurs, vanish beneath the white foam. The cleaner sizzles the flesh, she flips the flesh and bones over one last time then resprays the back of the torso; finished, she stands back and gives it ten minutes while she watches for anything jumping or crawling out of the foam. Her breath is tight, and her scalps itch but Zara’s focus has the intensity of a hungry hawk watching for baby chicks in a hen yard. Rewarded with an absence of apparent life from the wet mess, nothing crawls about or slithers about that she can see., Zara slides the remains onto a wheeled and shiny stainless steel cart then pushes them over to the incinerator at the far edge of the room.
“So long miner. Good luck wherever you’re going,” she says and hits the incinerate button. “Now I gotta clean up the room…look’it this mess you left here for me miner.”

Read what happens next.


Illustration by U.K. artist Luke Spooner
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