31st January 2023

What are Letters From An Unknown Land?

As you look around this site you might have noticed a series of stories all labelled s ‘Letters From An Unknown Land’ and thought what are they and what is going on? Well here are some answers.

Letters From an Unknown Lands is a series of stories all told as letters between travellers or correspondents in an Unnamed World that has suffered catastrophe in the recent past and is moving into a new and dangerous time. It’s fantasy, definitely fantasy, but done at a ground level so that you get to know the world from its lived texture, and then the story emerges.

Here’s a taste:

Down by the shore Horek’s boat sits high on the sands, its painted feathers flaking, the eyes on its prow veined with cracks. Wooden carcasses of other boats lie next to it, their planks slowly turning to rot. Horek’s fingers go to the copper feather at his neck, and he spits towards the water.

A row of black-hulled boats sit further along the sand. Each of them is the same shade of pitch, and their ropes are sun-bleached hemp. A fish is pinned to the prow of one craft. The flesh is still clinging to the bones, untouched by carrion. Horek does not look at the black boats as he works.

‘Times change, so do gods, perhaps.’

from New Gods, Old Sins

The first instalments are from the point of view of Kalik, a traveller, and… something else too, but as it goes on it’s going to open out. Letters from other characters will appear. The story of what happened and what is going to happen will emerge. Because there is a story there, oh yes.

It is a series and its heading towards answers and bigger questions. From the instalments that have come out so far you get a sense that there is magic in this world, and that there has been some form of calamity – lights in the sky, cities hollowed out by fire, dead gods. That there are these weird aftershocks of that event: wars, refugees, cults, old ways fading into a forming future. You get snapshots, eye-level insights, and you might ask: What happened? What was this calamity?

But there are other questions. Questions that might not seem important. Who is this character writing these letters? Why are they writing them? Who are they writing them to? Do you trust them? Should you?

Answers – that’s where these stories are going. Answers to questions big and small, and that you might not know you want the answers to.  

You can read all of the stories by here:

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