Let There be Darkness
While there’s been an upswing in popularity of darker stories of late, Warhammer 40k having coined the term grimdark back in the early 2000s, the concept has been around for a long time. It’s no surprise the style has become more widespread. For me, the surprise is actually that it’s taken this long to propagate.
The concept of an overwhelmingly bleak darkness has been in my imagination since I first read Michael Moorcock’s Elric back when I was a child. I remember struggling my way through the concepts of time and the multiverse and the multiple incarnations of Elric and, of course, about the disturbing relationship he had with Stormbringer. You want to talk about bleak and hopeless, these books were the epitome of what grimdark aspires to be.
That influence impacted everything I did creatively and still does. My early Dungeons and Dragons games were twisted and dangerous, lots of otherworldly creatures and disturbing NPCs inhabiting my made up world. My poetry and early attempts at writing reached for the heights I’d been introduced to by Moorcock, so much so as to be derivative at times.
Though those days are long past, my own voice having since found its roots, there is still a piece of Elric in everything I write. My characters are tortured souls caught between worlds, desperate to overcome their weaknesses and do what’s right despite the influences that would lead them astray. And while my stories might not all fit the current definition of grimdark, the idea that the darkness is stronger than the light most certainly plays out time and time again. The gritty realism of life impacts us all whether we like it or not. As such, it’s only fitting that it infiltrates not only what I read, but what I write as well.
And while folks may clamor for some lightness and hope, I’ll take a double of the darkness.
Tim has kindly provided this blog post as a part of the release of his latest novel, Dirge. Find out more about Dirge and the author below.
Wreathed in the ashes of betrayal, forced to come of age in the dungeons of her stolen inheritance, Kallie Brynn Soren died so that Dirge might be born.
In the midst of an undead invasion, Kallie is gifted powers by a dying priest. His last wish is for her to use them against the Necrolords in a way his faith would not allow. Reborn as Dirge and free of the priest’s conscience, she is more than happy to do so.
But when fate brings Dirge into the employ of the emperor–the same man whose machinations brought about the murder of her father–the opportunity for revenge becomes too much to ignore.
Torn between vengeance and the need to protect the only people she dare call family, Dirge learns there is a much deeper purpose to the Necrolord’s advance. Should it come to light, it might destroy everyone.
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Tim Marquitz is the author of the Demon Squad series, the Blood War Trilogy, co-author of the Dead West series, as well as several standalone books, and numerous anthology appearances including Triumph Over Tragedy, Corrupts Absolutely?, Demonic Dolls, Neverland's Library, and the forthcoming No Place Like Home and Blackguards.
The Editor in Chief of Ragnarok Publications, Tim most recently compiled and edited the Angelic Knight Press anthologies, Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous and Manifesto: UF, as well as Ragnarok Publications' Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters.