Yeah, I can count – that’s 9 in the pic. Read on for details!
They’re battered, bruised. Survivors of a hellish ordeal. An ordeal involving a treadmill and a ruthless taskmaster.
What? No, this isn’t your typical day at the gym. This is the Immerse or Die (IoD) challenge, an indie gold standard like no other. Each one of these books was forced to maintain a level of story and editorial perfection high enough to keep Jefferson Smith on his treadmill.
Nobody in their right mind needs an excuse to get off of a treadmill. Like most people, Jefferson is eager to leave the moment the belt starts grinding. Any excuse. Any.
Since the inception of IoD, 204 books have attempted the challenge. In a success rate reminiscent of that of an Imperial battle station, only 20 have completed the 40 minute test.
Those survivors are subjected to a full read.
And culled yet again.
The survivors of the survivors are included in the annual IoD Storybundle. This year, only seven made it through. (And Jefferson has been kind enough to include two of his own books so we, the traumatized survivors, can subject his scribblings to a grueling, sweaty fate.)
Somehow, by a minor miracle, I was added to that honored list a second time. Last year, Crimson Son made the cut. This year, my latest offering, Pilgrim of the Storm.
I’ve been joined by some of the best authors the indie world has to offer. A ragtag collection of fantasy and science fiction novels which Jefferson describes as “delicious, quivering darkness”. (Whether that was his quads post two hundred books or the story tone, I’ll let you decide.) Dark, brooding, maybe a touch sinful.
Who wouldn’t be after the horrors we’ve endured? Or is it just deserts for the things we’ve put our characters through? Pilgrim of the Storm’s darkness isn’t the typical fantasy grimdark. It’s the the hollowness of an empty society where underdogs like the bugman protagonist, Sidge, are treated as such – like dogs. Not celebrated. Not even “chosen” by some greater power.
To get your hands on this collection head over to Storybundle and NAME YOUR PRICE. Wait, maybe I didn’t say that loud enough. The whir of that damnable treadmill, the gnashing of teeth and the like…
You can go in for a pittance ($3) and receive half of the books or, step up your game to a few pittance ($12+) and get the whole bundle of quivering sin*
*Treadmill activity completely optional. Seriously. Get comfortable and down a quart of Ben and Jerry’s for all I care but read these books!