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28th July 2024

The net had gone tripping and bumbling over stumpy mounds and chalk-resistant grasses, finally coming to rest in a ring of pale mushrooms. Mac Eden kept her eyes fixed on the horizon. She’d avoided looking directly at the despicable thing since she’d netted it.


There were only so many times you could kill the people you loved before something in you snapped.

WE CALL THEM THE MANDOLIN BUT IT’S NOT THEIR NAME As a side character in the never-ending game, Mac Eden is tasked with keeping all the non-player characters blissfully unaware of the existence of the game. Subsequently, when a remarkable superspecies called the Mandolin emerges in Afghanistan, the NPCs do what they do best: start a war and spin it into a reality TV sensation. Eight months of televised war later, and a reality show is the only truth anyone cares about. Frustrated by civilian life, university student Hollow Quinn volunteers to join the British army. Meanwhile, her buddy Ezra Blake opts out, taking solace in a gothic anomaly full of magical innovation, mystical intrigue and self-aware furniture. But when Hollow lands a leading role in the reality show, Ezra makes an impulsive decision. A decision that forces Mac Eden to override her standing orders and instigate a gameplay that will overshadow even the horrors of a paraspecies war in Afghanistan.   And as the game levels up, the non-player characters unlock the terrible secrets of WØLF.  A reality show created for war, and designed for public entertainment.


The Mandolin series takes you on a soft sci-fi journey into the not-so-distant future, where Homo sapiens have to swallow their pride and downgrade their species status. Not easy for a species so addicted to likes, retweets, and the occasional pat on the back.

So why does this matter?


The 2020s have seen a rise in anxiety and deep-seated isolation among the youth. The Mandolin series exposes the symptoms of disconnection while offering a hint of optimism for what lies ahead. The narrative includes characters with fluid genders, enigmatic names, and an absence of pronouns, encouraging readers to reflect on their own identities and challenge societal conventions.



of the


The Mandolin game developers took advantage of time. Not in its concept, but in its mistake. The universe existed in an infinite singularity of standalone moments. Some moments were so similar they were often mistaken for each other and subsequently lined up in a linear progression that was called time.


For most Homo sapiens, time was much easier to understand than an infinite singularity of standalone moments because it made sense of birthdays and investment portfolios. But at the end of the day, time didn’t exist. And the Mandolin spliced themselves into its non-existence so seamlessly, it was almost as if they’d always been there.

Raven Crow

in 2025


The Thirteen Signs

of Flightless Things

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