Dark Mountain: Issue 6 (PDF)

Nick is the author of three books about walking and Europe, the most recent of which is Outlandish, a work of gonzo ornithology, The Parakeeting of London, and a collection of short fiction, Loss Soup and Other Stories. He works as an editor and co-director for the Dark Mountain Project, and has contributed short stories and essays to many of its issues. Red Smoking Mirror is his debut novel.


The Autumn 2014 issue of essays, fiction, poetry and artwork invites responses to ‘the rising of the waters’.


This is a PDF download of Dark Mountain: Issue 6.

From the psychedelic colours of Eunah Cho’s cover illustration onwards, the sixth issue of Dark Mountain is our most visual book to date. For the first time, the photographs, colour plates, line drawings and etchings have made their way beyond the familiar colour plates into the rest of the book, interweaving with the text.

As explained in the editorial, ‘The Rising of the Waters’, this issue began with an invitation to imagine a future other than the fantasies of instant apocalypse or sustained development with which our culture is obsessed. A future in which the gradual grinding-down of our civilisation by floods and other natural events goes on for decades or even centuries. What does such a slow decline mean for us psychologically, politically, economically and ecologically?

The writers and artists featured here respond to that invitation from many angles and from many parts of the world. Tom Smith’s opening essay, ‘The Focal and the Flask’, begins in the peat country of Ireland, taking us deep into the politics and the psychology of technological civilisation. Then Michael McLane’s summer trip to the dry lakes of Utah is shadowed by predator drones and nuclear test sites. Nick Hunt takes us across ‘Six Deserts’ and Charlotte Du Cann takes off ‘Seven Coats’, unpeeling the layers of a personal story that deepens into a reliving of the oldest myth we have of a journey through the underworld, that taken by the Sumerian goddess Inanna.

There are shrines and farms, Malaysian dragons and Zen temples, a chronicle of self-burial beneath an ancient fire, the drowning ecological soundscapes recorded by Bernie Krause, raft building, intertidal cities, Alaskan quests and much more, before the book finally comes to a close with David Schuman’s ‘Squirrel’, a story about the smallness of a modern life before the greatness and sadness of the natural world.

Contributors to Dark Mountain: Issue 6 also include John Haines, Jeppe Dyrendom Graugaard, Anne-Marie Culhane, Edward Chell, Deanne Belinoff, Julie Gabrielli, Zedeck Siew, Nancy Campbell, Joan Menefee, Robert Alcock, Patrik Qvist, Massimo Angèi, Brian Beatty, Hila Ratzabi, Sarah Gittins, Kirsty Logan, Em Strang, Kim Moore, Kate Walters, Dougie Strang, Kim Goldberg, Mandy Henk, Sarah Sadie, Daniel Mack, Franciszka Voeltz, Sarah Rae, Jeffrey Flannery, Monique Besten, Nick Stewart, Clint Stevens, Florence Caplow, Corrina Ulrich, David Kenkel, Cate Chapman, Jethro Brice, Andrew Macrae, Adam Weymouth, Neale Jones, Carla Stang, Grace Wells and Steve Wheeler.

Dark Mountain: Issue 6 is 270 pages long, with 42 stories, essays and poems and 16 colour plates.