January 27, 2016

A lit mag for the dark net launches its first issue


5wCalhREWhen we published Jamie Bartlett‘s The Dark Net early last year (paperback coming in May 2016), we were pretty excited. Its full of absolutely true stories about sex, drugs, Bitcoins, and techno-utopian libertarians hell bent on achieving immortality! Great! Awesome! Weird!

The one thing it didn’t have? Literary magazines.

Thankfully, with the first issue of The Torist, that’s a problem of the past. As Joseph Cox reports at Motherboard:

Edited by Robert W. Gehl, associate professor at the University of Utah‘s Department of Communication, and pseudonymous creator GMH, the first issue of The Torist, a collection of fiction, poetry and non-fiction, launched on the dark web over the weekend.

The project started on Galaxy, a social network on the dark web, around 18 months ago, the pair told Motherboard in encrypted chats. GMH and Gehl, who was using his own pseudonym at this point, were discussing issues around feminism and literature.

“At the time, I was quite enthused about Galaxy and the way this social network had a different atmosphere from other social networks I’d used on the clearweb,” GMH said. “I thought that this different atmosphere/demographic could translate into a ‘zine with interesting results.” People on Galaxy, GMH said, seemed to be dissatisfied with being constantly monetized, and not having a sense of other places to go.

Included in the inaugural issue are pieces of fiction , poetry and non-fiction. According to the editors’ introduction:

…not everything is bound tightly to the themes of surveillance and censorship, though some directly concern themselves with these topics as well. J.M. Porup and Vance Osterhout both write about the NSA–the former as satirical prose, the latter as a serious poem. It is curious to see Porup writing pre-Snowden about the tapping of every American toilet to identify “food terrorists” alongside Osterhout’s poem making use of the specific vocabulary of XKEYSCORE and PRISM.

To read the first issue, you’ll need to download the TorBrowser, a web-browser which uses a unique and somewhat complex routing protocol in order to mask the identity and location of its users. From the Tor website:

Tor’s users employ this network by connecting through a series of virtual tunnels rather than making a direct connection, thus allowing both organizations and individuals to share information over public networks without compromising their privacy

It’s simple to download and install and can help you anonymously buy drugs and bitcoins read your favorite lit mag!






Simon Reichley is the Director of Operations and Rights Manager at Melville House.