Someone is writing a mysterious, dystopian novel of the future in Reddit comments

In the shadows.
In the shadows.
Image: Reuters/Dinuka Liyanawatte
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It all began in April, when Reddit user _9MOTHER9HORSE9EYES9 posted a bizarre comment on a thread on Reddit about the cover of George Orwell’s 1984. The comment described a botched CIA program, called the MKUltra experiments, where subjects were fed a steady stream of LSD and other psychoactive drugs.

While MKUltra was a real CIA project, the “flesh interfaces” described are clearly not. The infamous first post ended with the foreboding line: “The entire thing had to be eliminated, but the technology it created has been revolutionary.”

The cryptic Reddit user continued to post seemingly random, snippets of texts under a number of different posts. These extracts weaved real historical incidents, more commonly discussed on conspiracy sites, with an eerie, sci-fi universe featuring weird fleshy portals that allow entry to unknown parts of the universe—with devastating consequences.

Just a month ago, users interested in reading replies on how older Redditors coped with the loss of family and friends as they aged and passed were suddenly met with the following comment:

Lying in the hold, listening to the bombardment, there is no sleep. The booming of the guns travels through the shivering metal of the ship. Hour after hour, without end, the arsenal of democracy rains down on the tiny island.

What could it be like for the Japs huddled in their bunkers? Surrounded. Doomed. Do they know they have no hope? Do they expect death? Do they wish for it?

Within two months, readers began to see a pattern between these posts as the elaborate backdrop to a remarkable story, which features the Holocaust and the Vietnam War, and names well-known characters, such as Elizabeth Bathory, the Manson family, and Michael Jackson.

Many people believe that Michael Jackson died due to propofol.

Not so.

He was murdered.

The story—now known as “The Interface Series”—has thousands of enthusiastic followers. The story has spawned its own subreddit, where fans debate theories as they closely watch the narrative unfold, whilst posting to fan-made audiobooks and ebooks.

But who is the mysterious _9MOTHER9HORSE9EYES9? In a now deleted manifesto, the writer describes himself as a “30-something American male without the benefit of a college education or a stable job.” He admits his posts have a number of historical error, spelling and grammar mistakes, with “laughably overwrought prose.”

In an interview with the BBC, _9MOTHER9HORSE9EYES9 admits to once being a heavy LSD user. While he’s unsure as to where the story is going, he insists Reddit is the best platform for his story. ”I realized that on the Internet, and especially on Reddit, it is possible to intrude on people’s realities in a very unexpected way,” he explains. “If you have a bit of a knack for storytelling, you can redirect the thread of a conversation in any direction.”

_9MOTHER9HORSE9EYES9 has on a number of occasions described his story as a warning to humanity, as technological advances raise ethical questions. He explains that he’s “writing about what has never been, and what must never be.”

Those interested in reading entire story so far can do so here, where another Reddit user has put the comments in chronological order.