The Ninth Archive


It is 2019. Shadowy cabals steer society towards ruin and ravage. Ecologies die, violence thrives, and the seeds of collapse bear fruit across civilization. The earth stands at a crossroads between oppressive dystopia and uninhabitable hellscape. Still, in this frayed and delirious state, we create new worlds, distilling stories from the chaos.

One such world has chosen us. It is parallel to ours: woven of the same thread, but guided by the stars of a different sky. We seek to delve into its profoundest depths, and explore its characters to their fullest bloom. In this new place, the populace is beset by a transformative pathogen – the result of a hyperconnected technology culture, the allure of conspiracy, paranoia and anxiety, and the machinations of a psychotropic entity that pervades the substrates of existence. Atop the foundations of the Internet has been built a fully-immersive, hyperreal inner-space as far-reaching as it is bizarre, where culture flows unceasingly from artificial celebrities and peach memelords. Timelines twist together in ways forbidden by the laws of physics and decency, causing relics, memories, and beings from impossible futures to rewrite their own histories. Dreams, sentience, time, memory: nothing is as it seems.

In spite of this disorienting landscape, or perhaps because of it, a small group of people, each an expression of a piece of ourselves, attempt to chart a way forward. Their journey will bring them to the edge of the real and beyond. The world of 2019 and the world of the Ninth Archive exist in tandem, and in each one our identities have been reduced to nothing more than a commodity. A thread in a tapestry, overlaid by an endlessly scrolling feed. We only hope we can contribute some incongruity — a missing weft, a glitch in the continuum, or that errant mutation whose existence needs not be justified, but compels curiosity.

The Ninth Archive began as a thought experiment between visual artist Marcelo Gallegos and writer Cameron Higby-Naquin: could their innumerable forays into the medium of illustrated text across a wide spectrum of genres be incorporated into a single coherent whole? The original idea of a vault of secrets grew, Blob-like, until it possessed its own narrative, voice, and style. A mosaic where each tile tries to be as fascinating as the whole. They hope you find in it something beautiful and strange.

Support our work on Patreon.


Who are the Archivists?

We are Marcelo Gallegos and Cameron Higby-Naquin.

How often do you release?

Archive entries are released three times per month. As additional goals are unlocked, Entries will increase in frequency to four, or even five times per month.

What kind of content can I expect to see?

Entry content will be varied, but may include prose of varying length, poetry, and textual fragments. Some (but not all) will be accompanied by art, which will vary from sketches and smaller drawings and paintings, to more experimental digital art, to fully realized illustrations.

So what’s going on here? How can I follow along with the story and characters?

While Entries may sometimes seem scattered and disjoint, devoted Patrons of the Ninth Archive will discover connections between these Entries, which are all a part of a Grand Design illuminated by the persistent research of the Archivists.

What exactly is meant by “early access”?

Patrons of the Ninth Archive will always be the first to see Entries. Many of the Entries, as well as WIPs, fragments, polls, and other content will be exclusive to Patrons of the Ninth Archive. However, some content from The Ninth Archive may be released on social media or in other formats at later dates, mainly for the purposes of promoting our Patreon and attracting new Patrons. But rest assured, our Patrons will always be the first to see content released by the Ninth Archive, and we will do our best to make sure this content is as exclusive as possible.

What kind of content is included in the handwritten letters?

Similar to Entries you might view online, these will include prose, poetry, or text of some kind. They may also include a link to visual content. Any content provided in the letters will be exclusive to this format, and will not be included in the Feed. However, the Archivists will store records of all letters within the Archive, for possibly sinister purposes. This content is exclusive to the Amanuensis tier or higher.

What is “The Necropolis,” and how do I have my name added to it?

Each month we will release an updated version of a drawing which pays homage to all of our Patrons. Your name (or a name of your choosing) will be featured somewhere in this drawing. If you prefer not to have your name featured, simply inform us and we will happily omit it. This feature is exclusive to the Scavenger tier or higher.

How do polls work, and how often will I have a chance to participate in polls?

We will occasionally release polls to the Feed, inviting all subscribers at the Mudlark tier or higher to vote. The results of the poll may have an impact on future Entries, and can possibly influence the progression of the story. However, it is also entirely possible that the Archivists are collecting this information as part of some impenetrable scheme, both cunning and direful.

How do you handle shipping charges for physical objects included in higher reward tiers?

Currently, domestic shipping within the US is included in your subscription fee. For international subscribers, you have a few different options:

  • We can determine what the shipping overage will be, and you can make an additional pledge in that amount.
  • We can send you a paypal invoice for shipping overages, and ship as soon as the balance is paid. (We also accept Venmo)
  • Request we not send you physical rewards.

How can I claim one-time rewards, like .pdf or hand-bound zines?

For digital rewards, we’ll simply email you a link as soon as you’ve pledged. Download away. For physical rewards: If you’ve entered your correct and current shipping address when you signed up to pledge, and are a US resident, you’re good to go. You’ll be mailed your reward within a few days of pledging.

If you aren’t a US resident, we may ask that you pay for additional shipping fees. As with our monthly physical rewards, one-time rewards for international Patrons have the following options:

  • We can determine what the shipping overage will be, and you can make an additional pledge in that amount.
  • We can send you a paypal invoice for shipping overages, and ship as soon as the balance is paid (we also accept Venmo).
  • Request we not send you physical rewards.

What if I want to update my shipping address?

You can edit your current shipping address by clicking the “edit pledge” link along the left hand side of homepage. On the following page will be shipping info. Update, and save the changes.

Can I change or cancel my pledge?

You can change your pledge at any time, which allows you to change your reward tier status. As for cancellation, while the Archivists are sad to see you go, we fully understand that it may not always be feasible to maintain a subscription to The Feed. You can cancel your pledge at any time. If you decide to re-subscribe, the Archive and its dark-gloved Archivists will always be waiting for you, eager to satisfy your curiosity for the unknowable and the bizarre.

What kind of prints can I expect to receive if I subscribe to the Bibliotaph or Seneschal reward tiers?

You will be sent an beautiful, full-color print of an illustration or artwork from the Ninth Archive. This could include any artwork which has been published on the Feed since our initial launch. The choice of which print is sent each month is a decision which will be made by the Archivists. Don’t worry, we have the most exquisite taste.

These prints are not available elsewhere, and are exclusive to Patrons of the Ninth Archive’s Patreon.

Prints are based on an 8.5x11 sheet of archival watercolor inkjet paper. This is a 100% cotton, 180 lb. (it’s pretty thick), bright white paper with a subtle toothed texture to it. It’s nice stuff. The dimensions of the actual print may vary – if the image is smaller than 8.5x11, or falls outside of those standard dimensions, it may be trimmed to best suit the size and shape of that image. Prints will be signed and dated by Marcelo Gallegos.

For an additional fee, larger prints are available to subscribers upon request, up to 13x19”.

What kind of original art and rhymes do I get if I subscribe to the Seneschal tier?

The art and rhyme will vary month to month. We will do our best to provide you with interesting and collectible art and rhymes. While these may not be fully realized illustrations, or massive volumes of epic poetry, we will do our best to provide you with high quality writing and art worthy of our Seneschal patrons. This tier has a limited number of slots such that the Archivists can keep up with the task of creating these items.

While these original items are intended for individual Patrons, we reserve the right to post images of these items to the Feed at a later time.