E. Christopher Clark: Author & Illustrator

Clarkwoods Literary Universe


The motivation behind building Clarkwoods Literary Universe

I want to build a world which focuses on my obsession with folklore and family across multiple genres—from fairy tales to Star Wars, from Marvel Comics to genre-bending short fiction.

The goal of the project

I hope to publish books and comics set in this world until the day I die, stories that people will read and enjoy (and maybe even remember after I’m dead and gone).

Clarkwoods Literary Universe's Unique Selling point

The events of every fairy tale, novel, comic book, and film we’ve ever read happened for real somewhere across the six-hundred-plus iterations of reality in the Clarkwoods Literary Universe, or else inside of the omnipresent paradise at the center of this perpetually rebooting reality—a magical land called Eden.



A blend of mythpunk, steampunk, and cyberpunk.


Though there are stories being told in the CLU across multiple genres, the current focus is on the land of Eden—a postapocalyptic paradise where refugees from across time and space take refuge following the collapse of existence. This results in fairy tale and folklore characters rubbing elbows with technologically advanced dwarves, spacefaring elves, and Earthlings who are a little too obsessed with the popular culture of their recently destroyed reality.

Reader Experience

It’s a world of deep moral quandaries and nuanced characters that is ultimately hopeful. As bleak as things have been in the past (which is where many of the characters are stuck), the future is rife with beautiful possibilities.

Reader Tone

The world is neutralbright. It straddles the line between noble bright and noble dark.


If those terms mean nothing to you, think of Star Wars. As Nicholas Johnson writes in his article “Tone and Setting Alignment”:


There are people who are both good and evil to great degree, but ultimately the hope wins out and the force brings peace. In a neutralbright setting, people are not basically good or evil, but there are enough heroes and good institutions out there to prevent an apocalypse, even if there might be problems. The world is good because of the contribution of everyone involved.


Note that this is not how others define Neutralbright and that, as of September 16, 2023, I’m not sure I’m even comfortable with these definitions anymore as there tends to be so much disagreement about them. Pay more attention to the quote above than to whatever you might find by googling “neutralbright.”

Recurring Themes

  1. Your parents, grandparents, and ancestors are more complicated than you give them credit for, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse.
  2. Whatever happened happened, but you can still learn from it. It can still change you.
  3. Love will never be all you need, but it is pretty nice.

Character Agency

The fundamental law of time travel in the world is that “whatever happened happened.” So, in the CLU the idea of destiny overpowers the idea of free will. But the muddy middle is where the characters have free rein—they may be destined to end up in one place or another, but how they get there is up to them.


Intergenerational Trauma—what do we inherit from past generations, what do we risk passing down to our descendants?

Destiny vs. Free Will—how much control can any person have in a universe where events seem preordained?

Arts and Culture—how do we make meaning from a chaotic world through the things we create and leave behind for future generations?


The assassination attempt, by the Big Bad Wolf (working on behalf of The Ninth Empire of Oz), on the lives of Frieda Jacobs and her grandmother.

The unveiling of The Family Tree of Frieda Jacobs and its impact on the movement to unite the seven kingdoms of the Edenian south.

The aging of revolutionary tyrant Oscar Diggs, whose Invasion of Oz reshaped Eden earlier in this era, and the increased rebelliousness of his Four Witches—who were once loyal lieutenants but are now amongst his fiercest enemies.

The prevalence of strange weather patterns and phenomena across Eden, including a tornado that never stops spinning, but creates life instead of destroying it; the perpetual flooding of the Sea of Tears; and strange time dilations when traveling into and out of Neverland, which seem to have begun with the return of Peter Pan after a long absence.

Reekian arms dealers supplying the so-called “lesser peoples” of Eden with advanced weaponry that was never meant to leave the confines of their technologically superior super-city.

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