Thursday, April 10, 2008

When worlds collide

There’s a lot of chat about the future of books at the moment - whether we’ll all buy into electronic readers, or just give up reading completely. But classic publishers Penguin are doing something which has began to raise a few eyebrows in the literary and digital media worlds.

We tell stories, is an alternate reality website that’s using new media sensations like Google Maps & Twitter to tell stories across the internet. Penguin have commissioned six authors to use these mediums in order to create the first ‘digital novels.’ One story, by Charles Cumming, is your classic spy adventure but with a twist. The story unfolds over a Google map of London, featuring locations such as St Pancras station & the British Library. A great imaginative tool methinks & it’ll be interesting to see how many people start staking-out suited chaps as they disembark from anonymous trains with suspicious suitcases strapped to their hands.

Another story uses Twitter, and is told through badgering short text messages across the characters' profiles. It’s the kind of thing that you can imagine being completely real. Log into Twitter anytime & you’ll see a thousand conversations taking place, but if you begin to follow them you never know what you’ll find out…

Overall I think it’s a great way to get people, glued to their Iphones & laptops, to start reading again, and provides a wealth of creative ideas for the tech savvy young budding novelist.

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