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The interactive future of e-books goes mainstream?

The Observer today (Sunday 10 March 2013) has an interesting article on the future of publishing – Top novelists look to ebooks to challenge the rules of fiction – looking at how ebooks can facilitate an interactive story.

It is unfortunate that the article starts with the usual “downer” on fantasy novelists, a set of comments worthy of the “How Others See Us” section in Dave Langford’s Ansible. Why wouldn’t a fantasy or SF author use such tools? We tend to be in the vanguard of new technology yet get sneered at whenever mainstream “literary” (read subtext = “good”) novelists finally catch up.

Rant over – the article is still worth a read.

2 Comments so far

  1. Mike Keyton March 15th, 2013 12:29 pm

    A tantalising post, Phillip. I have a non-fiction work I’ve recently begun hawking around. It’s an analysis of Peter Cheyney’s world via his pulp fiction. That might sound dry but it is unintentionally very funny because Cheyney is so, by our standards politically-incorrect and his world is both evocative and bizarre. At present the text has some wonderfully atmospheric photos and maps wherebye you can retrace the steps of his various heroes who all live with five miles of each other in central london. But ebook interactivity with GPS bringing up passages and pictures where you happen to be standing would be fantastic. I’m sure there must be other options too. Thanks for this.

  2. phillip March 15th, 2013 8:55 pm

    Sounds a neat idea, Mike. I hope you can do something with it.

    I rather like the idea of linking contrasting “then” archive photos with Google Streetview to show the location now.

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