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How to build a future book

I love Kiyash Monsef’s new story “How to Build a Troll-Proof Bridge.” But I especially love it’s animated cover.

How to Build a Troll-Proof Bridge from Kiyash Monsef on Vimeo.

It’s short, it’s punchy, it grabs your attention. It’s appropriately analogous to a television show intro…but it’s for a text-based story.

I think this is an exciting new space to play in for people who like to make things. The web has never offered a great reception to fiction (though Star Trek fanfic, amateur erotica, and Robin Sloan’s The Truth About the East Wind are notable exceptions) and especially not to long-format novel-length works. But now that we’ve got tablets like the Ipad, the device of the book itself is changing.

I’ll leave the implications to Tim Carmody, master of bookfuturism. But the fun part is this: What things can we imagine our future novels will have now that the delivery technology is more flexible?

- Animated covers like Kiyash’s
- Ambient scene-setting soundtracks (again, East Wind)
- Videos for illustrations used sparingly like photos, drawings and woodblock prints
- A hyper-linked Infinite Jest
- A whole new crop of Choose Your Own Adventures
- Narratives that read spatially? (The Penguin We Tell Stories project is a great experiment in this.)
- And yes, advertisements

What would a project like House of Leaves that so expressly plays with form look like? Half-Myst, half-dissertation?

Categories: Writing
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