In the spirit of the fast and loose publishing world of the nineteenth century, writer Joshua Cohen has created a serial novel, an updated version of Charles Dickens’s The Pickwick Papers. Unlike Dickens though, Cohen created his adapted work live online, every keystroke visible to the world and video of the author streamed. The resulting novel, PCKWCK, with illustrations by Leon Chang can be read at the project web site.
Speaking of high tech adaptations of work from more than a century ago, the author behind the twitter account @HenrySavery, a character inspired by Australia’s first novelist from 1831, has stepped out from anonymity with a public reading of Savery’s work. Brisbane author Christopher Currie’s reading from Savery’s novel Quintus Servinton was captured by if:book Australia and posted to the web for anyone unable to attend.
Collective storytelling is a fun, if sometimes chaotic, way to build stories and collaborate across time and distance. A new web site called …and then… has established a collaborative tool that builds a story one line at a time. Anyone can pitch ideas on where the next line of the current story should go and readers can vote to determine which of the ‘lines’ become the next fixed part of the story. With each of the stories only 14 lines long, the site strikes a nice balance between control and chaos.
Since 2011, if:book manager Simon Groth has been writing a column for the Courier-Mail that covers in brief digital literature projects from around the world. This column initially appeared in the Canvas section of last Saturday's print edition.