Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Serialized fiction: Everything old is new again

Waiting for the chime of the notification saying "A new chapter is available to download" is completely different from yet very much the same as crowds gathering at the dock to get the latest installment of a Dickens novel unloaded with the london paper.

The updated version:
"Serialized fiction, where episodes are delivered to readers in scheduled installments much like episodes in a television series, has been the subject of an unusual amount of experimentation in publishing in recent months. In September, Amazon announced Kindle Serials, stories sold for $1.99 and published in short episodes that download onto the Kindle as the episodes are released. Three of the first eight serials were produced by Plympton, a new literary studio. "
"In August, Byliner, a digital publisher, announced that it would begin a new digital imprint devoted to serialized fiction, with work by Margaret Atwoodand Joe McGinniss at its start." 
"One of the most talked-about new experiments is taking serialized fiction a step further. Set to make its debut on Monday, it is a novel called “The Silent History” that is available on the Apple iPhone and its iPad. It includes interactive, user-generated elements."
The Victorian version reached its peak with The Old Curiosity Shop, by Charles Dickens.
"The hype surrounding the conclusion of the series was unprecedented; Dickens fans were reported to storm the piers of New York City, shouting to arriving sailors (who might have already read the last instalment in the United Kingdom), "Is Little Nell alive?"
"In 2007, many newspapers claimed the excitement at the release of the last volume The Old Curiosity Shop was the only historical comparison that could be made to the excitement at the release of the last Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.[5]"