I recently came across two innovative sites which suggest how internet narratives are being influenced by the form of the traditional “book.”
DQ Books is a collection of four “books,” each with a different theme. The interface allows you to “flip” through them as one would with a “real” book. Each tells a kind of story, and the soundtracks are evocative and edgy.
Never Been‘s wordless narrative reminds me of the work of Mitsumasa Anno. It’s in the form of a “scroll” and though it took me a couple minutes to get the hang of how to “read” the story, once I finished I “re-read” the tale several times through. Worth the effort.
On the other end of the spectrum, Penguin Press’ project We Tell Stories (“Six Authors. Six Stories. Six Weeks.”) demonstrates how online fiction can break completely free of the codex’s influence. One story unfolds on a Google Map. Another pits two competing versions of events on two separate blogs. Others involve reader participation. But none make the innovation the center of attention. For all, story and writing remain the most important elements.