A couple of months ago, I put up a post on digital fiction which provoked a fair bit of discussion. Now there are some beautiful examples of how such stories might work on the Penguin website.
Over the last six weeks top authors have been putting their work on line at We Tell Stories. Each tale pays homage to one of the novels in the Penguin Classics series and shows the possibilities of the medium.
Charles Cumming's 21 Steps of course echoes John Buchan's 39 Steps, and is designed for Google maps. Toby Litt revisits M.R. James classic ghost story The Haunted Doll's House. Litt's Slice is told through blog entries and Twitter messages.
Kevin Brooks offers you an interactive fairy story. Husband and wife team Nicci French actually wrote Your Place or Mine live online in real time. (How brave is that?)
Matt Mason and Nicholas Felton write an updated Hard Times for teenagers in the information age, while Mohsin Hamid draws on 1001 Nights for inspiration for his The (Former) General in his Labyrinth.
Just a little footnote. Over the past few weeks I've been back in teacher education watching trainee teachers doing microteaching (a simulation lesson using their classmates to roleplay their class). I have been so pleasantly surprised by the confidence with which the trainees have integrated internet and computer technology into their lessons ... and really jealous that none of this was available to me when I was an English teacher!
As I read these digital fictions, I was imagining what great use could be made of them in the language classroom. And I think it would be fun to write interactive stories too.
(Thanks to friends who dropped by to nudge me to blog about this. Sorry I took so long!)