a novel engineer (jawastew) wrote in bookish,
a novel engineer

  • Mood:

The Japanese Cell-Phone Novel and Twitter

I made a post about this on my LJ, but realized I had to share this with everyone else!

I seem to have lost the post I did about Japanese cell-phone novels after reading Dana Goodyear's article "I ♥ Novels" in The New Yorker two months ago. But here's a quickie:

The past few years have seen a boom in popularity in Japan over something called the "cell-phone novel"--novels written on a cell phone using the 140 character limit to produce chapters that are uploaded to the internet via phone-internet access. Some of these novels have even been published in print format and have done extremely well in bookstores, if not on the literary scene.

Here in the States, a couple of websites have popped up that allow the interested (cell-phone user or not) to either upload (with in-site publishing tools so you don't need internet access on your cell phone) or read one of the American-counterparts. QuillPill and TextNovel are two kind of addicting websites that you can register with to read a wider variety of stories.

Anyway, I'm bringing this up because APPARENTLY Tor recently (yesterday) blogged about Twitter-based novels that are a little different in execution, but very similar in concept. While Twitter relies on the same 140-character limit that cell-phone text message users do, Thaumatrope, is a SF-F based literary magazine that collects 140-character stories. Yes, that's right--not chapters or pieces collected in 140-character bits that, once put together, create a story, but short, short, 140-character stories.

I think this is frickin' awesome, especially after being particularly intrigued over Goodyear's article. The quality is really hit or miss, but it's entertaining.

One of the reasons I like this concept so much is that Twitter brings access directly to your cell phone with their SMS option so it's as close to the "traditional" Japanese "cell-phone novel" as you can get without actually having to pay those pricey data phone plans add-ons.

Jeff Somers took the "cell-phone" novel approach and actually wrote a short story in 140-character bursts using Twitter. If you want to read it, it starts here (although that link could expire as it's just a page number and not a specific post since Twitter operates on a Newest First, Oldest Last page view).

  • Burr, by Gore Vidal

    Aaron Burr in his own words... kind of. Random House, 1973, 430 pages Here is an extraordinary portrait of one of the most complicated -…

  • Aria: The Masterpiece, Volume 2

    Aria: The Masterpiece, Volume 2 by Kozue Amano Further life on the wet Mars, now known as Aqua. Akari helps a lost visitor, learns about the…

  • Tuscan Folk-Lore and Sketches

    Tuscan Folk-Lore and Sketches, Together with Some Other Papers by Isabella M. Anderton I read it mainly for the folk tales, which are listed up…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.