Thursday, April 17, 2008

Penguin UK Tells Stories

A colleague recently passed on a link to Charles Cumming's "The 21 Steps," an online short story told through Google Maps.

And I see that Penguin UK is in the midst of a series of online fiction experiments, called "We Tell Stories" -- the homepage has some more information. (The new stories are all related to classic novels that Penguin has just put into new editions -- Cumming's "21 Steps," for example, is a homage to John Buchan's The 39 Steps.)

The site is a little slow for me, particularly the homepage, so I don't know if I can spare any more should-be-working time on it, but the other stories also look to be told in distinctive ways -- the second one is a couple of blogs, and the most recent one is entirely a series of "infographics."

It's clever and inventive, a marketing device that creates something new and interesting instead of just trying to build hype. (It's also, clearly, a device that took a lot of time and effort.)

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