Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Serialized Fiction

I have a secret. One that I've been keeping from a lot of folks. This secret, it arrives in my RSS Reader on a daily basis, and has for a few months now. Also, it is written by Jon Evans.

What type of secret is this, you ask?

It's a serialized story by the title of Beasts of New York. Described by the author as a "Children's book for adults" it is the story of a squirrel who lives in New York's Central Park during a dark time of war and destruction. What's better is (as I indicated above) that it arrives in your RSS feeder (or you can walk through the website reading the pages) at the rate of a chapter a day. It's a grand experiment in serialized fiction in the information age. Makes me giddy.

Why would he describe it as a children's book for adults? The answer is because it has an animal protagonist, yet is an incredibly dark book about war, death, betrayal and all sorts of other "adult" themes that tend to be to dark for the under-9 set who are the prime audience for animal protagonists.

Or at least, that's a paraphrase of the FAQ about it, truthfully, it seems slightly odd to me. I mean, I've long enjoyed the wonderful story, Tailchaser's Song, and anyone who has ever looked into Watership Down knows that that's not a kid's book. Then we also have more recent fiction such as Jo Walton's Tooth and Claw (Review).

Basically, if a story is good enough, with themes and characters that appeal, it will be read.

And that's what I'm wanting you to do. Read this story. Frankly, I think you will be happy that you did, and I'm sorry that I didn't push it out to everyone earlier.

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