Friday, February 22, 2013

The Future of Novels

I envision in the future novels will not be quite so . . . linear.  Now days you read a novel from beginning to the end.  But with technology and the probably demise of the paper book, this is no longer necessary or even desirable.

For example, novels could contain links to more information.  You read a line such as (from Book of Death) "Walter Cronkite looked especially serious on the color screen," and if you click the link you get a picture. Or a Wikipedia article on Walter Cronkite.

Or there's a link on a character's name, you click it, and you read their back story or maybe a side adventure they had.  And maybe a list of all the other novels they appear in.  Or reading a science fiction novel set on another planet, you could click the name of the planet and get a (fictional) encyclopedia entry for that planet, star system, etc.  You could have maps of your fantasy world (or the real world) that relate to your novel.  The choices are only limited by the author's imagination (and when I say "click" I probably mean "touch").

The possibilities are endless for text books, I would think.

This will mean the writer will have to come up with a lot more information and be careful what he shares in the links.  In my novel Agent of Artifice, I purposely left the background of the character Maria vague.  If I wrote a whole back story for her, some of the mystery of her as Vaughan's lover would have been missing.  But it would have been interesting.

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