And now that I've seen the first official movie trailer, I've got to say....
I have a feeling the cast will surprise us.
When the novelist Jennifer Egan submitted her latest short story to The New Yorker, she hinted to Deborah Treisman, the fiction editor, that there was a catch. It soon became evident: Ms. Egan had written an entire work of fiction in 140 character bits, to be first posted on Twitter and then published in the magazine.
“I had a sense it could work for a spy story,” Ms. Egan said this week while sitting in Ms. Treisman’s office.
Ms. Treisman was receptive to the idea, so much so that this week the New Yorker will begin publishing the story, “Black Box,” in segments on Twitter. Starting Thursday night, the New Yorker’s Twitter fiction handle, @NYerFiction, will post a new tweet of text from Ms. Egan’s 8,500 word story every minute between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. The tweets will continue for 10 straight nights. Readers can find a summary of the text posted on the magazine’s Web site at 9 p.m. each evening.
The article, built around a character in her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “A Visit From the Goon Squad,” will appear in the magazine’s first science fiction issue, which comes out on May 29th.
While many writers have used social media to promote their work, Ms. Egan was especially interested in Twitter. She said she wanted to explore writing something serialized because that’s how many people watch television programs today.
The story is a running scroll of a spy keeping a log of her current mission. Ms. Egan said that when she was writing, she struggled not to make the language sound “gimmicky” or “cartoonish.”
“I’m just interested in serialization in fiction,” said Ms. Egan. “I’m fascinated by it. I love the 19th-century novels. I’m interested in ways to bring that back to fiction.”
Ms. Egan said that she is not entirely comfortable posting tweets. She marvels that she has nearly 3,000 followers when she has only posted four tweets, including one apologizing for being spammed. She said she feels comfortable posting to her Web site but that her posts on Twitter didn’t work.
“I felt tongue tied. It seemed phony,” said Ms. Egan. “I felt really self-conscious.”
But Ms. Egan said that after plugging so many lines of text into Twitter to make sure they were 140 characters or less, she said she felt less fearful.
Since the story’s text as written for Twitter didn’t look right in the standard New Yorker format, the magazine is using a different font called Neutra Face. The creative director, Wyatt Mitchell, said it had never been used before in the body of the magazine.
As New Yorker editors wait to see the response from readers, Ms. Egan notes the story has already lured one new follower to Twitter. “My mom is joining,” she said.
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At age 95, Kirk Douglas is not too old to give e-books a shot.
The legendary actor has an e-memoir coming out in June.
Titled "I Am Spartacus! Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist," the book tells about the Roman epic that came out in 1960 and helped break Hollywood's ban against suspected Communists.
Douglas, who starred in the "Spartacus" movie and helped produce it, reveals that Dalton Trumbo wrote the screenplay after the blacklisted Trumbo had worked throughout the 1950s under assumed names.
The book includes a foreword by George Clooney. It is being released by Open Road Integrated Media, a digital publisher that announced the deal Monday. An audio edition will be narrated by Douglas' actor-son Michael Douglas.
Many people use the excuse that they love the smell of an old book to describe why they prefer print books to eBooks. Abe Books helps explain the science behind the smell of old books in the above video.
In the video, Richard from Abe Books says, “A physical book is made up of organic matter that reacts with heat, light, moisture, and most importantly of all, the chemicals used in its production. And it is this unique reaction that causes the unique used books smell.”
Here is more from Abe Books’s YouTube post: “Chemists at University College, London have investigated the old book odor and concluded that old books release hundreds of volatile organic compounds into the air from the paper. The lead scientist described the smell as ‘A combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness.’”
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