Sep 4, 2010

Neal Stephenson: The Mongoliad... 2.0?

The Mongoliad is an experimental fiction project of the Subutai Corporation, released in 2010 (5 chapters). Stephenson is the guiding force of the project, in which he is joined by colleagues including Greg Bear.At the project's core is a narrative of adventure fiction following the exploits of a small group of fighters and mystics in medieval Europe around the time of the Mongol conquests. In a departure from conventional fiction, much of the content of The Mongoliad will be in forms other than text, not bound to any single medium and not in the service of the central narrative. Once the project develops momentum, the Corporation envisages fans of the work to contribute, expanding and enriching the narrative and the fictional universe in which it takes place. This is what they say at the official site:

Our story unfolds in weekly installments over the course of a year. We've planned out a true epic—the last great epic of the middle ages, in fact--and written a fine chunk of the tale, but much depends on you. We’re hoping you’ll ultimately interact with our artists and writers and share in the story’s creation.

When we can, we'll include extra tidbits of art, video, music and history. Those extras will be made available to premium subscribers, an excellent value--less than the price of a hardback book for a year's worth of story and mixed-media entertainment. We’ll soon be taking subscriptions for app delivery to some of the most popular mobile devices and are working hard to add more.

$6 a six months subscription and 10$ the hole year will put each week a chapter in your iPad, SmartPhone, eBook reader.

Best known by his cyberpunk and postcyberpunk novels, Stephenson is also the author of
- The Big U (1984)
- Zodiac (1988)
- Snow Crash (1992)
- Interface (1994)
- The Diamond Age: or A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer (1995) – Hugo and Locus SF Awards winner, 1996; Nebula, Campbell and Clarke Awards nominee,
- The Cobweb (1996) with J. Frederick George, as "Stephen Bury"
- Cryptonomicon (1999) – Locus SF Award winner, 2000; Hugo and Clarke Awards nominee, 2000
- Quicksilver (2003), volume I:The Baroque Cycle – Clarke Award winner, 2004; Locus SF Award nominee, 2004
- The Confusion (2004), volume II:The Baroque Cycle and winner 2005 Locus Award
- The System of the World (2004), volume III:The Baroque Cycle – Locus SF winner, 2005; Prometheus Award winner, 2005; Clarke Award nominee, 2005
- Anathem (2008)

Are we assiting to the birth of the first novel 2.0?


  1. I've been to the official site but haven't been able to understand how exactly they intend people to contribute. You?

  2. I've been reading FAQ, in Mongoliad's facebook and it's neither there enterely clear. Someone asked if it would be possible to contribute music, for example, and the answer is kind of... blurred, if you know what I mean, here's what they answered 3 months ago:

    "We're hoping that the community is going to contribute all sorts of media as we grow the world. We're working on some (we think) cool community-developed content development, browsing, and quality management tools. Those aren't quite baked yet, but will be soon."

    I'm afraid nothing's that clear yet or, at last, nothing's that clear to me yet.

  3. Is this intended for smartphones and iPad mainly or will it work fine for PC's as well?

  4. Hey Harry, nice to see you. Mongoliad's team promise that it will be very PC friendly. There will be strengths and weaknesses to each platform but they intend it to provide a great experience for everyone regardless of the device they are using.


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