There’s a new start-up company out there that’s looking to reinvent how stories are told on the web: by publishing high-quality fiction serially. From all indications, Serial Box has a pretty incredible lineup of stories coming in the next couple of months.
Founded by Julian Yap and Molly Barton in New York City, Serial Box is looking to take a page from the ongoing golden age of television: telling high-quality stories broken up in to manageable chunks. Ebooks, they claim, “are just books on digital devices, not easier, more fun, or more social than they were before.” They’re aiming to change up reading: breaking up a longer story into smaller parts along with with podcasts. Readers can follow along on any device that they want. Each story is timed to take about 40 minutes to read or listen to, and will drop each week. Each episode will cost $1.99 for either the text or audio versions ($2.99 for both). A subscription will net you the text and audio $1.59 per episodes.
It looks like they’re off to a solid start, too: their first story, Bookburners, will be a 16-part story written by Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty and Brian Francis Slattery. Here’s what it’s about:
Magic is real, and hungry—trapped in ancient texts and artifacts, only a few who discover it survive to fight back. Detective Sal Brooks is a survivor. Her brother wasn’t so lucky. Freshly awake to just what dangerous are lurking, she joins a Vatican-backed black-ops anti-magic squad—but the demons she’s hunting may be hunting her in turn.
Serial Box has released the ‘pilot’ to the story here, and you can read or listen to it on a variety of formats. The series officially launches on September 16th.
This looks like an interesting experiment, and there’s been a couple of promising experiments like this already: John Scalzi’s The Human Division and End Of All Things comes to mind, which blended ebook and audiobook shorts before the book was published as a hardcover.
Serializing short fiction isn’t new in the speculative fiction world, but it’s seeing a bit of a comeback, especially with ereading platforms, which have allowed some authors to do extremely well with serializations: Hugh Howey and Andy Weir each come to mind as success stories. Hopefully, this new publishing company will bring some new, exciting stories before us.
Stop by their website to sign up for their first season.