New Books Blooming Through the Blockchain
Google + Visual Editions = Books x Internet
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
3:59PM, Thu. Apr. 20, 2017
The story of a parent losing their grip on reality?
That’s what Google’s Tea Uglow explores in her A Universe Explodes, which is one of two new projects from Editions at Play, an ongoing collaboration between Google and that extraordinary UK-based publisher known as Visual Editions.
The thing about A Universe Explodes – and about Seed, a story concerned with a young woman coming of age in the Eighties, written by Joanna Walsh and featuring illustrations by Charlotte Hicks – is that these two works of, ah, well, let’s continue to call it “literature,” yes? These are two works of literature, then, that 1) work best when accessed through a mobile device, and 2) are shared and rendered interactive via blockchain technology.
Note: Yes, that’s the system behind the crypto-currency Bitcoin. So this project is already kind of piquing your interest, isn’t it? Like: Uh, books and blockchain, wtf?
Yeah – and I’m right there with you, citizen.
I mean, I haven’t accessed either of these works yet, myself: I just now found out about them. And I just now found out about them because I’m on the Visual Editions mailing list. Because I bought their new edition of Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy a year or so ago and it was (as usual for those clever bibliophiles) such a gorgeous, precisely engineered example of book design, such a respectful and honoring treatment of the author’s work, that I, ah, I can’t even.
And so this latest email with the news about these Editions at Play has me all excited. And I wanted to share that excitement with you. And now that I have, excuse me, I’m going to check the things out, and – maybe you will, too?