March 21, 2006

One Crazy Step

Via the supersite BoingBoing, delivered to them by one of my favorite sites, The Institute for the Future, and finally copped from ThePublishingSpot, I offer you this amazing bit of Chinese mass fiction. It's an episodic gangster story written by competing authors, like a story narrated by a bar full of brawling writers.

Check it out:

"In the following, there is the translation of the beginning of an immensely popular forum post. This is a story about a man's involvement in the world of gangsters in China. The author was probably making things up as he progressed. Periodically, some of the commentators stepped in and made up their own variations. So the popularity of this forum post is based upon different reasons, of which the interaction may play a significant role."

It's fan fiction without a canon for readers to reference, a Choose Your Own Adventure written by readers and writers who bicker over what happens next, and one crazy step for blogging and fiction and mankind. Before being boingboinged, that story had 1.7 million page views and 21,000 different episodes. I love the idea of having a space that produces a story, rather than a boring old space where you put a produced story.

By the end of the week, if it kills me, I want to write a couple paragraphs in the brand-spanking-new genre of the Chinese Gangster Story and see if anybody writes back...


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