Where are you going to be on Tuesday, 8 September? That’s the day after Labor Day where even the most die-hards among us--myself included--have to come to the sobering realization that summer is, in fact, over. Gone will be the mindless books and movies that rule that special time. Time to turn our attention to the “important” books of the fall, the return of our favorite television shows, and the start of the Christmas shopping season.
In the future, the eight of September might also be noted for something else: the birth of the digi-novel. Earlier this week, Anthony Zuiker, co-creator of TV’s “CSI,” did a little presser about Level 26, his new digi-novel he wrote with Duane Swierczynski. What, you may ask, is a digi-novel? Well, it is a book, first. Of that, there can be no doubt. Zuiker wrote the outline and Swierczynski fleshed out the novel. The book can stand on its own.
The thing that makes Level 26 special is the digital component. Every five chapters or so, there will be a break. If you so desire, you can log in to the Level 26 website, enter a code, and watch a three-minute episode, or cyber-bridge, that’ll give you some additional details and a deeper level of understanding about the characters and the novel. How cool is that? JP Frantz, of SF Signal, suggests the next step: digi-novels in an ebook format, say, on a Kindle where the digital experience could be contained on one device.
The idea is quite intriguing. I’m looking forward to seeing how this kind of entertainment is accepted. Let’s be honest: the book will never go out of style. There will always be bibliophiles, paper, binding, the smell of a new book, and the wondrous tactile feel of a book in your hand. But I certainly welcome new ways to become engrossed in a novel or a character. Michael Connelly and George Pelecanos are but two authors whose books have been packaged with CDs full of music their respective characters enjoy. Be honest: who among us wouldn’t want “walk” around Sherlock Holmes’s London, solving crimes with the great detective, or take a cruise with Travis McGee on his ship, Busted Flush? I’m there, baby.
And I’ll be there on Tuesday, too. Will you? Take a look at the trailer and see if you’re interested.