Eli Horowitz talks a good game about how his new project, The Silent History, is going to push digital publishing past dreary e-books and hokey Twitter novel experiments.
The former publisher of San Francisco’s indie literary magazine and book press McSweeney’s, along with fellow McSweeney’s veteran Russell Quinn and writers Matthew Derby and Kevin Moffett, has created a new form of storytelling: a geo-located mobile serialized story that will launch in late August and run for a year. It’s a two-pronged approach to narrative: readers download an app and then receive daily doses of fictive oral history (“Testimonials”) that they can read wherever. This is where the main plot unfolds. But the real innovation comes in the related, secondary piece: the geo-tagged “Field Reports” that can only be downloaded when the reader is standing in a specific place, as shown by the mapping interface on the app. Currently, there are between 300 and 400 Field Reports written for locations around the world, but that will grow as readers add their own stories.