Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Novel in Real Time

Max Barry is publishing a new novel, titled Machine Man, in real time. Barry explains: "It’s 'real-time' because you read it as I write it. This isn’t a novel that’s been gathering dust in a drawer, pining for a publisher." If you're interested, you can sign up for a live feed.

The novel starts:

One Tuesday afternoon my left leg was severed. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds. Well, it was. It was agonizing. There was a lot of screaming and flopping around and trying to tear my shirt into pieces to stem the bleeding. While I was busy with this, my co-workers stared through two-inch polycarbonate security glass and beat on the door. They couldn’t get in. It was sealed for their safety. I had to apply my own tourniquet and try not to pass out for eight minutes. While I lay there, waiting for the time-release, I could see the top of what used to be my leg poking out from between two thick slabs of steel, gently dripping blood to the floor. I felt sorry for it. My leg hadn’t asked for this. It had been a good leg. A faithful leg. And now look at it.

An interesting idea.

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