Monday, August 15, 2016

the real pleasure in life, an interactive digital novel by Al Dixon

Subgenre: Interactive digital fiction, mystery
Release date: July 21, 2016

About the real pleasure in life

"I started imaginary books as a way of exploring the creative potential of digital storytelling. The Real Pleasure in Life, our first title, is a formal revolution: it rejects standardized language, animates the text, and blurs the line between text and image in order to tell a story that couldn't be told any other way. The technique was developed especially for this novel. The novel is a mystery, and the formal innovations are part of the mystery."

Imaginary Books Releases World’s First Digital Novel Written in Interactive, Animated Text for Free Online
“Dynamic typography” ebook offers mysterious misadventure into Athens, Georgia   

The creative innovators at imaginary books are about to unveil the world’s first digital novel written in “dynamic typography,” or animated text, in which the text moves and transforms on screen to correspond with the plot. Releasing the novel online and via a custom app for free in June 2016, the real pleasure in life is a funny, moving, and possibly magical story of a guy trying to navigate his life when it takes a turn for the strange, aided in that quest by a group of larger-than-life eccentrics in America's most legendary college town, Athens, Georgia.

The next read for music fans of Neutral Milk Hotel and REM, as well as literary lovers of Eli Horowitz’s interactive digital novels The New World, The Silent History, and The Pickle Index, the real pleasure in life packs the literary punch of a classic novel but is more fun than a conventional, static e-book. The book takes advantage of the possibilities of digital storytelling, asthe movement of every word reveals an intriguing clue, plot twist, or compelling insight.

At just over 100 pages (with episodic chapters that take about ten minutes each to read), the real pleasure in life was written with HTML and Javascript, and will be available for free on, iBook, Amazon, and Kobo. The novel’s intentional misspellings and textual animation are intrinsic to the plot, along with images that interplay with the text to make a one-of-a-kind reading experience.

the real pleasure in life: After receiving a mysterious communication from a long-extinct coffee shop in Athens, Georgia, Al Dixon leaves his  pregnant wife in Texas to investigate the surreal summons. Drawn into the heart of the musical incubator town that birthed REM and Neutral Milk Hotel, the mystery becomes even more bizarre. Why, at ten o’clock in the morning, are bars the only thing open? Why are all the street signs misspelled? Why does everyone assume he’s moving there? Why can’t he get in touch with his wife? On top of everything, when he finally finds the impossible coffee shop, the enigmatic man behind the counter greets him with an accusation: “You’re late.”

After an unforgettable night spent in the company of larger-than-life eccentrics and new friends, Al comes to a shocking realization that will change his life forever. By turns philosophical and slapstick, wry yet heartfelt, the real pleasure in life offers a funny, moving confrontation with eternal truths that can only be revealed through a raucous night in America’s most legendary college town.

Get your free copy here.


About Al Dixon:

imaginary books are a team of literary engineers on a mission to redefine the way books are read and experienced. Al Dixon is an English professor at the University of Georgia, Athens, and is a self-taught programmer and textual animator.

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