The Friday Cool: The Mongoliad goes live

A new creative effort by such well-known writers as Neal Stephenson and Greg Bear is now open for business. From FAQs:

The Mongoliad is a serial novel, the kind of thing that Charles Dickens wrote. It's also an experiment in fiction and technology... Fast Company said that we may be "the future of the novel." The Mongoliad is set in the thirteenth century of a universe very much like ours, a world we call "Foreworld." We publish chapters every so often (about weekly), and every chapter has associated discussions and other ways for readers to interact with each other and with us. Sometimes we'll also have graphics to share as well, or movies, or music. There is a user-editable 'Pedia with information about Foreworld-related topics, general-purpose user forums, and soon we hope to have easy ways for people to contribute their own stories, art, and music to our shared Foreworld experience.

From BoingBoing's announcement:

For $5.99 you get a six-month subscription to the main body of fiction; $9.99 gets you a year (you retain access to the fiction after your subscription expires, but don’t get any new material until you renew, which is a major plus in my view — much fairer than most online “subscriptions” that lock you out once you let your sub lapse).

I'm skeptical about a subscription fee for a mainly prose piece of entertainment, but I guess the price isn't too far out of line if you do get a reasonable amount of content comparable to a novel.

Honestly, the sample stuff hasn't been strong enough to get me remotely interested in subscribing. But it's a very interesting business model experiment.


The Mongoliad

BoingBoing's write up