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New look for the short story; go digital



  Posted on 25/03/2008

Some of the UK's best young novelists are working with computer games designers to create digital short stories, each inspired by a classic work of literature but featuring games, blogs and web tools.
The first of the six stories is Charles Cumming's The 21 Steps, based on John Buchan's classic thriller The 39 Steps.

It uses Google Maps and Google Earth to follow the trail of a bewildered young Londoner who witnesses a murder and is forced to smuggle a mysterious liquid on to a plane.

The We Tell Stories project has been created by Penguin in partnership with alternate reality games company SixtoStart. Other participating writers include Toby Litt, who was named as a Granta best young British novelist, Naomi Alderman, winner of the 2006 Orange prize for new writing, and Mohsin Hamid, whose The Reluctant Fundamentalist was shortlisted for last year's Man Booker prize.
The stories - which can be read online at wetellstories.co.uk - will feature clues that point to a seventh story hidden on the internet, culminating in a competition to win a 13,000 Penguin Classics library.

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