Monday, July 12, 2004

Novel for the Cellphone

Chinese author moves into texts
A Chinese author is writing a novel aimed to be transmitted in text message-size chunks.

Qian Fuchang has reduced his novel Outside the Fortress Besieged into 60 chapters of 70 characters each, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported.

Described as a "steamy tale of illicit love among already married people", the novel will be available exclusively to mobile phone users.

China's expanding mobile phone market already has 300 million.

Xie Wangxin, vice chairman of the Guangdong Literary Academy in southern China, told Xinhua that the mobile phone novel was no gimmick and would be "a real literary work".

Last year, Chinese people sent more than 220bn text messages, more than half of all messages sent in the world, according to the Xinhua news agency.

Now that's the kind of book I want to read. It's short, it's simple, and to the point. I suggest putting a Jane Austen novel in text message form. Sure, the books are enjoyable to read, but if you don't have time to curl up with them for hours then the cell phone version may work out.