Part book, part app, and part map-based game, The Silent History, creates an immersive experience that is the first of its kind.
Through the iPhone or iPad app, users can access the main story through daily updates called Testimonials. Each offers a new character’s perspective that weave together and build the overall narrative. The Testimonials will be delivered in 120 parts over six volumes that play out over a year.For readers looking to explore the story in more detail, the app also includes hundreds of Field Reports.
The Field Reports are short, site-specific accounts that deepen and expand the central narrative, written and edited in collaboration with the readers of the Testimonials. To access and comprehend a Field Report, the reader must be physically present in the location where the Report is set. Reports are deeply entwined with the particularities of their specific physical environments — the stains on the sidewalk, the view between the branches, a strangely ornate bannister, etc — so that the text and the actual setting support and enhance each other. Each of these reports can be read on its own, but they all interrelate and cohere within the larger narrative.
The novel is a collaboration between Eli Horowitz, former managing editor of McSweeney’s, writers Kevin Moffett, Matthew Derby and Russell Quinn, and a team of contributors across five continents, and offers a fascinating look at new forms of narrative that are beginning to be enabled by digital technology.