Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Phoning it in

What's the latest literary craze in Japan? According to this piece in Wired, it's the "mobile phone novel"--a work of flash-frozen fiction circulated via the trusty cellular. Alas, I'm not joking. These books are immensely popular, and they may constitute the first genre that is written and read at the same speed:
Chaco is becoming one of the most popular mobile phone novelists in Japan. We don't know much about her--except that she's a twenty-something Pisces from Osaka--but we do know that she can spit out books faster than Danielle Steel. In the last 14 months, she wrote five novels, including her best seller, What the Angel Gave Me, which has sold more than 1 million copies to date.

"I can type faster on my phone than on a standard keyboard," she says. In between chapters, Chaco logs on to her blog and puts up a progress report for her eagerly waiting fans. "My god, it's already 9:30!" she writes. "Where was I? I was sitting at my desk with writer's block."

Ah, but the key statement is probably this:

"A mobile phone novel boom is definitely in place," said Magic iLand spokesman Toshiaki Itou. "And these are people who hardly ever read novels before, never mind written one."

The Brontes it's not.

Happy New Year, hope you had a fab one! (Take care of your eyes.)
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