Seattle author Neal Stephenson’s newly published science-fiction novel, “The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.,” serves as the launch pad for a newly released literary app as well.
The free Bound app, available for iOS with an Android version coming soon, features a serial that’s spun off from the time-traveling characters created by Stephenson and his co-author, historical novelist Nicole Galland.
“The D.O.D.O. Files” is billed as an extension of the book, with episodes written by Jamie Ortiz and David N. Ishimaru. The first two episodes are available for free reading or listening, and fresh content will be added on a weekly basis.
In addition to the episodes, which take the form of emails as well as narratives, users can download excerpts from the fictional Department of Diachronic Operations’ human resources handbook, including DODO’s sexual harassment policy. (One of the banned behaviors is the “wearing of overly large codpieces or making reference to such codpieces.”)
There’s been lots of anticipation about the latest from Stephenson and Galland, in part because of the great reception that greeted “SevenEves,” Stephenson’s previous novel about the moon’s destruction and its millennia-long aftermath.
Stephenson is also the author behind “Snow Crash,” “The Diamond Age,” “Anathem,” “Cryptonomicon,” the Baroque Cycle and other weighty novels.
“The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.” goes in a direction that’s totally different from “SevenEves,” which fit firmly into the hard science-fiction genre. This time around, Stephenson and Galland create a universe in which DODO agents travel back in time to revive a bygone world of magic – and meddle just a bit with history.
“The D.O.D.O. Files” focus on a parallel organization, DCOIN (Diachronic Counterintelligence), which is trying to keep history on an even keel.
The serial is the first full-fledged feature for Bound, which aims to combine prose, art and audio with community features in geeky genres ranging from sci-fi and fantasy to thrillers. The California-based venture was founded by veterans of the game industry.
“We created Bound because as mobile games industry veterans, we saw that there remains a huge opportunity for fiction writers to provide a reading experience that suits the lifestyle and preferences of the mobile generation,” co-founder and CEO Matthew Hannus said in a news release. “Bound provides an interactive experience for fans that grows over time, and offers creators a way to strengthen their relationships to their readers.”
Other projects in the works include an original series from writer-linguist Nick Farmer, set in a far future where genetic engineering has firmly taken hold; and a set of stories spun off from “Exiles of Embermark,” Gunslinger Studios’ combat role-playing game.
Credit for Neal Stephenson photo: Bob Lee via Wikipedia with Creative Commons license CC BY 2.0.