Award-winning novelist Jennifer Egan is no stranger to experimenting with form. Her last book, the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Visit From the Goon Squad, included an entire chapter formatted as a PowerPoint presentation, and her latest story, set to be published in The New Yorker, is divided into 140-character sections meant to be sent as tweets. What's more, "Black Box" — an 8,500-word story based on one of the characters from Goon Squad — will actually be tweeted in its entirety from the New Yorker fiction Twitter feed. Starting tonight, one tweet will be posted each minute from 8pm to 9pm; this will continue for ten nights. On Monday, the full story will appear in the New Yorker's first science fiction issue.
As we mentioned back when RL Stine composed his own Twitter story, there are a number of lesser-known fiction writers working in the medium already. That said, it will be interesting to see Egan's take on the microblog-based serial. She's divulged that it will follow a spy keeping a mission log, and that she struggled to keep the writing from sounding too "gimmicky" or "cartoonish." Egan says she's primarily interested in Twitter as a way to present serialized fiction, but readers of Goon Squad might remember the book's fairly cynical take on social media and wonder whether in this case, the medium will color the message.
Note: Twitter has been sporadically down today, so the above link may not be working right now. Here's hoping the Fail Whale has been banished by the time Egan's story is scheduled to start.