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[Comments] (2) @ArielBlum: Tomorrow the first chapter of Constellation Games is pushed out to subscribers! It's a weird situation because you can already read that chapter. In fact, you can read the first two chapters, in a nice PDF or semi-nice HTML format that you can pass around to your friends (a la Tales of MU), instead of the clunky Flash interface on BookBuzzr.

Although the launch is tomorrow, the Twitter feeds start running today. Here's Ariel, the novel's narrator, on Twitter. Right now it's May 30 for Ariel and he's fixing last-minute bugs in a video game about ponies. Tomorrow is May 31, the first day of Constellation Games. On May 31 Ariel's world will change irrevocably, and you get to watch the entire process.

Every week, the Twitter feeds will enact the events of the most recent chapter, using the Twitter-language of jokey status updates. If you subscribe to the serial, you can read each new chapter and then watch its drama play out on Twitter over the week, in something like real time.

You don't need to follow the Twitter feeds to understand Constellation Games, but they add another layer of fun. They contain tons of subplots and details that aren't in the novel because everything in a novel has to be useful to the main plotline—the polar opposite of the Twitter philosophy. I'll be archiving the feeds on my forthcoming "episode guide" page, so if you come in late, you can read the tweets for a given chapter en masse.

I said "feeds", plural, but right now there's just the one. Another feed will rise in a few weeks, but its owner hasn't entered the solar system yet and won't get a Twitter account for several chapters. I have created Twitter accounts for Jenny and Bai, the two other major human characters, but I won't be posting to those feeds. I grabbed the names because Ariel @talks to them a lot, Bob Newhart style, and I don't want someone else hijacking them/taking them innocently and getting very confused. The feeds are fun to write and I'd love to do four of them, but I'd rather spend my time working on subscriber bonuses. (If Brendan or someone who's read the story wants to role-play Jenny and/or Bai on Twitter, I'll hand over the keys.)

BTW, I got the idea for the Twitter feeds from J. Jacques of Questionable Content, who runs feeds for all of his characters. That's a lot of characters, and any given character doesn't post very often, and now I understand why.

Sycorax 0.9.2: As predicted (privately to myself, not with a sealed envelope on TV or anything), I needed to do a new release of Sycorax the first day I started using it for real. The new version, 0.9.2, will not generate new times for tweets that have already been posted: it will reuse the original times as recorded in the progress log. I also added a sanity check that keeps you from putting so many tweets into one chapter that it bleeds over into the next chapter.


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