The idea of the super-book...

With the release of my new novel (LIFE IS BIG), I’ve been receiving messages from readers from all over.  More than half of these kind people are curious to know how I came up with the idea of ‘the-super-book’.  What does an evolving/living-book entail? And why I didn’t “make” LIFE IS BIG into a real super-book?

A high school student from Italy suggested contacting a big company (“like amazon or google”) and asking them to invest in creating “the super-book of LIFE IS BIG.”

A friend from Los Angeles, CA, wanted to know if “imaginary-online-beings would be able to access and perhaps change the destiny of this super-book”. A New Yorker who lives just a few blocs away from me, proposed to help in the design of the super-book and went on to suggest “an online-channel that would connect the living and the dead”. One side of the channel would be dark purple (the side of the dead) and the other, bright green (that’s the living side). The color of the channel would adjust, depending on the nature/mood of the each reader.

A guy from Virginia said that interactive books like these would be the only way to get closer to a real human being from now on.  And a retired English teacher who lives in the island of Lesbos, Greece, warned me to be careful because “the world is made up of many types of people” and once I let readers “alter things there won’t be any of my words left in the story and Alma-Jane would end up dying before the end of the coronavirus era.”

I am not sure what it would happen to LIFE IS BIG. And anyway it shouldn’t concern me the book is in the hands/minds of others now. But I would like to tell you who is responsible for the super-book-idea. It’s CHARLEY!

CHARLEY (the working title of a novel-in-progress, which I started 10 years ago and still working on it) tells the story of five kids who are born in the www world. There they travel from site-to-site chatting, playing and learning. In this futuristic made-up world, physical interaction is replaced by electronic communication, thus experience builds via icons on the screen.

Every day all five kids attend, where they are obliged to study and take exams given to them by the Common Voice.  One day while in recess one of the kids, Charley, finds an old book online, this ancient book belongs to the primitive homo-sapient species and it’s a super-book.

I don’t know yet what happens next but I do know that this super-book is the only thing left from the homo sapient era and Charley, who belongs in the homo-evolutis species like the rest of the kids, learn through that super-book a lot about the primitive humans, “the humans of the body,” as they are called. 

In other words the super-book is like the neutral zone in “Life is Big”, a place/time where dead and living mix to learn and help each other.

Happy first of May!


PS: Thank you Vasiliki Dimtsiou for the photo (@vasiliki_dimt)


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