Neal Stephenson's Mongoliad project
has launched -- you can go browse the website right now
and read through the offerings available. As Cory Doctorow posts, the project is a series of episodic stories
and materials portraying a universe put together by Stephenson and a few other author friends. The idea seems to be that you pay a subscription fee ($5.99 for six months, or $9.99 for a year), and then get access to whatever fiction content is being posted at that time, as well as a giant online Wikipedia-style database of the universe's background. There's not much about the story itself, but Doctorow calls it "epic, a swashbuckling swordplay novel with the sweep, charm and verve of the major Stephenson epics, such as System of the World
." That right there sounds interesting enough to pay six bucks and see what's going on.
Unless, that is, you want to actually wait for it on the iPhone. Originally, this was announced as a project that would make its way to mobile devices (like the iPhone), but it looks like we'll have to wait for that. The main page of the project says that they'll "soon be taking subscriptions for app delivery to some of the most popular mobile devices," so I'll probably wait on paying any money until that service comes up -- don't want to pay twice. But we'll keep an eye out for it and let you know when it's available.