Penguin Books, publishers of bestsellers Tom Clancy, Stephen King, and Patricia Cornwell has gone online the first Web-based, collaborative novel that can be written, edited or read by anyone anywhere on a 'wiki' platform, the software behind Web the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (The first ever wiki site was created for the Portland Pattern Repository in 1995. That site now hosts tens of thousands of pages).
The novel, A Million Penguins, went live on Thursday and its first lines are already being written, edited and rewritten by enthusiasts on amillionpenguins.com.
Penguin says it is using the novel as a test of whether a group of disparate and diverse people can create a "believable fictional voice" or a bowl of alphabet spaghetti or, like the proverbial thousand monkeys, a world masterpiece.
The first chapter includes Carlo, a troubled man walking his dog, and "on the other side of the globe" a seductive murderer, Tom Morouse, known as the "Tango poisoner".
The experimental novel, which Penguin says is the first 'wiki novel' to be started from scratch by a major publishing house, will be online for at least six weeks.
Posted by Jason McManus.