The Guardian One big fiction, read and written by us all
While critics carped at the fragmented, non-linear nature of the text, in hindsight 253 was the high point of early networked fiction, which is now finding expression on smartphones and tablets. The newly released iPhone and iPad app The Silent History collects case histories of a future epidemic of speechlessness, in the form of a serial novel released one day at a time. Each short episode is designed to be absorbed in 15 minutes and some of the stories are tied to particular locations: the reader stands within 10 metres of a dot on the map in order to unlock the section. In another echo of Ryman, who invited submissions from readers to continue the story, readers can submit their own stories to the Silent History world.