We tell stories

Adrian Hon in Mssv:

0426mohsinhamidI love all the stories in We Tell Stories, but I do have favourites. Back when we were planning the six week schedule for the stories, we decided to structure it like an album – start with a bang, and end with a bang.

The first story was The 21 Steps by Charles Cumming. It was the most visually striking of all six stories, using the Google Maps engine, and we knew that it would generate quite a bit of buzz among the tech crowd, so it seemed like a natural choice to open with. It certainly paid off – The 21 Steps has now been read over 150,000 times, which is more than all of Charles Cumming’s book sales put together. I believe he told BBC Radio Scotland that he was now better known for The 21 Steps than his books, which I don’t think is an overstatement.

I had the idea to create a story in Google Maps some time ago, long before we got in touch with Penguin, and I feel that it’s a rather obvious idea. I’m happy that we made it, of course, but I don’t think it’s the most mind-blowingly original thing that I’ve come up with. We excelled more in implementation and interface design rather than in ’story architecture’*. When it comes to originality though, I am most proud of the design we made for the final story, Mohsin Hamid’s The (Former) General In His Labyrinth.

More here.  [Photo shows Mohsin Hamid.]