Beyond the unusual name, Mongoliad is an exciting new project that could play a part in changing the landscape for modern-day literature and the way it's published. While everybody is busy talking about how the iPad could revolutionize the magazine market, this new serial novel collaboration is breaking new ground for both writers and consumers of traditional books.
Looking beyond the simple eBook reader mentality, Mongoliad harnesses the writing skills of Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear and others who will all contribute to the developing narrative. While a traditional story exists, Mongoliad's aim is to create a world of interactivity between writers, readers and other non-literary members who can contribute to and enhance the story.
Mongoliad is due for launch this year and will be available on the iPhone and iPad.
Demoing just a few of Mongoliad's promised features, Jeremy Bornstein of Subutai told us: "We think that devices like this really change publishing in a pretty fundamental way. Not just moving books into eBooks but really allowing for a lot more creative possibilities for engaging audiences".
Set in around 1241 with the Mongol hoards threatening to destroy Europe, the novel will pull from a number of sources to ensure authenticity and from what we've heard so far, this includes experts in sword fighting to provide a healthy dose of swashbuckling knowledge.
The ins and outs of Mongoliad are still sketchy right now but we're excited to see how the project progresses and, with such big names on board, how many others attempt to produce their own "novel within an app within an online service". Most will likely be waiting to see the kind of buzz Mongoliad generates before taking the plunge but, from what we've seen so far, it'll only be a matter of time.
[ as seen at the SF App Show ]