The Mongoliad

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The Mongoliad
Mongoliad splash screen.jpg
Application splash screen for The Mongoliad
AuthorNeal Stephenson
Greg Bear
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SubjectMiddle Ages, Mongol Empire
PublisherSubutai Corporation
Publication date2010
Media typeSmartphone, Web, Print
ISBNISBN 978-1-61218-236-0 (paperback)
OCLC Number764354919
 
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The Mongoliad
Mongoliad splash screen.jpg
Application splash screen for The Mongoliad
AuthorNeal Stephenson
Greg Bear
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SubjectMiddle Ages, Mongol Empire
PublisherSubutai Corporation
Publication date2010
Media typeSmartphone, Web, Print
ISBNISBN 978-1-61218-236-0 (paperback)
OCLC Number764354919

The Mongoliad is a fictional narrative set in the Foreworld Saga, a secret history transmedia franchise developed by the Subutai Corporation.[1] The Mongoliad was originally released in a serialized format online, and via a series of iOS and Android apps, but was restructured and re-edited for a definitive edition released via the Amazon Publishing imprint 47North, both in print and in Kindle format. Fan-submitted Foreworld stories are published via Amazon's Kindle Worlds imprint.

Collaborators and format[edit]

The serialized edition was intended to be distributed primarily as a series of applications ("apps") for smartphones, which the Subutai Corporation viewed as a new model for publishing storytelling.[2] At the project's core is a narrative of adventure fiction following the exploits of a small group of fighters and mystics in medieval Europe around the time of the Mongol conquests. As well as speculative fiction authors Neal Stephenson (chairman of Subutai), Greg Bear, Nicole Galland, Mark Teppo and others, collaborators include filmmakers, computer programmers, graphic artists, martial artists and combat choreographers, video game designers, and a professional editor.[3] In a departure from conventional fiction, much of the content of The Mongoliad was in forms other than text, not bound to any single medium and not in the service of the central narrative. Once the project developed momentum, the Subutai Corporation envisioned fans of the work contributing, expanding and enriching the narrative, and the fictional universe in which it takes place.[2]

According to Jeremy Bornstein, president of the Subutai Corporation, the genesis of the project was in Stephenson's dissatisfaction with the authenticity of the early modern sword fighting scenes he had written into his Baroque cycle of novels.[1] Stephenson gathered a group of martial arts enthusiasts interested in studying historical European swordfighting, and this eventually resulted in some of the members of this group collaborating on a set of stories that would make use of accurate representations of these martial arts.[4][5] The collaborators decided that the project need not limit itself to the traditional novel form and began developing ideas on how to produce it in different media while retaining the caliber that would be expected of a new work by authors such as Stephenson or Bear.[1]

An "alpha version" was demonstrated at the periodic application showcase SF App Show in San Francisco, California on May 25, 2010.[1][2]

The serialized project ran from September 1, 2010 until January 25, 2012. New chapters, as well as supplemental materials, were released on a semi-regular schedule. The iOS apps were available in the Apple App Store, and the Android app was available in the Android Store.[2] The print edition was published on April 24, 2012. The mongoliad.com website was subseqeuently closed.[6]

Subject of the published Mongoliad books[edit]

The serial novels and their related, shorter "SideQuests" are set in the authors' "Foreworld" universe, which they describe as "almost like the world we live in," during the mid-thirteenth century Mongol invasion of Europe. Actual contemporary events described in the story include the Battle of Legnica, the battle of Khalakhaljid Sands, Tolui Khan's sacrificial death for his brother Ögedei Khan, and the Mongol sack of Volodymyr-Volynskyi in Kievan Rus'. The series includes highly detailed depictions of a papal conclave; Ögedei Khan's court (notably, his rolling "ordo" tent); the geography, flora and fauna of the great Eurasian Steppe; and especially medieval European martial arts.

Commercially published Foreworld Saga novels and short stories[edit]

The Mongoliad Cycle[edit]

The series is identified interchangeably by the publisher as The Foreworld Saga and Mongoliad Cycle.

Foreworld SideQuests[edit]

The approximate page-count of each story places their literary format somewhere between a long short story and a short novella, with the exception of the "Foreworld SideQuest Comics" which are in comics format. All were initially published in e-book and/or audio formats only.

Kindle World fan fiction stories[edit]

In keeping with Subutai's original intent to augment the Foreworld Saga with fan or community content, fan fiction publisher Kindle Worlds published ten new stories "inspired by" the Foreworld Saga in June, 2013. Foreworld Saga co-author and showrunner Mark Teppo explains, "As you can see from the Kindle Worlds storefront, there is a distinction between Canon and Kindle Worlds material. We’d like to see some of the Kindle Worlds material elevate itself up to Canon by its quality."[8]

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Terdiman, Daniel (May 27, 2010). "Mongoliad will be an interactive serial novel produced for the iPad". Crave. CNet Asia. Retrieved July 4, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d Anders, Charlie Jane (May 21, 2010). "What on Earth is Neal Stephenson's Mongoliad?". io9. Gawker Media. Retrieved July 4, 2010. 
  3. ^ Eaton, Kit (May 26, 2010). "The Mongoliad App: Neal Stephenson's Novel of the Future?". Fast Company. Retrieved July 4, 2010. 
  4. ^ Bornstein, Jeremy. "Jeremy Bornstein & Lenny Raymond, The Mongoliad, Dorkbot-SF, 2010-06-09". Dorkbot. Retrieved July 4, 2010. 
  5. ^ Newitz, Annalee (May 28, 2010). "Neal Stephenson and friends fight for the future of ebooks with The Mongoliad". io9. Gawker Media. Retrieved July 4, 2010. 
  6. ^ "On the closing of mongoliad.com". Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  7. ^ Galland, Nicole. "microblog post". author's official profile. Facebook. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  8. ^ Teppo, Mark. "Brave New Worlds (blog post)". Foreworld.com. Subutai Corp. Retrieved November 14, 2013. 

External links[edit]