Portable fiction

We all see the craze spreading, with the hoopla of the Kindle and the iPad ballyhoo — you can read books? newspapers?! magazines?!! In the meantime, I’m stuck in the stone age with an archaic addiction: literature on a smartphone.

The concept is simple. Every day, Cellstories posts a new, hand-picked short story [with the whole week’s lineup available on the weekends to catch ones you missed]. It might be from a published author, a creative writing student, or any old schmuck who scribbled down something fantastic enough to impress founder Daniel Sinker and cohorts. Too good to be true, right? Kind of.

The catch is that you can only access the stories via a mobile phone. I won’t reiterate the reasoning behind the gimmick — it’s on the site — but I have to say that I appreciate the neat package it comes in.

Sydney on the fly, with postcards

Finally, the Blackberry trackball has found its calling! I read while lying out in the office parking lot, recovering from overzealous air conditioning; I read on BART to pass the commute; I panic if I miss a day because the story might be gone forever [there is an archive, but the assortment shown is at the whims of the refresh button as I have been unable to get the search function to work].

It’s a refreshing jolt of creativity. Just be prepared to be temporary zombie with glazed eyes and a phone glued to your palm.

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