CNET Begins Publishing Crowdsourced Sci-Fi Novel 'Crowd Control'

CNET, a tech news site, has begun publishing its first-ever crowdsourced science fiction novel, Crowd Control: Heaven Makes A Killing. The novel, which will be published in installments on their site, was written and edited by CNET readers around the globe via Google Doc.

The project began in November in conjunction with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a month-long endeavor that challenges writers-to-be to produce a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. CNET's Eric Mack introduced readers to a basic premise for a sci-fi novel and asked them to help him write it. He called it the world's first MMOSFN: Massively Multiwriter Online Science Fiction Novel.

Here's his premise, from CNET:

It takes place a few decades in the future, just after the so-called talk about often. In this moment, people are beginning to live much longer thanks to advances in science and technology and it's starting to seem like immortality might be possible. At the same time, humans are beginning to understand that not only are we not alone in the universe, we're not alone in the multiverse, either. The real possibility of human immortality turns out to have a direct impact on another very distant civilization, which sends a hero of sorts to Earth to resolve the complications, but how will he (or she) be received?

Every evening, beginning on Nov. 1, Mack posted his writing progress in a public Google Doc, where anyone could make additions and edits. He integrated the best suggestions from the crowd into a working draft and posted an updated version every evening. Hundreds of writers (120 revealed their names; may others remained anonymous) contributed to the project.

The draft, which is still online, was edited and expanded by Mack to create a 50,000 word story that CNET will publish daily on weekdays over the next four to five weeks. The entire project is made available under the Creative Commons Attribute 4.0 International License, which means it's free to be shared and adapted with proper attribution.

So... maybe soon we'll have the world's first MMOSFN fan fic? One can dream.

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