By Iain Pears
Writers have always adapted to new methods of storytelling, so when Iain Pears tells us that his latest book was conceived and written as an app – and is indeed also available as an app, in which form it includes extra material – we shouldn’t be surprised.
Of course some novels lend themselves to this approach more than others. Arcadia is a good example of what works, being a complex story about a woman living in (our) future who invents a time machine that can also create fictional worlds. The narrative then splits into multiple threads that follow various characters (and their doubles) through different timelines or realities, from pastoral fantasy to dystopic technopoly. Entanglement is the name of the game and Pears does a great job manipulating his cat’s cradle of a plot to its unexpected conclusion.