Kate Pullinger suggests that we might have things backwards when we talk about the shelf life of digital works and the permanence of print.
In traditional publishing terms, I’m a classic mid-list literary fiction author. At this stage in my career, I’ve written a lot of books, and many of them are no longer in print. The exception to this is my most recent novel, The Mistress of Nothing; the fate of this book was transformed when it won the GG in 2009, Canada’s Governor General’s Award for Fiction. […] But even now, with several translations yet to appear, this book is fading from the market; it will doubtless have greater longevity than anything else I’ve written, because of the prize, but - unless of course the movie gets made - it will have a placid, quiet, life.
But the opposite is true of several of my digital fictions, and the powerhouse in this field is, as mentioned earlier, Inanimate Alice. IA has not published any new episodes (there are four existing, out of a projected ten) for several years now, well before The Mistress of Nothing first came out. However, the audience for this digital fiction, about a girl growing up in the near future, surrounded by technology, continues to grow and grow.
These are interesting points. Pullinger credits Inanimate Alice’s publisher and its popularity as a teaching tool for children. Whatever the reason, we can always use more thoughtful new media — and more criticism.