Daughters of Freya

I’ve just recently started Michael Betcherman and David Diamond’s Daughters of Freya, a serial email mystery about a San Francisco cut that believes sex with strangers is the way to world peace. So far, the narrative seems promising; 4-5 emails are delivered each day over the course of the 3 weeks the story takes to unfold.

The format allows for pacing and anticipation, but can retain the author’s intended schedule no matter when the reader begins reading. If you read a serial in a magazine, and you begin while the 4th issue is in publication, the anticipation is no longer a factor for the first 3 issues. With the Daughters format however, no matter when the reader begins reading, the story will always unfold the same way in real-time. The reader can't jump ahead or cheat.

Authorial control has been debated in hypertext circles for decades, but Daughters of Freya work asserts control elegantly, chiefly because the work does not make any pretenses toward interactivity or agency. This shouldn't be remarkable, but in digital literature, it has been a surprisingly unusual approach. The work’s Web site mentions that emails do contain links to fictional webpages made specifically for the work, but I haven’t seen any of these yet.

Daughters of Freya can be purchased for $3.99, or you can sample the first 3 emails free.