Bound adapts Cumulus into a digital serial with art and extras

I’m excited to finally share a project that’s been in the works for almost two years. Matt Hannus reached out to me back in September 2015 after reading the Uncommon Series. Matt is a veteran game developer and told me that he was launching a new company leveraging the flexibility of digital media to tell stories in new ways on mobile. He was hoping to rope me in to develop a story for the platform.

His vision resonated with me. When we read on the internet or on our phones, we read mostly nonfiction: blog posts, news articles, personal essays, etc. But in the world of books, fiction vastly outsells nonfiction: we read many more mysteries, science fiction stories, and romance novels than we do nonfiction books. Why is that? Why do we read nonfiction on the internet and fiction in books? There are as many answers as there are armchair media pundits, but it seems to me that there might be an untapped opportunities for storytelling on the internet.

Fast forward two years. Matt and his team raised investment, transformed their vision into a product, and just this month shared that product with the world. Bound is a new mobile app that combines serialized prose, art and audio with community features from the best storytellers in “geek genres” like science fiction, fantasy, and thrillers. The app is available for free in the iOS App Store and you can download it right here.

Bound launched with exclusive content based on the new novel The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland, and Purgatorio, a sci-fi adventure series by award-winning author John Shirley, based on the Midnight Star: Renegade mobile game universe developed by Industrial Toys and best-selling author John Scalzi. Bound has also announced agreements with acclaimed creators Gunslinger Studios, former Pixar and Telltale Games creative Stephan Bugaj, award-winning game writer Matt Entin, and writer and linguist Nick Farmer (Nick and Stephan both happen to be friends of mine).

So I’m honored and excited to announce that Bound just released the first three episodes of their adaptation of my science fiction thriller Cumulus (new episodes will come out weekly). Cumulus takes place in a world that we seem to be barreling into. Tech consolidation, ambient AI, crumbling public institutions, escalating economic inequality, persistent surveillance, these are all things that have migrated from science fiction into reality. Bound’s platform will bring that world to life, enriching the narrative with original art and extras. If you’ve read Cumulus, you’ll get a kick out of the redacted emails from Graham’s Agency operations, scandalous news articles documenting Huian’s rise, and even Lilly’s Lancer profile. It’s been a delight seeing how deep their sourcebook goes, and I can’t wait for fans to access it. If you haven’t yet read Cumulus… what are you waiting for?! 🤓

We all read books, watch movies, and play games. Bound is leveraging the malleability of digital media to build something new and unique, an example of what the future of storytelling might look like. Check it out and let me know what you think.