will begin on July 8th and continue for fourteen
weeks. The novels first chapter will be excerpted in Yahoo!
Internet Life’s August issue, on newsstands July 17th.
Rushkoff’s "open source" concept, originally
developed by computer programmers to expand their work with
peers, is a huge departure from traditional book publishing as
well as the early attempts at online publishing. Exit
Strategy is written in the form of a manuscript that is
"found" in the 23rd Century by a group of
anthropologists. In trying to explain the nascent 21st
century culture to people of their own era, the
anthropologists clarify the text with extensive footnotes.
Rushkoff invites the public to devise their own footnotes and
add their own social commentary throughout the novel, all in
the voices of 23rd century scholars. As the book
evolves with more footnote commentaries, Rushkoff will lead
online discussions on Yahoo! Internet Life’s bulletin
boards about how the novel is evolving.
"By opening the footnotes to the world, I’m
giving everyone a chance to futurecast - to imagine how things
will be different," explained Rushkoff. "It’s also an
opportunity to look at our world today and its shortcomings
from a very new perspective. The novel I’ve written is just
the starting point for this collaborative writing project.
Ultimately, the footnotes will become more important than the
Exit Strategy is a satire of today’s
market and technology obsessed culture, told from the point of
view of a young Jewish hacker-turned-venture-capitalist. The
story takes place in 2008, when Silicon Alley has once again
turned unabashedly ‘bullish.’ Looking back, society blames the
‘crash of 2001’ on people losing faith and focusing on
revenues instead of simply speculating.
"Exit Strategy, itself, is an example
of the power of interactivity to create a better whole; it’s
truly visionary," said Barry Golson, Editor in Chief of
Yahoo! Internet Life magazine. "We are proud to be working
with Douglas and our readers to create one of the world’s
first interactive novels."
In the spirit of the project, Rushkoff will
also publish two editions of the book electronically with
iPublish.com at Time Warner Books. First, iPublish will
release a beta edition of the work in September. Then,
iPublish will publish the open source edition which includes
readers’ footnotes selected by Rushkoff.
"This is the kind of project that made me
interested in eBooks," said Zachary Schisgal, Rushkoff’s
iPublish.com editor. "You could never undertake a project with
this kind of imagination and interactivity in print."
Douglas Rushkoff is the author of seven
best-selling books on new media and popular culture, including
Cyberia, Media Virus, Playing the Future, GenX Reader,
Coercion, and the novel Ecstasy Club. He can be
heard as a biweekly commentator on NPR’s All Things
Considered, and he regularly appears on TV shows from
NBC Nightly News to Larry King Live and
Politically Incorrect. Rushkoff’s writing can be read in
numerous top publications; his monthly column on cyberculture,
which is distributed through the New York Times Syndicate,
appears in over thirty countries.
Rushkoff, a frequent lecturer to worldwide
university and corporate audiences, also hosts and writes
documentaries, including PBS’s acclaimed Frontline documentary
"The Merchants of Cool". For the past three years, he has been
an adjunct professor of virtual culture at New York
University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. On the
boards of half a dozen new-media companies as well as several
global organizations, Rushkoff graduated magna cum laude from
Princeton University and received an MFA in directing from
California Institute of the Arts.