Touchscreen fiction writing is a newly evolved mode of storytelling and uses a varied blend of media. PRY, published by Tender Claws, was created by Danny Cannizzaro and Samantha Gorman and is the perfect example of a touchscreen fiction in the form of an app. Through a combination of film, text, and audio, PRY tells the story of a veteran named James, six years after returning from the first Gulf War. We get to explore James’ distorted psych as he relives visions of his past and try to decipher the lies he tells himself. By successfully integrating a multimedia platform, PRY shows us what the future can hold for readers.
The app uses a variety of touch gestures to inspect James’ narrative, including pinching open to see through his eyes, pinching closed to see flashing words depicting his subconscious, releasing to read his bare thoughts, and even sliding your finger across the screen to read braille. Moving beyond flipping pages of a book, this highly interactive form appeals to new generations of readers who are normally occupied with engaging entertainment. The gestures were well done and are brilliantly woven to flow smoothly and effectively to present the story. My only concern would be that PRY’s touch gestures were not standardized between chapters, which could be disorienting and pushes the boundaries with the already erratic narrative.
The plot itself, of PRY, is perplexing only because James’ distorted mind disorients the audience. James’ days are plagued with visions of the past and his conscious never recounts his memories in a steady manner. Paired with his failure to accept a defining and horrifying incident that happened while he was in war, understanding PRY’s story can be challenging.
Although PRY took a team countless hours to produce and the story was confusing and easily misinterpreted, I believe touchscreen fiction has the potential of being a future genre for storytelling.
Cannizzaro, Danny, and Samantha Gorman. PRY. Tender Claws, 2016. Touchscreen Fiction.