Science Fiction Film & Television

Hybrid stories: Examining the future of transmedia narrative

Science Fiction Film & Television (2009), 2, (1), 59–75.


Among recent examples of long-form sf drama, there can be observed an increasing tendency to extend the broadcast story across multiple narrative platforms. The web, mobile telephony and print media are recombined with established broadcast platforms to produce a form of storytelling that interleaves online and offline experiences. While this participatory creation of story suits a technologically savvy contemporary audience, why has multimedia storytelling consistently sought to explore sf themes? Through an examination of the narrative mechanics at work within transmedia storytelling, this article explores the relationship between sf and new media, particularly with regard to the emergence of Alternate Reality Gaming since 2001.

Access Token
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Aarseth, Espen, Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins UP, 1997. Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature Google Scholar

Bolter, David Jay, and Richard Grusin. Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1996. Remediation: Understanding New Media Google Scholar

Caillois, Roger. Man, Play and Games. London: Thames and Hudson, 1962. Man, Play and Games Google Scholar

Clute, John. 'Fantastika in the World Storm'. Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction 102 (Spring 2008): 6–14. Google Scholar

Deuze, Mark. 'Participation, Remediation, Bricolage: Considering Principal Components of a Digital Culture'. The Information Society 22.2 (2006): 63–75. Google Scholar

Graham, Beryl. 'Playing with Yourself: Pleasure and Interactive Art'. Fractal Dreams: New Media in Social Context. Ed. Jon Dovey. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 2006. 154–79. Google Scholar

Grusin, Richard. 'DVDs, Video Games and the Cinema of Interactions'. 2006. > http://www. Google Scholar

Hayles, N. Katherine. Writing Machines. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2002. Writing Machines Google Scholar

Hill, Dan. 'Why Lost Is Genuinely New Media'. 2006. > blog/2006/03/why_lost_is_gen.html. Google Scholar

Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York UP, 2006. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide Google Scholar

Levy, Pierre. Collective Intelligence: Mankind's Emerging World in Cyberspace. Cambridge: Perseus, 1997. Collective Intelligence: Mankind's Emerging World in Cyberspace Google Scholar

Lister, Martin, Jon Dovey, Seth Giddings, Iain Grant and Kieran Kelly. New Media: A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge, 2003. New Media: A Critical Introduction Google Scholar

Manovich, Lev. The Language of New Media. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2001. The Language of New Media Google Scholar

McGonigal, Jane. 'Why I Love Bees: A Case Study in Collective Intelligence Gaming'. 2007. > Google Scholar

Nicholls, Peter. 'Conceptual Breakthrough'. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Ed. John Clute and Peter Nicholls. London: Orbit, 1993. 254–7. Google Scholar

Olson, Charles. 'Projective Verse'. 1950. > html Google Scholar

Ornebring, Henrik. 'Alternate Reality Gaming and Convergence Culture'. International Journal of Cultural Studies 10.4 (2007): 445–62 Google Scholar

Patterson, John. 'You've Lost the Plot!' The Guardian Guide 1 December 2007: 6. Google Scholar

Szulborski, Dave. This Is Not A Game: A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming. Lulu Press, 2005. Google Scholar

Vint, Sherryl and Mark Bould. 'There Is No Such Thing as Science Fiction'. Reading Science Fiction. Eds. James Gunn, Marleen S. Barr and Matthew Candelaria. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2008. 43–51. Google Scholar

Wolfe, Gary K. 'Evaporating Genre: Strategies of Dissolution in the Postmodern Fantastic'. Edging into the Future: Science Fiction and Contemporary Cultural Transformation. Eds. Veronica Hollinger and Joan Gordon. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2002. 11–29. Google Scholar

Wolfe, Gary K. 'Malebolge, or the Ordinance of Genre'. Conjunctions 39: The New Wave Fabulists (2002): 405–19. Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here


Author details

Abba, Tom