Grenoble shorts | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Photograph: Short Édition

I found in the Guardian a fascinating article: Readers in Grenoble can now nibble fiction instead of vending machine snacks, after publisher Short Édition introduced eight short-story dispensers around the French city.

The free stories are available at the touch of a button, printing out on rolls of paper like a till receipt. Readers are able to choose one minute, three minutes or five minutes of fiction. Two weeks since launch, co-founder Quentin Pleplé says that more than 10,000 stories have already been printed.

“The feedback we got has been overwhelmingly positive [and] we are thrilled to see it working so well,” said Pleplé. “There are only eight dispensers in the city of Grenoble for now but we are planning to introduce way more. We are getting requests from all over the world – Australia, the US, Canada, Russia, Greece, Italy, Spain, Chile, Taiwan – that we are processing meticulously one by one.”

The French publisher hopes the stories will be used to fill the “dead time” of a commute, “in a society where daily lives are moving quicker and quicker and where time is becoming precious”. “In the bus, the tram or the metro, everyone can make the most of these moments to read short stories, poems or short comics,” said a statement from Short Édition. “And they can be sure to enjoy the ending.”

Thanks to The Passive Guy for the tip!

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