‘Technically Literate’: CNET Rolls Into Fiction

In News by Dennis Abrams

Illustrations for CNET's 'The Last Taco Truck in Silicon Valley' are by Roman Muradov with animation by Justin Herman.

Illustrations for CNET’s ‘The Last Taco Truck in Silicon Valley’ are by Roman Muradov with animation by Justin Herman.

By Dennis Abrams | @DennisAbrams2

CNET Technically LiteraateCBS Interactive has announced that CNET, its site for consumer technology news and reviews, has launched Technically Literate, a series of original, illustrated works of short fiction, each with a perspective on technology.

The stories will be appearing monthly exclusively at CNET.com. Readers will also have the option to send the stories directly from CNET to their Kindles, IOS or Android devices.

Technically Literate will debut with works from four authors:

  • Michelle Richmond is the author of four novels, including the New York Times bestseller The Year of Fog. She kicks off the series with The Last Taco Truck in Silicon Valley, a satirical look at the place in which startup and hipster cultures collide. Readers can follow Richmond’s story on Twitter on the hashtag#franconeedsataco.
  • Novelist and journalist Cristina Garcia is author of four novels. Her first book Dreaming in Cuban was a finalist for the National Book Award. Garcia’s original work for Technically Literate is Cuba’s King of Batteries. Set in 1943, the story involves a German submarine, a kidnapping and—that driving force of technology—the battery.
  • Novelist Anthony Marra is the New York Times bestselling author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, long-listed for the National Book Award, and a finalist for this year’s National book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. Marra’s original story for Technically Literate is Ansley, a modern-day tale of secret identity.
  • Nayomi Munaweera is the author of Island of a Thousand Mirrors, winner of the Commonwealth Regional Prize for Asia and short-listed for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.

In a news release, Connie Guglielmo, Editor-in-Chief of CNET News, is quoted saying: “CNET is honored to host the work of such distinguished authors. We love great writing, and it’s especially apt when it touches on the same themes we at CNET cover every day.”

“Technology is central to intellectual lives in the 21st century,” addsd Lindsey Turrentine, Editor-in-Chief of CNET.com, in the statement.

Illustrations for CNET's 'The Last Taco Truck in Silicon Valley' are by Roman Muradov with animation by Justin Herman.

Illustrations for CNET’s ‘The Last Taco Truck in Silicon Valley’ are by Roman Muradov with animation by Justin Herman.

“We look forward to discovering how authors address the wonders and challenges inherent in technology’s tremendous change rate. I’m excited that CNET is a global platform for talented authors.”

Reporting for The New York Times, Alexandra Alter writes:

“The fiction series grew out of an effort to attract new audiences to CNET, which has more than 33 million monthly visitors.

“When the site was introduced about 20 years ago, technology was still a niche subject.

“Now, technology saturates practically every facet of daily life and takes center stage in movies, television and fiction, including in the HBO show Silicon Valley and recent novels by Dave Eggers, Jonathan Franzen and Joshua Cohen.”

“We hope it will help us expand our brand,” Guglielmo tells Alter. “If you don’t experiment, you stay in place, and that’s kind of counter to the culture here.”

Many will note the strong production values in the presentation of the work. Illustrations for The Last Taco Truck in Silicon Valley are by Roman Muradov with animation by Justin Herman and design by Mark Hobbs and Marc Mendell.

To learn more, see the Technically Literate site.

Illustrations for CNET's 'The Last Taco Truck in Silicon Valley' are by Roman Muradov with animation by Justin Herman.

Illustrations for CNET’s ‘The Last Taco Truck in Silicon Valley’ are by Roman Muradov with animation by Justin Herman.

About the Author

Dennis Abrams

Dennis Abrams is a contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives, responsible for news, children’s publishing and media. He’s also a restaurant critic, literary blogger, and the author of “The Play’s The Thing,” a complete YA guide to the plays of William Shakespeare published by Pentian, as well as more than 30 YA biographies and histories for Chelsea House publishers.