This Horror Novel is Written Only With GIFs

By Nick Cowen on at

Remember books? They were good weren’t they? We remember whiling away hours upon hours pouring over reams of words, falling into worlds created for us through the written medium.

Of course, this is before we woke up in 2015 and needed to check our smartphone every nine seconds for a Facebook update. Or a news alert. Or a picture of a cat playing scrabble.

Perhaps in response to a civilisation that’s increasingly exhibiting the attention span of a gnat fluttering through the flickering beam of a strobe-light, web author Dennis Cooper has come up with the great idea of presenting a story through a series of GIFs.

Zac’s Haunted House has been tagged by thecreatorsproject.com as a ‘digital novel’ even though its composed completely of animated gifs.

“The GIF novel evolved from this thing I was doing on my blog where I would create these tall stacks of images—maybe 70 to 120 of them—that illustrated a particular theme or idea,” Cooper told Vice. “I began introducing GIFs into the stacks, and then I became so interested in GIFs that I started making all-GIF stacks. That's when I started to notice all these really curious, unexpected things were happening in them and between them when they were combined.”

Cast an eye over Zac’s Haunted House and you're likely to see some very disturbing stuff in there. We don’t know if this is literature’s future, but we do know we’re going to have trouble sleeping tonight. [thecreatorsproject]