‘Ice-Bound: A Novel of Reconfiguration’ Receives a Warm Reception from Kickstarter Backers


A desperate writer, named Kristopher Holmquist, was struggling to get by in an unheated New York apartment when he came up with his famous idea: that he would write a book focusing on the Carina Station. The Carina Station was an infamous polar base that had — over the years — sunk into the ice from its own weight, with successive owners responding to this dilemma merely by building new layers on top of the already existing structure. The end result of all this was that the entirety of Carina Station was a mishmash labyrinth of design philosophies, where delving further into the base was the same as traversing through a time machine into a preserved relic of the past.

Kristopher’s book — however — was not meant to be, for he instead died before it could be finished due to a rare neurological disorder that went unnoticed until it was far too late. Sometime after his death — on a total whim — the incomplete fragments of his planned novel were made available to the public at large, and this publication shocked everyone involved when it went on to become a best seller. Suddenly people everywhere were dying to know what the full story would have been, and to discover what terrible secret lied at the bottom of Carina Station in Kristopher Holmquist’s mind.

ar_redactedNow — thirty years later — the Tethys publishing house seeks to capitalize on this demand, and to that end they commissioned the creation of a Simulacrum AI to replicate the functionings of Kristopher Holmquist’s mind. This AI was then tasked with completing the legendarily incomplete manuscript into an idealized final novel that people everywhere had been dying to read, but there was only one problem with this equation. That very same AI is now struggling with self-doubt, wondering if anything it produces could ever possibly stand up the now famous original, and furthermore wondering why Tethys is actively keeping secrets from him as well.

Just what exactly is it about Kristopher’s Holmquist’s life that Tethys desperately doesn’t want for their commissioned Simulacrum AI — now referred to a KRIS — to learn about, and why?

So goes the premise to Ice-Bound: A Novel of Reconfiguration, the newest augmented reality game collaboration between an award-winning literary duo: Aaron Reed and Jacob Garbe. In Ice-Bound you are tasked with overseeing KRIS, but the problem you’ve currently having is that KRIS — suffering from self doubt — is utterly unwilling to commit to any choices unless he’s first assured that it’s what the original writer would have done. Eventually — after dealing with KRIS’s endless rewrites for far longer than your sanity can handle, and furthermore not really understanding Tethys’ choices either — you take matters into your own hand by giving the AI the information that it so desperately craves.

After all, what could possibly go wrong?

To this end you must show KRIS pages from the Ice-Bound Compendium — which among other things — contains numerous writing notes from the original writer, with which the AI will finally assure itself that it’s current set of choices are correct. As you guide Kris along you’ll help to dynamically shape his tales of desperate researchers, psychotic maintenance crews, haunted soldiers, and what exactly brought them all to Carina. Through this way you’ll be able to explore nearly endless permutations upon the same stories, exploring how subtle changes at various junctures can — in turn — lead to dramatically different end results.

However, there just might be a good reason why Tethys didn’t want KRIS seeing this book’s pages — which also contains garbled images, and various other collected research materials — as you’ll soon discover that they can having scarring effects upon KRIS. Although showing KRIS a page from this tome will bring it to life upon your iPad’s screen, letting you watch in real-time as KRIS processes all of the information he is witnessing, you can’t put the cat back in the bag once you’ve let it out. In the end what you choose to show KRIS will be just as important as what you decide to carefully withhold in the name of preserving both the AI’s sanity and your employer’s investment.

book_cavesHowever, despite Aaron Reed and Jacob Garbe having already finished designing the digital half of their unique meta-literary game, a colossal problem has unfortunately arisen that threatens to prevent this project from ever happening: the book printing costs. In order to properly reduce page glare — and to furthermore maintain ink quality and print resolution — all of which are vital to ensuring that the game’s visual recognition software always works, Ice-Bound’s physical component simply must be professionally printed. With print-on-demand services now entirely ruled out, the literary duo quickly discovered that there was absolutely no way that they could afford a professional print run that was large enough to be cost effective (more books ordered means that each copy is cheaper).

Therefore — in order to ensure that they could afford to sell Ice-Bound at a reasonable price — the duo turned to Kickstarter with a request for $9,500, the amount that they estimated would be needed to cover the initial print run (and also cover Kickstarter fees). Kickstarter’s community then immediately sent back a message making it exceedingly clear just how much Ice-Bound intrigued them, when they provided the project with over $10,000 in just the first ten days. However — with an entire fifteen days remaining — there’s still plenty of time for you to join KRIS on his journey of self-discovery, literary conquest, and potential self traumatization.

Therefore — for those interested — a physical copy of the Ice-Bound Compendium can currently be secured for a pledge of just $20, which will work with the full game on either iOS or Windows PC, all for far less than what the final retail price will be. Meanwhile — for those even more dedicated to learning the secrets behind Kristopher’s past — additional rewards include: signed compendium copies, early beta access, being listed in the game’s credits, the chance to help shape KRIS’s memories, and much more! However, be sure to act fast before the head staff at Tethys realize what’s going on — thusly becoming aware of Aaron Reed and Jacob Garbe’s plan to tell KRIS everything — and as a result choosing to silence Ice-Bound’s Kickstarter when November 5th arrives.