Stephen King's new novel Under The Dome will be seeded across the Web. Snippets of the epic novel, about a town -- in Maine, natch -- cut off from the world by a giant dome, are hidden in Web sites and in the real world. Hiders and seekers of King's words can win a prize -- and CNET UK has a snippet hidden in Crave to get you started.
If you fancy reading it, we suggest clearing your calendar: Under The Dome runs to 336,114 words. There are more than 5,000 snippets hidden on fan sites and horror, thriller and lifestyle Web sites. You can apply to hide snippets on your own site. There are even some snippets, whisper it, in the real world. Clues are available from stephenking.co.uk.
Everybody involved, whether hiders or seekers, is entered into a draw to win a weekend in a posh London hotel, and a copy of the proofs ahead of the publishing date. Yes, this is more of a publicity stunt than some kind of bold online conceptual publishing experiment, as the novel will be published in traditional form on 10 November.
There's a snippet of Under The Dome hidden somewhere in Crave. See if you can spot it. Here's a clue: why not check out our Twitter feed?
It's not the first time King has published a new work in bits: in 1996, The Green Mile was released in six parts over six months. The online seeding of Under The Dome recalls William Gibson's Pattern Recognition, in which a cult of Web geeks grows up around the discovery of mysterious video clips throughout the Internet.