PBS HAS A STICKY, RUBBER-TILED FLOOR, AND A SMELL THAT SPEAKS OF CHEAP DEODORANT FIGHTING AN ENDLESS BATTLE WITH SOMETHING NASTY AND NAMELESS AND JUST OUT OF SIGHT. YET IT ALSO HAS SOMETHING OF THE HEROIC ABOUT IT: A QUALITY OF GIGANTISM THAT CAN INSTIL A HOPPER-LIKE SENSE OF LONELINESS, THE INSIGNIFICANCE OF THE INDIVIDUAL IN AN ENGULFING ENVIRONMENT.
MARTIN BAKER, THE INDEPENDENT
The novel-sized work starts as a coach draws into the iconic Preston Bus Station a few days before Christmas. It is snowing heavily, it is dark and the main character wearily trudges into the station knowing she still has miles to go before she gets home to a miserable Christmas party with a family she hasn’t been in touch with in over three years. She's broke, pissed off and miserable.
So far, so festive.
But what happens when the snow continues to fall and all the buses are cancelled? When all attempts to leave the bus station fail? When strange people start to appear in the station, when she overhears stories of missing teenagers, and when a crying boy in a hoodie asks her for help?
Thiis is interactive fiction. Part novel, part photo-book, part game - you decide what happens as you navigate through the real and imagined landscape of the iconic Preston Bus Station.
This is much more than a simple choose-your-own-adventure story. As a Curious Tales digital-only project, we've made something that just wouldn't work in a print edition. The text of Bus Station: Unbound can track your choices and depending on your preferences, you’ll read a story of late adolescent despair, a grieving and fragmented family, guilt, fantasy and restoration, or a gripping and frightening supernatural tale about a notorious building many have described as ‘monstrous.’ More likely, you’ll remix a unique combination of all of these. There are over twenty endings, and no limit to the amount of times you can restart, reread and try another path.
Bus Station: Unbound is another Curious Tale and will be published as a fully interactive e-book for Kindle with photography from Helen Power. It will be available to pre-order soon.
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