253 or Tube Theatre, a novel by Geoff Ryman

253: a Novel for the Internet in Seven Cars and a Crash

Launch of the restored 253 website, 11 January 2023
NEWS:THE GUARDIAN in a recent opinion piece namechecks 253 while considering interactive TV.

This site is the original 1990s encoding of the prize-winning hypertext novel 253: A NOVEL FOR THE INTERNET IN SEVEN CARS AND A CRASH. The internet version and the book 253 THE PRINT REMIX went on to win the Philip K Dick Award for Best SF Novel not published in hardback.

253 was published online in sections from 1996 to 1998. It was written, encoded and uploaded by Geoff Ryman . Graphic design and resources were provided by Roland Unwin. Feedback and questions please to info@253novel.com

253 ? Why 253 ? describes the ground rules of the novel.

The Journey Planner provides links to the first four cars and individual passengers.

About this Site tells you a bit more about 253 and the author.

Select The End of the Line to read about the end of each carriage's voyage.

In each car section, advertisements appear. These are deeply serious and should be read with great attention.

Simply click on the option of your choice. Relax! It's so easy, travelling with 253.

In cyberspace, people become places.

253 ? Why 253 ?
About this Site
Journey Planner
Car 1 passengers
Car 2 passengers
Car 3 passengers
Car 4 passengers
Car 5 passengers
Car 6 passengers
Car 7 passengers
The End of the Line
The World of 253

Carmen Maria Machado writing for GRANTA blogs named 253 the best book published in 1998.

'Astonishingly vibrant portraits of each person on the train...A disturbing, melancholy work but also lyrical and totally engaging.' LOS ANGELES TIMES.

'A triumph of imagination, lnterlaced with considerable wit.' NEW STATESMAN.

'A novelist completely in control of his material.' INDEPENDENT

Read the original 1998 review in THE GUARDIAN.