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L.A. Noire taps acclaimed thriller writers for book

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L.A. Noire Short Story Collection - Rockstar

L.A. Noire may be a video game, but it sure does have its toes in a lot of ponds.

One week after being showcased at the Tribeca Film Festival, the game is exploring the literary world, gathering a collection of noted crime novelists to contribute short stories set in the game's universe for an eBook that will come out next month.

Joyce Carol Oates, Lawrence Block, Megan Abbott, Joe
Lansdale, Francine Prose, Jonathan Santlofer, Duane Swierczynski and Andrew Vachss are all on board for the project. Instead of simply novelizing the game,
though, they'll each contribute a stand-alone story that centers on various
cases and characters in the game.

Abbott's up first, with an excerpt from her story "The Girl" now
available for download
on Rockstar Games' website. Other excerpts will be made available up until the game's May 17 release.

Mulholland Books, a division of Little, Brown and Co., will publish the full compilation of stories on June 6 for eReaders at all of the major outlets (presumably, Amazon.com, via Apple's iBooks store and Barnes & Noble).

"L.A. Noire draws on a rich history of not just film, but also great crime literature for inspiration," said Rockstar Games founder Sam Houser. "Using the game's world as a springboard, we worked with the genre's best writers to create stories that lived up to the finest traditions of crime fiction."

Given how Rockstar has always embraced story-centric games, the expansion into books is actually a pretty natural fit. And while the announcement was only tied to a single game, the book's publisher seemed to drop a hint that similar tie-ins might be in the works for future titles.

"The possibilities for cross-promotions of this nature, encouraging gamers to read and readers to play games are huge," said Michael Pietsch, publisher of Little, Brown and Company. "We're looking forward to a new frontier of book publishing possibilities and see Rockstar as an ideal partner."

Book tie-ins have certainly worked well for other game publishers. Microsoft has put out six tomes based on the Halo franchise. And Activision-Blizzard has put out a whopping 16 World of Warcraft-themed books.

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