For the first time in a couple of decades, I recently watched Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent classic Metropolis, the two-and-a-half-hour restored cut: the Über Rich live in a paradisiacal topside that is part Manhattan and part Ancient Rome; the workers live in subterranean housing projects and commute to their (also underground) jobs on conveyances with a remarkable likeness to Mitt Romney’s car elevator. 

Paul Tremblay’s Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye (ChiZine Publications) is a contemporary version of Animal Farm amped up on bitterness, future technology and sad realizations that things are not going to end well. Our unnamed narrator is forced into situations beyond his control, a reluctant hero in search of his mother, an angry youth who has little love left for his father, a boy not quite ready to be a man.

As a teen, he runs off to work at Farm, thinking he is helping his mother. Years later when his paychecks bounce back to him, her account closed, he fears the worst. An opportunity to escape presents itself, and he flees Farm, only to run into his father, who has set him up to be the next mayor of City—or perhaps just a patsy waiting for the fall.

The innovative new web series H+, a project helmed by Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men), is set to roll out its first episode on YouTube August 8.  The multi-perspective, piecemeal narrative revolves around a deadly virus unleashed on a futuristic population implanted with an HPlus chip, designed to enable instant and continuous internet access.  But it’s not only the series’ online venue and big-name backers that make H+ particularly ambitious.  It’s the potential for audience interactivity with the order in which the story elements are presented.  As series creator John Cabrera recently explained to Wired: