Books

Fictionary: Bringing Fictional Worlds Into Reality

Anahita Padmanabhan ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Sometimes, fiction gets complicated. Who is who? What does a word mean in this story? What is the significance of this place? It can get hard to keep track of everything while reading. Fictionary is the solution to these issues.

Fictionary is an app that works as a dictionary for fiction literature. According to the site, Fictionary is “A free look-up capable custom e-book dictionary of fictitious terms, places, and people in literature.” On the website, readers can download the fictionary of a specific book that they are reading. Then, while reading that book, they can simply select the word or name that they are confused about, and the Fictionary entry will appear just like the definition normally would. If readers want more information, they can bring up a full entry.

Screenshot from www.thefictionary.net
Screenshot from www.thefictionary.net

Fictionary prides itself on four of its main features. The first is that it is spoiler-free, when possible. The Fictionary is created with content for the book listed, so it won’t have information from other books that may reveal something. As readers progress through the series, they change the Fictionary so it matches where they are. Secondly, the app works on many devices. It works on Kindle eReaders, iOS Kindle Apps, and some Android ePub apps. Third, it is easy to install. Readers install the app just as they would any e-book, and it can even be emailed directly to the device. Once Fictionary is installed, readers just need to set it as the dictionary. Finally, it is comprehensive. The definitions are easy to read and use advanced matching techniques to make sure that variations or nicknames match up to the proper definition.

Some easily recognizable Fictionaries include Tolkien’s novels, George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower novels, and Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. There are also Fictionaries for classics such as Les Misérables, Lord of the Flies, and even The Catcher in the Rye. But, while there are plenty of Fictionaries, there are way more that are missing. This does not mean that there is no chance that the Fictionary will exist; the creator of the app makes the Fictionaries by request. Readers who want to see, for example, The Hunger Games series can simply send in a request online, and the creator will hopefully get to it.

Another issue that may arise is inaccuracy or incompleteness of the Fictionaries. The Fictionaries are either provided by the authors or are community driven. Through these two groups, information tends to be accurate and well done, especially if they come from the authors themselves. They can create their own Fictionaries by getting in contact with Fictionary, allowing the authors to help expand the worlds that they have created.

Fictionary is an interesting addition to the literary world. Since it is only available through e-books, it brings more attention to e-books and their use versus reading paper books. It also allows readers to learn more about the literary worlds that they are reading. Fictionary answers a lot of questions that readers face, but instead of having to flip back through the book or look up the answers, risking spoilers, readers can simply get the answers as they read. This creates an easier reading experience because it does not distract from the reading. It takes less time for readers to get the answers that they want. The less time readers spend looking up their questions, the more time they have to read. As Fictionary expands to more novels and provides more literary worlds, the more useful it will become. Fictionary provides a unique insight into fiction that is worth keeping in mind.

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