The possible sites for literary experiences are multiplying. We consume literary texts in every room of the home, at any time of day or night, in every mode of transport and in every interstice of waiting time. What used to be called ‘the institutions’ of media production (the author, the publisher, the channel) have exploded into a constellation of content platforms at every scale connected through servers to readers across an unaccountable variety of sites. We read on devices that, unlike books, know where the reader is, how fast the reader is moving and which way up the device is being held, utilising an array of sensors that make the context of the encounter available to the data stream of content. Text can respond to context. Location can alter content, the media assets that constitute the story can be mixed and remixed on the fly.

Ambient literature, a range of literary media practices that respond directly to the reading context, provides a new poetics of situated reading and writing.

Where will story find itself on the street and in the home in the middle of the twenty-first century? Will there be a story machine? And, if yes, whose story will it deliver?