These Illustrated Cards Tell More than 479 Million Different Stories

Myriorama are illustrated cards that depict segments of landscapes that can be arranged to tell a story, no matter what order or combination they're arranged in. Myriorama, meaning "many thousand views," first appeared in France in the 1800s as a popular form of entertainment for young people, but eventually faded away as a forgotten storytelling format. 

Recently, a new project has resurrected the myriorama. The Endless Journey is a set picture cards based on the writings of 18th century novelist Laurence Sterne by British illustrator Tom Gauld. The project was commissioned for the Shandy Hall Museum of the Laurence Sterne Trust, and supported by The Arts Council and James Cropper Paper (on which the cards are printed). The 12 illustrated cards can be arranged to form 479,001,600 different stories, referencing scenes from Sterne's books Tristam Shandy and A Sentimental Journey Through France And Italy.

The physical cards can be bought through the Laurence Sterne Trust, but you can also experience a smaller version (made up of six cards) online.

The online version of the Endless Journey allows players to arrange six cards into a frame to tell a Sterne-inspired story

The online version of the Endless Journey allows players to arrange six cards into a frame to tell a Sterne-inspired story