Iowa Review on New Media, Games, and Interactive Fiction

The Iowa Review on New Media, Games, and Interactive Fiction has a fascinating online issue.  Check out some of the links to networked novels / narrative projects…From the editor’s introduction: 

In most hypertext fiction, the role of chronology in structuring the narrative is greatly diminished in comparison to print fiction conventions. In the absence of chronology, the authors of fragmented multilinear narratives need to offer their readers other tools for navigating the text. In an environment described as cyberspace, developed with home pages on web sites, geographical metaphors make almost intuitive sense. Any textual link is of course itself a means of navigation, but authors of web hypertext typically offer readers other orienting strategies as well. In addition to a calendar and character-based means of navigation, Bobby Rabyd a.k.a. Robert Arellano’s network novel Sunshine 69 [1996] also provides a map of the San Francisco Bay area, enabling the reader to organize their reading geographically. The reader traverses Matthew Miller’s “Trip” [1996] by first choosing a state in the US and then by choosing specific interstates to change course. The collaborative hypertext novel The Unknown [1999] likewise used geography as an organizational strategy, and the road trip as a trope. Stuart Moulthrop’s Reagan Library [1999] can be navigated both by textual links and by moving through a three-dimensional Myst-like Quicktime VR world. In Moulthrop’s most recent work Pax [2003], the user clicks on bodies rising and falling through space, momentarily visiting each avatar’s consciousness in the process of assembling a patchworked story of American consciousness during the war on (or in) terror. The collective narrative project Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood includes hundreds of individual contributions of short fiction and nonfiction set in specific locations all over New York City. The reader can navigate to stories by selecting a New York neighborhood or by zooming in on a satellite map of Manhattan to the specific street address where the story takes place.

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