“Reagan Library” by Stuart Moulthrop

ReaganLibrary
Reagan Library by Stuart Moulthrop

Reagan Library might be best described as exploratory hypertext fiction. In this work, Stuart Montfort has created an eerie world, reminiscent of the game Myst and its sequels, which seems to require a particular state of mind, a suspension of disbelief, and a total immersion into a new and unexplored universe.

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“Self Portraits(s) [as Other(s)]” by Talan Memmott

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“Self Portraits(s) [as Other(s)]” by Talan Memmott

Talan Memmott’s 2003 work Self Portrait(s) [as Other(s)] situates itself within an art historical context by presumably introducing the reader to self-portraits of artists from between 1756 to 1954, allowing the reader to simply click through what might conventionally pass for a mundane educational presentation.

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“RedRidinghood” by Donna Leishman

RedRidinghood
Open “RedRidinghood” by Donna Leishman

In “RedRidinghood,” Donna Leishman retells the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Using Flash in a similar way to “Deviant” (previously reviewed here), Leishman offers a modern reading of the traditional tale, which acknowledges its indebtedness to Angela Carter (thanked in the credits as the person who initiated it all). In this interactive narrative, Red Riding Hood sets out on her way to her grandmother’s house. In the woods, she meets a boy-wolf who will eventually seduce her, but also experiences the forest itself before falling asleep and dreaming.

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“My Body – A Wunderkammer” by Shelley Jackson, et al.

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“My Body” by Shelley Jackson

Shelley Jackson’s My Body – A Wunderkammer is a 1997 hypertext that allows the reader to explore a fragmented recounting of the narrator’s relation to their own body, and to the memoirs and accounts produced by the nature of this embodiment, whether textual, linguistic, social or physical. The text opens onto the image of a female body that is subdivided into sections of the body and the reader simply has to click on the relevant section that interests them to read an anecdote involving that section of the narrator’s body, which then includes further links to other anecdotes or body parts which are often only tangentially related to earlier sections.

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“Galatea” by Emily Short

galatea
Open “Galatea” by Emily Short

Galatea” is a piece of interactive fiction with a single non-playing character (NPC) in a single room. The narrative is loosely inspired by the Pygmalion story, for this reason Galatea, dressed in green, stands on a pedestal as part of an exhibit.

“Galatea” is a conversational program, descended from early pieces like ELIZA, that imitates the language of a Rogerian psychotherapist. Notably, the whole concept of “Galatea” makes reference to ELIZA, which was named after the character of Eliza Doolittle in the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. Instead of imitating the language of therapists as ELIZA does, “Galatea” tells a narrative. However, “Galatea” is a multilinear narrative: it does not just tell one story, but many alternative stories that can develop into infinite permutations. “Galatea” was created using the Z-machine, a 1979 virtual machine originally used for the development of adventure games.

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“Endemic Battle Collage” by Geof Huth

Screen capture from “Endemic Battle Collage” by Geof Huth. Continuous stream of random letters with occasional grammatically correct words interspersed. White letters on black background, spelled words have inverted colors. Text: "Worse, after, havoc, opinion, place, graph, mister, wright, pattern, endemic, collage, basic, hope, scheme, thought, position, ocean, rhythm, dare, over, stamp, dervish, algorithm, pastel, gainloss, myste, words, layer, babel, design"
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Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 1: A Retrospect

“I, You, We” by Dan Waber and Jason Pimble

Screen caapture from "I, You, We" by Dan Waber and Jason Pimble. A variety of floating verbs accompany a series of floating pronouns to create many different phrasal possibilities. Text: "(in no specific order) / you / rouse / we / haggle / you / insure / we / extradite / you / repulse / we / attend / you / grasp / we / protest / (etc.)"

“Strings” by Dan Waber

“Tao” by Reiner Strasser and Alan Sondheim