Where is all the Hypertext Fiction in this Digital Age?

*** The following hypertext essay was written in partial completion of the Master of Arts in Communications and Technology degree at the University of Alberta, Canada. © 2013 Nicole Basaraba The navigation menu for this essay can be found at the bottom of each section. In hypertext fashion, it can be followed in any order desired, however, there is a suggested order included as labelled by numbers. *** Where is…

Read More

Phenomenology of reading print vs. digital books

A major reason hypertext fiction has not taken off as one might expect in the digital age is because people are accustomed to and enjoy the phenomenological experience of reading print books. In casual conversation, people often state that they prefer to read print books because of the feel and smell of the book – the phenomenological experience. “Books feel good. They operate well. It turns out that hundreds of…

Read More

Remediating the book metaphor – what makes a book, a book?

Publishers and writers have had the same definition of a book for thousands of years, since Ancient Greece: “The words ‘biblios’ or ‘byblos’ are translatable as either ‘papyrus’ the material, or as the object consisting of papyrus on which it is placed. The common translation “book” is misleading” (Havelock, 2011, p. 41). The word “book” meant the collection of papyrus and so how can we define an e-book when there is…

Read More

Remediating the World Wide Web – is hypertext a space?

Hypertext writers went beyond the book metaphor by introducing chunk-style or puzzle-like stories. Aarseth (1994) explains that “the main feature of hypertext is discontinuity—the sudden displacement of the user’s position in the text,” (p. 60). This discontinuity is clearly seen in website functionality. Wardrip-Fruin (2004) also postulates that the definition of hypertext has become synonymous with “chunk-style media” because most authors of hypertext fiction and poetry used link-based formats. He…

Read More

Navigating the non-linear hypertext – where to click now?

The hypertext novel is known for its puzzle-like quality because it is read in multiple chunks as the hyperlinks take readers into another space with a new section of text. It becomes the reader’s role to piece the story together into a narrative that makes sense. Schneider (2005) explains that the “non-linearity or non-sequentiality, which has always been regarded as a major generic feature of hypertext is said to represent…

Read More