• Interactive fiction: nonlinear fiction that invites the reader to interact with the text.
    • Relatively few people have tried to write fiction that is to be read in a electronic environment, but the few have come to amount to several dozen authors who have created a decent amount of work in this genre in the late 80s and 90s
    • Began in the late 1980's and early 1990's - hypertext fiction became a more convincing expression of hypertext. Was found in multiple genres and forms such as - "hypertext novels and short fictions, hypermedia narrative forms that refashion film or television, hyper-mediated digital performances, and interactive or kinetic poetry" (Bolter, 121).
  • Eastgate is a publishing house, under Mark Bernstein, that is primarily devoted to hypertext fiction
  • Creative writers have paved the way for interactive fiction
  • Robert Coover is a good example of a hypertext fiction novelist
  • Two elements are required for interactive fiction: episodes (topics), which may be paragraphs of prose or poetry, and decision points (links) between episodes, which may necessitate a different response from readers
  • The author of interactive fiction may put any number of restrictions on the reading order, thus it is not random and the reader can have as much or as little control as they desire
  • Electronic fiction is not "computer-generated" fiction - the text is simply presented to the reader according to the author's preconditions (Bolter, 121).
  • Through this form of medium, the author is experimenting with our perception of the text, and today, that is how we are able to understand it.
  • Robert Coover has argued that hypertext is a legitimate and even innovaive form of literary expression--interactive fiction is about the breakdown or rather the refashioning of traditional forms. It challenges our understanding of fictional forms that have flourished in print as well as forms from other media besides print. It offers the reader a new literary experience in which she can share control of the text with the author-electonic writing space removes the restriction of having to read in a specific order (Bolter 122)
  • Author of interactive hypertext may lay out a two or even three-dimensional textual space within which her fiction operates-the reader may join in actively constructing the text by selecting a particular order of episodes at the time of reading and by otherwise intervening in the text (Bolter 123)
  • The most popular form of interactive fiction is the series "Choose Your Own Adventure" which were released from 1979-1998. Other series jumped on the bandwagon, such as Goosebumps author R.L. Stein who released his own version of the interactive fiction. In "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, the reader becomes the main character or protagonist and has the ability to select the next action one can take within the novel. Typically, the action one chooses directs the reader or protagonist to a particular page in which the next part of the situation would be explained. "Choose Your Own Adventure" had immense popularity and was translated into over 38 languages. A link to the Wikipedia page for more information on the series can be found here .
  • In giving the reader a role such as in interactive fiction, the author cedes some of his traditional responsibilities. Traditionally, a reader could deface the text, as in write over it. With electronic structures, they either cannot do this or they can participate in the writing. The sharing of writing roles shows the way which electronic writing will develop: we can envision when the reader will be able to alter existing episodes and links and add new ones.
  • Interactive fiction allows players to control characters and situations through text, kind of like a literary or narrative video game. Interactive fiction can also be referred to as a "text adventure."