Califia

Creative Work
Year: 
2000
Language: 
Platform/Software: 
License: 
All Rights reserved
Record Status: 
Tags: 
Description (in English): 

Califia is a multimedia, interactive, hypertext fiction for CD-ROM. Califia allows the reader to wander and play in the landscape of historic/magic California. It is a computer-only creation of interactive stories, photos, graphics, maps, music, and movement. It has Three Narrating Characters, Four Directions of the Compass, Star Charts, Map Case, Archives Files, 500 Megabytes, 800 Screens, 2400 Images, 30 Songs, and 500 Words.

One scholar has written of Califia that it is designed to lead the reader "to discover the lost cache of California through her wanderings within the story space." Another writer calls it "a metaphysical quest rather than a conventional mystery", noting that the central question of the treasure remains unresolved. It has been termed a classic work of hypermedia, and literary critic and hypertext scholar Katherine Hayles has cited it as one of the establishing texts for electronic literature.

Spanning five generations of swashbuckling Californians, Califia is the story of Augusta Summerland's epic search for a lost cache of gold. Join Augusta, and her friends Kaye and Calvin, on their adventures in modern Los Angeles, where they unearth mysteriously incomplete documents in local archives, discover old California myths and legends, and connive to outwit an edgy businessman with his own designs on the elusive Treasure of Califia.

(Source: Wikipedia; Eastgate catalogue copy)

NT2 entry: 

Critical writing that references this work:

Title Author Year
An Emerging Canon? A Preliminary Analysis of All References to Creative Works in Critical Writing Documented in the ELMCIP Electronic Literature Knowledge Base Scott Rettberg 2013
Avatars of Story Marie-Laure Ryan 2006
Beyond Myth and Metaphor: Narrative in Digital Media Marie-Laure Ryan 2002
Canonizing Hypertext: Explorations and Constructions Astrid Ensslin 2007
Card Shark and Thespis: Exotic Tools for Hypertext Narrative Mark Bernstein 2001
Cyberspace, Cybertexts, Cybermaps Marie-Laure Ryan 2004
Digital Literature: From Text to Hypertext and Beyond Raine Koskimaa 2000
Digital Prohibition Piracy and Authorship in New Media Art Carolyn Guertin 2012
Electronic Literature Scott Rettberg 2018
Hyperfiktion und interaktive Narration Beat Suter 2000
Hypertext and the Female Imaginary Jaishree K. Odin 2010
Hypertext Fiction in the Twilight Zone Raine Koskimaa 1998
Hypertext Fiction Reading: Haptics and Immersion Anne Mangen 2008
Hypertext in the Attic: The Past, Present, and Future of Digital Writing Andreas Kitzmann 2011
Le récit littéraire interactif. Narrativité et interactivité Serge Bouchardon 2005
Multimedia Criticism Eric Dean Rasmussen 2003
New narrative pleasures? A cognitive-phenomenological study of the experience of reading digital narrative fictions Anne Mangen 2006
Quantum Feminist Mnemotechnics: The Archival Text, Digital Narrative and The Limits of Memory Carolyn Guertin 2003
Revisting Califia: “Here the Path triverages” Jennifer Dellner 2019
The American Hypertext Novel, and Whatever Became of It? Scott Rettberg 2015
Screen shots: 
Screenshot from MD Coverley's Califia (1990)
Screenshot from MD Coverley's Califia (1990)
The permanent URL of this page: 
Record posted by: 
Eric Dean Rasmussen