Victory Garden

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Description (in English): 

The Gulf War and its media frenzy serves as the backdrop for this Dickensian tale of campus politics, seduction, burglary, dissent, unsafe driving, and war.

(Source: Victory Garden - Eastgate Systems)

Victory Garden is a hypertext novel which is set during the Gulf War, in 1991. The story centres on Emily Runbird and the lives and interactions of the people connected with her life. Although Emily is a central figure to the story and networked lives of the characters, there is no one character who could be classed as the protagonist. Each character in Victory Garden lends their own sense of perspective to the story and all characters are linked through a series of bridges and connections.

There is no set "end" to the story. Rather there are multiple nodes that provide a sense of closure for the reader. In one such "ending", Emily appears to die. However, in another "ending", she comes home safe from the war. How the story plays out depends on the choices the reader makes during their navigation of the text. The passage of time is uncertain as the reader can find nodes that focus on the present, flashbacks or even dreams and the nodes are frequently presented in a non-linear fashion. The choices the reader makes can lead them to focus on individual characters, meaning that while there are a series of characters in the story the characters focused on can change with each reading, or a particular place.

Upon entering the work the reader is presented with a series of choices as to how to navigate the story. The reader may enter the text through a variety of means: the map of the 'garden', the lists of paths, or by the composition of a sentence. Each of these paths guides the reader though fragmented pieces of the story (in the form of node) and by reading and rereading many different paths the reader receives different perspectives of the different characters.

(Source: Wikipedia entry on Victory Garden)

Critical writing that references this work:

Title Author Yearsort descending
Magister Macintosh Richard Gess 1993
Hyperfiction: Novels for the Computer Robert Coover 1993
Where the Senses Become a Stage and Reading is Direction: Performing the Texts of Virtual Reality and Interactive Fiction J. Yellowlees Douglas 1993
The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age Sven Birkerts 1994
Hyperfiction Moulthrop’s Computer Novel Weaves a Web of Alternative Endings John Dunn 1994
Where No Mind Has Gone Before: Ontological Design for Virtual Spaces Stuart Moulthrop, Nancy Kaplan 1994
Writing for the New Millennium: The Birth of Electronic Literature Robert Kendall 1995
From Text to Hypertext: Decentering the Subject in Fiction, Film, the Visual Arts, and Electronic Media Silvio Gaggi 1997
Hyperizons: A study of interactive reading and readership in hyperfiction theory and practice, with an outlook to hyperfictions' future inspired by the reading of Sophie's World and The Pandora Directive Lisbeth Klastrup 1997
Hypertext Fiction in the Twilight Zone Raine Koskimaa 1998
Patterns of Hypertext Mark Bernstein 1998
Authors, Readers, and Progression in Hypertext Narrative Edward Maloney, James Phelan 1999
The Disturbing Liveliness of Machines: Rethinking the Body in Hypertext Theory and Fiction Christopher Keep 1999
Literary Hypertext: The Passing of the Golden Age Robert Coover 1999
The End of Books--Or Books Without End: Reading Interactive Narratives J. Yellowlees Douglas 2000
Digital Literature: From Text to Hypertext and Beyond Raine Koskimaa 2000
The Endless Reading of Fiction: Stuart Moulthrop's Hypertext Novel Victory Garden Robert L. Selig 2000
Hyperfiktion und interaktive Narration Beat Suter 2000
Reveal Codes: Hypertext and Performance Rita Raley 2001
Wreader's Digest - How To Appreciate Hyperfiction Anja Rau 2001
Screen shots: 
Victory Garden cover image
Victory Garden map image
Victory Garden screenshot
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Record posted by: 
Jill Walker Rettberg