Hyperfiction: Novels for the Computer

Critical Writing
Publication Type: 
Journal volume and issue: 
August 29, 1993
All Rights reserved
Record Status: 
Abstract (in English): 

Coover's second significant New York Times' Books article reviewed contemporary hypertexts most substantially including Stuart Moulthrop's Victory Garden, as examples of works that have "printbound analogues" but suggested that new narrative forms were beginning to emerge.

Pull Quotes: 

Indeed, the potential of this fascinating new reading and writing medium has scarcely been glimpsed. The conventional nature of most of the fictions so far written in it probably reflects the apprehension felt in adjusting to a new medium (it took a century and a half after the Gutenberg revolution before Don Quixote first sallied forth, did it not?), but this transitional time will soon pass. Hyperfictions of the future will not necessarily have printbound analogues. With each foray into hyperspace something new is added to the craft, the orbits widen, the technical manuals expand.

As one moves through a hypertext, making one's choices, one has the sensation that just below the surface of the text there is an almost inexhaustible reservoir of half-hidden story material waiting to be explored. That is not unlike the feeling one has in dreams that there are vast peripheral seas of imagery into which the dream sometimes slips, sometimes returning to the center, sometimes moving through parallel stories at the same time.

Works referenced:

Teaching Resource using this Critical Writing:

The permanent URL of this page: 
Record posted by: 
Scott Rettberg