When Lily Hoang told me that she was working on a choose your own adventure novel, I immediately thought of the Choose Your Own Adventure series of children’s books originally published by Bantam Books from 1979-1998. I remember coming home from the library when I was a kid with piles of those books in my arms. When I had exhausted those books I went ahead and read a similar series called Which Way? books, or something.
And then I thought about the translation of this idea into the digital realm, about hypertext narratives.
Today, I read Vincent King’s afterword to Gert Jonke’s The System of Vienna (an excellent book, by the way, forthcoming from Dalkey Archive) and he mentioned Geoff Ryman’s hypertext novel 253: a novel for the Internet about London Underground in seven cars and a crash.
So what hypertexts or choose your own adventure stories do you recommend?
John Madera is the author of Nervosities (Anti-Oedipus Press, 2024). His other fiction is published in Conjunctions, Salt Hill, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His nonfiction is published in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, New York State Council on the Arts awardee John Madera lives in New York City, Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.