Hypertext Fiction

The Rite of Spring

1992-1995 (Hypertext novel: Title page 2Kb)

Other Hypertext fiction resources

This is an anotated top level index of some hyperfiction resources. I shall only include direct pointers to works of fiction here if I'm prepared to review them; otherwise, I shall hold pointers to other people's lists.


No Dead Trees

Logo © David Benson 1995; reproduced with permission

A collaborative hypertext fiction initiated by David Benson, No Dead Trees is an extremely ambitious hypermedia experiment, with multiple authors handling multiple characters with multiple lives in multiple universes.

The story is presented in short, third person fragments of about one to eight hundred words. The short fragments and -- to me -- unclear navigation tools contribute to a feeling of disorientation which, while disturbing, melds well with the ambience of the plot.

Striking visuals, and, on the introduction pages, bold colours and striking web design, contribute to the feel of the piece.

The genre is broadly horror, with links to science fiction.

The No Dead Trees logo is, in my opinion, a thing of beauty in itself, and a fitting icon for the whole hypertext fiction project.


A collaborative fiction in tiny -- fifty to five hundred word -- fragments, initiated by Judy Carson. The linking scheme is highly formal, with no embedded links and an apparent canonical ordering; each tiny fragment is terminated with links 'forwards - backwards - link - or rewind'. These give the reader a sense of control and orientation.

The short, rather disjointed fragments are written in first person from a number of actors, rather in 'stream of consciousness' style. The authors manage to achieve a very fair degree of commonality of voice. Over all, I found this fiction easy to approach, easy to get into and easy to read, although I've by no means completed my exploration of it.

I think it would be unkind to claim this work belonged to a conventional genre. It is a fictionalised account of an incident from the principal authors life; a road traffic accident and it's aftermath.

Hyperfiction Resources

Eastgate Systems Home Page
Eastgate systems are a commercial publisher of hypertexts; as such, they're probably more or less unique for the time being.
Hyperizons: the Search for Hypertext Fiction
This is an exceptionally comprehensive resource list for hypertext fiction, well worth exploring.
Web Hyperfiction Reading List
A much smaller, but clearly presented list of Hyperfiction resources, with brief reviews of some 20 hyperfictions, together with pointers to a number of other lists.
Reactive Writing Home Page
A hyperfiction resource and library maintained by L J Winson. Includes interviews with hyperfiction authors and two collaborative hyperfiction projects, Cyberport and Dark Lethe. I haven't yet spent enough time exploring these to offer a real review, but both appear to be well written, short-fragment fictions in a broadly cyberpunk genre. Neither has a clear navigation structure which I have yet discovered. Generally Lethe appears to be more linear (or at least more 'threaded') than Cyberport, which seems mazey and disorienting... but I emphasise I haven't had time to do a proper review.
The Electronic Labyrinth
The Electronic Labyrinth is a study of hypertext technology, providing a guide to this rapidly growing field. We are most concerned with the implications of this medium for creative writers looking to move beyond traditional notions of linearity and univocity.

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