Deena's web bookshelf in more or less in reverse chronological order...)

Most hypertext/electronic/new media works have a hidden time commitment--and so I tried to organize these in terms of the time it will take to see what is going on--not to understand the whole work. Some of these, particularly in my first category, can be seen and thoroughly "grokked" quickly. Others can be seen quickly and not grokked in a lifetime. Saying you can read this in an hour is like saying you can read T.S. Eliot's the Wasteland in an hour. Yes, you can but it isn't all that is there. So this is just a way to let you know up front what you might want to look at given your time constraints. It is by no means a description of how long to spend with a work.

I just want to sit back and let it unfold for me.

Looking for something easy and fun to get an idea of hypertext/new media/electronic lit

(I can get in and out of these in an hour or two).

(My Ferris Wheels and Kanjis are at this level)

  • Robert Kendall's Faith: a kinetic poem that shakes out its meaning (Flash). His Study in Shades is a lovely little poem where we see the father and daughter moving away from each other (HTML, connection system).
  • Peter Howard's Rainbow Factory: A great little flash commentary
  • Dan Waber's Strings is fun, where handwritten words morph on the screen.
  • Ruth Nestvold, Joe's Heartbeat in Budapest: An argument where your responses are limited.
  • Dane's Him Is a very short graphic work controlled through radio buttons.
  • Jennifer Ley's Catch the Land Mine provides a game where if you win, you lose your hands. A powerful political statement.
  • David Knoebel's click poetry combines written words and speech.
  • Adrienne Eisen's Six Sex Scenes: short interconnected stories with links at the bottom.
  • Jackie Craven's In the Changing Room: Follow eight characters in and out of each other's lives, discovering their philosophical horrors and secrets: text with some graphics. (HTML, connection system)
  • Ed Falco's Charmin' Cleary: a text based hypertext exploring a violent incident with the Riverside Shakespeare (HTML)
  • Richard Pryll's Lies: a simple truth/lies structure: text only (HTML)
  • Goeff Ryman's 253: a playfully structured work: each node has 253 words (HTML)

I want something that has a little hypertext but is close to a print work.

  • Adrienne Eisen's What Fits is a novella with links at the bottom and an intriguing story line
  • Gavin Ingles' Same Day Test: A "choose your own adventure" story with consequences
I want to play around with pieces provided for me.
  • Jim Andrew's Nio--an interactive jazz piece. Move the pieces around to hear the music and create your own sounds/phonemes of meaning.
  • Terry Ford's Storyproblem--Move your mouse to control the speed and direction of the story as it unfolds. (Note this is a little difficult to manuever in).

Looking for something a little more involved: something I can understand quickly, but will take some time to unravel.

These will take anywhere from several hours to several weeks to read.

(My Marble Springs, Disappearing Rain, and E:Electron are at this level)

  • Linda Carroli's Fragments of Faith: Help yourself to a do it yourself religion (on Frame 6). A nice essay that links Faith Popcorn's "develop our own moral lives" with ruminations on modern life.
  • Melinda Rackham's Carrier: an imagistic work that discusses viruses ( human, meme, and computer) in fiction, support groups, and philosophy.
  • Christy Sheffield Sanford and Reiner Strasser's ~Water~Water~Water~, is a poetic meditation on water, using images and java.
  • Stephanie Strickland's works are very fine poetry, and use text and imagery to get her points across. She usually colors words according to theme rather than according to the current Web conventions for coloring words that are links. Try the Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot.
  • Marjorie Luesebrink's works combine imagery and navigation with stories with characters that breathe. Try something smaller like Fibbonnacci's Daughter (about a store in the mall offering numerology fortunes) before going on to more ambitious works such as Book of Going Forth by Day and Califia (Eastgate Systems)--where three characters search California past and present for gold.
  • Laura Sullivan's Beautopia (visual index): This is a treatise on women's beauty, expectations, and the author's memories.
  • Judy Malloy's l0ve 0ne is a connected novel made from Gweneth's diary as she goes through Germany.
  • Bill Bly's We Descend (Eastgate Systems): A great novel/mystery using fragments of text found on a post-apocalypse world.
  • Shelley Jackson's Patchwork Girl (Eastgate Systems): A female frankenstein who tries to reassemble herself. I particularly like the graveyard and associated links.
  • John Cayley's Indra's Net is a downloadable Hypercard which plays with turning letters and words.
  • Robert Kendall's A Life Set for Two (Eastgate Systems) is a programmed poetry piece where what you choose determines what you will get.

Looking for something I am going to have to spend some time unravelling and studying.

Don't expect to "Get it" the first time through---careful work on these reveals amazing insights and new fields of understanding. But these works will require investing quality time.

(The Princess Murderers is at this level).

  • Mez' work. Mez is working with mesangelle, a created language based on english/code/phonemes. Plan to spend some time getting to understand the language and the coding before diving into flash based works like _][ad][Dressed in a Skin C.ode_
  • Judd Morrisey's Jew's Daughter. This is a lovely lyrical work that breaks "in the middle" where the edges of text remain the same after crossing a link. Takes some time to read through carefully.
  • Dianne Slattery's Glide. This work includes a paper novel, The Maze Game, an oracle, and a site with music and language. The intriguing thing for me about Slattery's work is her new language, Glide, which encapsulates a form of concrete poetry. I recommend starting at the Oracle, learning the language Glide and playing with it. Then look at the site for the music and philosophy behind Glide.
  • Noah Wardrip Fruin et al Impermance Agent. You need to have a couple of weeks to spare your browser for this: the agent will gradually replace your browser with stories. This isn't as philosophically challenging as some of the others I've listed here, but does require a time commitment.
  • Talan Memmott's Lexia to Perplexia. A post-modernist philosophical treatise which uses code language, metaphor, and imagery (Flash)
  • Jim Rosenberg's work. Rosenberg is creating word symphonies where each word is a note, each set of words a chord in an overall whole.
  • John McDaid's Uncle Buddy's Phantom Funhouse (Eastgate, 1990) You get a box of tapes and a hypercard stack from your Uncle Buddy. You unravel it by determining passwords, going into a mirror world, and tinkering with the scripts.

I want to write in here

(My Marble Springs lets you become a cocreator by adding poems about other denizens.)

  • Jaka Zeleznikar's Retypescape (October 2003): You enter a URL, and then you can re-type over the words.
  • Eric Bunder's Let them sing it for you (2003): enter words and hear them cut from famous songs.

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