For various reasons (more lazy historicizing?), this game is not as much fun as The Caverns of Doom, but it does have a more academically distinguished pedigree. To get things off with a bang here, I wanted to share with you all a foundational work of hyperfiction; however, a clickable version of Borges' The Garden of Forking Paths already exists (hmm -- at least, it did before Geocities went belly-up!), Cortázar's Hopscotch is too substantial a work to casually convert (or casually pirate, for that matter), and Raymond Queneau's renowned A Story As You Like It is already up in browser-navigable form both in English and in its original French as Un conte à votre façon.
What I have prepared for you, then, is a homage to that last work, written by author Daniel Godston for the 2006 issue #8 of the Drunken Boat online journal of art and literature with its focus on works by the Oulipo (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle). In a curious editorial decision, it was originally posted online as an un-hyper-text; I have taken the liberty of modifying this sister text to include functional navigational links.
1. Would you like to hear the story about the fortress of goons? 2. Would you like to hear the story about the snowballs in the valley? 3. Would you prefer to hear the story about the tangerine and the avocado? 4. Once upon a time there was a fortress of goons in a kingdom on a distant continent. Surrounding the fortress was lush vegetation and ropy vines that draped under a canopy of trees. The king goon swam in a mud pit and sometimes gargled mud. One day a huddle of henchgoons told the king goon a yarn about how a creature in a distant kingdom was planning to invade their kingdom.Through this convenient diagram (the renowned "bifurcating graph representing the structure of Raymond Queneau's A Story as You Like It" from Lettres Nouvelles, July–September 1967), one can observe that the structure of Fortress, Snowballs, Tangerine, Avocado is identical to that of its parent work, making for two congruent hypertexts whose contents are entirely different. Food for thought!
5. The king goon invited his henchgoons to jump into the mud pit for a swim.
- a. If you would like to hear a different exposition, go to 9.
- b. If this exposition suits you, go to 5.
6. They all dove into the mud pit and swam until the mud thinned and became a mountain spring.7. The goons were taken away by the mountain spring, and they were never heard from again.
- a. If you prefer that they go for a swim, go to 6.
- b. If you prefer that the king goon get out of the mud pit and towel off, go to 7.
8. The goons were taken away by the mountain spring, and the current took them to a blue cavern that opened up to the ocean.
- a. If you would like to hear another development, go to 8.
- b. If you like this development, go to 10.
9. Once upon a time there was a fortress of goons in a kingdom on a distant planet. In the morning the goons would connect at the fingertips to share magnetic forces. 10. The creatures inhabiting that kingdom had experienced this kind of thing before, and this occurrence provided them with an opportunity to re-imagine what their government could become.11. The creatures of this kingdom dreamed up new colors, tastes, sensations, and imptr sounds.
- a. If you prefer that they end up somewhere else, go to 7.
- b. If this destination suits you, go to 10.
12. The rivers that webbed across the kingdom flowed quietly, and some flowed around the crystal mountain.
- a. If you want to know what sounds they dreamed up, look up imtpr in the dictionary and tell us about it.
- b. If you’re not interested in finding out what imptr sounds are, go to 12.
13. Silver fish darted up and down the rivers, around the boulders.
- a. If you would like to find out more about these rivers, go to 15.
- b. If you would like to find out more about the crystal mountain, go to 13.
- a. If you would like to know what the fish eat, go to 14.
- b. If you would like to find out more about the boulders, go to 14 anyway.
14. The fish made patterns around the boulders. There were so many of them and they moved so quickly that the boulders weren’t troublesome obstacles. Sunlight danced on the fish’s scales.
15. Their patterns were elliptical and curlicued, and they looked like Full Carrick Bends. 16. They were swift and glittery. 17. The tangerine and the avocado mapped out their journey. 18. They smackled and undulorbled. 19. They gliglistened and wananeded.20. There is no rest and the story is finished.
- a. If you wish to find out more about the patterns, go to 15.
- b. If you want to find out more about the sunlight, go to 15 anyway.
21. There is nothing left, and the story is likewise finished.