Monday, August 18

A what kind of novel?

Cross-posted from the Little Apocalypse MySpace.

We've been asked a few times now:

WTF is a hypertext novel?

A hypertext novel, for our purposes, is a novel broken up into little bits and scattered across multiple webpages. Readers then use hyperlinks to move through the pages like a maze. Hypertext novels have been around as long as the Internet. Check out this wikipedia entry for a little bit of history and links to some of the classics.

So, while hypertext novels aren't anything new, we think ours does stand out from the others out there. Why? For one, the fiction pieces included could (and have) stand on their own. While some hypertext fiction emphasizes form over content, we think the form should reflect the content. Molly & Zim are zig zagging across the country; links zig zag across the site. One event sets several others in motion; one page in the novel links to multiple other stories. Worlds overlap; paths overlap. In life, some things grow out of control, some things fall apart, some things start to show a little wear - all of this is underlined by the structure of the site.

Little Apocalypse is also unique in the way it jumps across mediums. What began as a series of short stories now includes original artwork and music, is being considered as the basis for a couple of art shows and at least one musical act, and is being promoted in some fairly unique ways (like one-of-a-kind, handmade postcards and fake cell phones scattered throughout Eugene).

The biggest difference, though, is our use of Creative Commons licensing. This is an alternative to rigid, traditional copyright protection that allows others to participate, copy, redistribute and base derivative works on any material included in Little Apocalypse. You can send stuff to us to be considered for the site itself, participate in our MySpace or blog, write for the wiki, or create your own sites and projects and link back to us. It's all perfectly legal under Creative Commons, and it promotes collaboration in a way that certain industries wish was impossible. (I'm looking at you, RIAA.)

Does that answer the question? ;)


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