Why No One Clicked on the Great Hypertext Story
Date of Publication: 04.16.13.
1. Sometime in the late 1980s, an enigmatic
work of short fiction began circulating through a small subculture of
writers and technologists. Entitled “Afternoon, a Story” and written by a
then-community college professor named Michael Joyce, the piece wasn’t
easily shared—not because of anything particularly radical or subversive
in its message but simply because of its medium: the floppy disk.
Written in a new authoring program called Storyspace, “Afternoon” was by
many accounts the first work of true hypertext
fiction: a branching path of overlapping narratives and detours that
the reader navigated through the then-novel convention of clicking on