The Case of Hypertext

Grand Text Auto turned me on to a new hypertext, The Case of Randolph Carter, here, in Dead IF Lies Dreaming.

I don’t read a lot of hypertext but when I do it’s not very interesting, mostly because I don’t like looking at all the underlined links and each link usually takes you to a new page. I suppose you could get around the former, maybe, by defining your own style for the web page, but the latter problem is more intractable. I don’t know, maybe I’m just ignorant and these days hypertext interfaces are nothing like this. Perhaps someone could show me the light.

Gimcrack’d offers a way around the latter problem by using TiddlyWiki, but doesn’t solve the first problem, and I don’t like how the script rearranges and inserts text in the middle of the original running text.

This new hypertext by Josh Birk is kind of cool in how it goes about the interface. The script appends new text to the running text or inserts it before the last chunk; it seems to be instantiating a previously written transcript. You can click on any word in the text and that brings up a menu of choices; of course most words only present the options to ‘wait’ and ‘cancel’, but some words offer further options. The new text is set in a slightly larger size compared to the running text. When you finish a page, you page ahead with a ‘next page’ button outside the running text. If you want to look at a previous page (‘rewind’) you have to repeat your steps to move forward again.

I can see someone modifying the interace; maybe moving the menu to a sidebar that refreshes on a mouse click, adding an atmospheric image sidebar on the opposite side, and including the facility to move between pages at will; maybe presenting the running text in facing pages. Anyway, check it out:

The Case of Randolph Carter


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