The World Wide Web has made possible a new form of self-expression, Cybertext, a nonlinear fiction, poetry, memoir, and creative nonfiction, created specifically to be read online.

The idea of Cybertext is to allow the reader to follow their own way through the narrative jumping from page to page via hypertext links.

Remember those "Choose your own adventure" books you used to get as a kid? "To find out more, turn to page 4" etc. Well Cybertext is the big electronic brother of those books. However instead of just reading a page and then making a choice of where to go at the end, due to the nature of the web, Cybertext can have links embedded anywhere within the text adding a whole new dimension to any word or phrase.

One of the best known pieces of hyper-fiction is Michael Joyce's cybertext "Afternoon", a story contains several hundred "nodes" (screens the reader can encounter) and even more "links" that connect the nodes together. The linking structure is such that several links can lead to one particular node. In any one node, there are as many as 5 or 6 links to other destinations. With such a complex organization of links and nodes, a more rewarding interaction is created for the exploring reader, as such an active reader is rewarded more than a passive one and their interactions with the text is more likely to take him to more interesting places.

Hey! Wait a minute! This is Cybertext, Everything is Cybertext, cool.

Mmmm tasty nodeshell


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