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Cover Quote: November 1993

And, one may well ask, what’s so great about “interactivity” anyway? What’s wrong with surrendering deferentially to the implacable linear flow of an author’s creative thought, her own particular page-by-page artistic and narrative decisions? All these yields, links, buttons, nets, maps: not only are they vexing novelties, sometimes they seem more compelling than the text itself, as though the ancillas of book culture—the tables of contents, the indexes and appendixes, the designs and jackets and headers—might have swallowed up the stuff inside. If it takes so much effort just to struggle with procedures, how can one find time to appreciate style, voice, eloquence, character, story? And what do you mean, you can’t take it to bed with you?

Well, it’s true, hyperfiction is probably not for readers who fall asleep on four or five books a year. But it is more fun, more engaging, than one might suppose before trying it. Readers who surrender to novels as a way of going on holiday from themselves fear losing that dreamlike experience of being swept along by the story, but in fact there is something very dreamlike about reading hyperfiction, for it is a strange place, hyperspace, much more like inner space than outer, a space not of coordinates but of the volumeless imagination.



- Robert Coover
Hyperfiction: Novels for the Computer, 1993
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