Looking to probe deeper into lit on the Net? Click on these sites:
Electronic Poetry Center at the University at Buffalo (epc.buffalo.edu) provides a gateway to "bleeding edge" multimedia and other experimental poetry forms. Under "Authors," readers can find links to the work of more than 130 poets, including UB's Loss Glazier, as well as academic discussions of their work.
Online Originals and 1stbooks lead the pack in electronic publishing of work not available in paper and ink. Having one of its offerings receive critical notice -- and a traditional publishing contract -- casts Online Originals (www.onlineori
ginals.com) as the marginally classier operation. It's pickier about the manuscripts it offers, and doesn't charge its authors hundreds of dollars for the privilege.
1stbooks (www.1stbooks.com) does, leaving critics to sniff that it's at heart an electronic "vanity press." Still, 1stbooks offers an increasing number of books that made it onto best-seller lists as print successes first.
It's easier to find people excited about hypertext fiction on the Web than exciting hypertext fiction itself.
Hyperizons, a hypertext fiction e-zine found at (www.duke.edu/~mshumate/
hyperfic.html), offers a decidedly spartan-looking but functional and comprehensive overview of hypertext Web offerings, reviews and discussions.
"253," an interactive Web-based novel found at www.ryman-novel.com, has received critical laurels for its approach to non-linear, collaborative fiction. Termed "a novel for the Internet about London Underground in seven cars and a crash," "253" offers readers a chance to describe the journeys of characters in a subway train and contribute to a sequel.
Other offerings include the Company Therapist (www.thetherapist.com), a slick site that introduces itself thusly: "When the employees of a San Francisco high-tech company need psychiatric help, they turn to the Company Therapist. These are their stories."
On a grittier note, there's the Heist (www.mindspring.com/~walter/1.html), sort of a sketch Raymond Chandler might have drawn up if he was kinky for HTML.
-- Andrew Z. Galarneau