I’ve been into computers for decades, and for the past eight years, really into e-Book publishing. For all that, I’d not encountered an interactive, or hyper-, novel until I received a copy of Linton Robinson’s Properties of Light. I wasn’t sure what to expect; I mean, a novel that allows you to select different paths is never the same in successive readings, now is it.
Linton calls Properties a ‘hypernovel’ because it’s not read linearly according to a plot or time line. It’s a story told by an unnamed photographer; short chapters that describe photographs or scenes relating to photographs. Links at the end of chapters, or links on words within chapters allow you to jump around – following a color ‘route’ or some other scheme as you desire.
The chapters are short, pithy, and in some cases quite humorous. A ‘novel’ concept for a novel, this is not your usual read. It’s also not traditional literary fiction. So, I suppose we’ll have to invent a new genre label for it. What it is, though, is funny and entertaining. Linton wrote this book 20 years ago, but has only recently worked out the technology to make the hyperlinks work. We’re a ways away from being able to do this with a print book, but with minds out there like Lin’s working on it, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it in my lifetime.
Properties of Light is set for launch soon, but is already available for your Kindle. If you want to see what cutting edge writing is all about, get yours now.