Enemy of Chaos

Roo Reynolds of BBC Vision uses GraphViz, a program for representing structural information as graphs and diagrams, to create a map of Leila Johnston’s choose-your-own-adventure Enemy of Chaos. Cory Doctorow loved the book:

[a] geekily hilarious modern choose-your-own-adventure novel in which you play a middle aged bitter geek who is drafted into a branching narrative in which your goal is to save reality, while negotiating many of the familiar indignities of modern geekish life, from over-exuberant role-players to nuclear apocalypse.

The map shows the overall structure of the work, revealing all of its loops, dead ends, and branches.

I often forget how linear choose-your-own adventure tends to be, perhaps because I’ve become accustomed to working with complexly structured hypertexts. As with most works in the genre, there are really only substantial choices to be made in the middle of this text; the beginning and end is strikingly linear. Also it seems that there is only one “true” end, while the other endings seem to just be deviations from the story--a game over, not a saving of the princess--and it might have been nice to see a couple of different true endings.