Bear On Hypertext
Elizabeth Bear, one of the writers of Shadow Unit, discusses hypertext narrative as the future of literature. She believes both the codex and the electronic story will be around for a long time, and she finds that hyperfiction can be nonlinear, interactive, multimedia – and confusing .
Exploring how Shadow Unit functions as a narrative and some of the lessons she’s learned from writing it, Bear offers a perfect mixture of humility and advice for those looking to hypertext as the future . She admits that compared to what hypertext will eventually become, Shadow Unit may seem rudimentary.
It's astounding how real this world has become to me, and to others.... Sometimes I feel that, to what hyperfiction will eventually become, Shadow Unit is the equivalent of very early television--shot like a stage play, not yet quite exploiting its medium, balancing between fish and fowl.
Which is one of the reasons, I suppose, that our mascot is the platypus. Because what we've got here is weird and curious and hard to classify, but hey, somehow it works, and I, at least, am finding it utterly fascinating.