Friday, August 7, 2015


I have a number of works I classify this way, including works included in the One-Page Classics volume, particularly involving philosophy, and works published pseudonymously under the name Master Kuo, including The Lessons of the Master and The Story of Master Wu.

These works meet a unique definition of hyper-fiction not by using hypertext links, but by being super-intra-associative, super-lucid, and having a degree of consistency in the value of content between the multiple types of works in the genre by the same author.

Essentially, I define hyper-fiction particularly as a type of fiction that incorporates lists or list-like elements (or in longer works, many value-equivalent sentences), the effect being to create images which are super-intra-associative. The association may take place by engaging the reader in the action of the story, producing insight (as in philosophy), generating an idea of a particular word (such as 'parable' for example), or simply structuring the content of the story itself.

In order to begin the process of association which I find to be necessary, it is often helpful to begin writing with one image, which may be located at any point in the story. This image may be especially 'hyper' in order to define the genre. Here are some examples:

1. A copy of the story Flatland.
2. A horizontally-scanning X-Ray.
3. A Cubist or Bauhaus hotel.
4. An art museum located in the fourth dimension.


The central image then creates an implied structure for some part (or all!) of the story. For example, the copy of Flatland can create mathematical or typological variations on other themes. The X-ray can involve dimensions with anthropology. The Bauhaus hotel can lead to concepts which are more dimensional than Cubism, or inside the hotel, less dimensional, and more proto-logical. An art museum located in the fourth dimension allows associations between different types of dimensions as they might be seen in the fourth dimension.

Characters in these stories might be different people from different backgrounds representing the different points of view present within the picture of different situations relevant to describing the overall common image of a hyper-cube, or they might be gods or heroes who someohow extend the shape of the story through their own significance.

An important factor may be determining how the story begins and ends. A story may for example, begin with empty space or mystery, representing the un-defined dimension. Or it may begin with an idea of complexity, and deconstruct until nothing is left. Other approaches are more difficult, but it might be possible in a highly systematic work to produce multiple sets which are equivalent, and held together by some common factors which are neither fully complex, nor fully empty, as in Life: A User's Manual by Georges Perec. In his case the subject of the book was life itself, providing ample material for commonly-valued sentences which are created using a highly complex system in his work.

It may be helpful to arrange events in the story in direct response to 'supernatural' occurences, such as unusual or bizarre or magical things that happen to the characters. This is a particular characteristic of hyper-fiction: the aspect of requiring special evidence to qualify as fiction at all. Much content is simply too mundane to serve as more than fodder for far-separated details within the work. Thus, categories must be considered carefully, and the writing must be kept clean and succinct, but not through a loss of the all-important images. More important than images, however, is the categories behind the images. Often, well-chosen categories are enough to describe a well-formed story, if you have already found your written voice.

So, as an overview: (A) Structure relating to dimensions, (B) Categories following from structure inspired or not, (C) Gods or heroes as characters, (D) Logical organization from beginning to end, (E) Specific descriptions follow supernatural events to help content.

That's about all. If you have constructed a piece of hyper-fiction recently, let me know about it by posting a comment on this post!

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