In addition to the individual fictions, which are more or less protected from tampering in the old proprietary way, we in the workshop have also played freely and often quite anarchically in a group fiction space called “Hotel.” Here, writers are free to check in, to open up new rooms, new corridors, new intrigues, to unlink texts or create new links, to intrude upon or subvert the texts of others, to alter plot trajectories, manipulate time and space, to engage in dialogue through invented characters, then kill off one another’s characters or even to sabotage the hotel’s plumbing. Thus one day we might find a man and woman encountering each other in the hotel bar, working up some kind of sexual liaison, only to return a few days later and discover that one or both had sex changes. During one of my hypertext workshops, a certain reading tension was caused when we found that there was more than one bartender in our hotel: was this the same bar or not? One of the students — Alvin Lu again — responded by linking all the bartenders to Room 666, which he called the “Production Center,” where some imprisoned alien monster was giving birth to full-grown bartenders on demand.
to the recently renovated Hypertext Hotel. All newly elected members of the BOARD OF DIRECTORS may read, write, and sleep over here, moving in wherever they feel most comfortable, the whole Hotel at their disposal. Guests, too, may range freely. This is not so much a friendly hotel as it is one without proper management, which is to say that within its rooms and corridors, virtually anything can happen…
Please pick up the Housephone.