Nota Bene

        The original version of "I Have Said Nothing" was designed to enable readers to navigate through the narrative using a variety of strategies: by using the cognitive map, selecting hot words in the text, relying on narrative defaults (the hypertext equivalent of print's narrative line), or viewing a menu of available paths. Unfortunately, it's presently virtually impossible to replicate on the Web the system of guardfield conditions that enabled readers to see as options only those paths which took them to destinations that had some meaning, some relevance due to where they'd already been. Nor is it possible for readers to explore the full complexity of the narrative--or the possibilities for interaction that accompany each segment--in this excerpt. In the full-blown version of "I Have Said Nothing," for instance, you can't stumble onto the death throes of a character and find yourself wondering, not only who the hell she is, but why you should give a good goddamn because the guardfields, the Boolean strings that specify what conditions you need to have satisfied in order to have the choice of exploring this path or that one, ensure you don't as much as glimpse these options until the narrative has prepared you for them.

        To assist you in navigating through this excerpt from "I Have Said Nothing," I've provided some rough approximations of the Storyspace reader interface (and, as you'd expect of an excerpt, far fewer links or possibilities for navigation than exist in the original). Links listed under the icon depicting the El are the equivalent of default links: think of this movement as something analogous to cranking the lever on a Steenbeck to keep the flickering film image going. Links listed under the cloverleaf Interchange icon are the equivalent of the path options you'd find listed for each place, edited roughly to approach the options you'd see in the original. And the icon that vaguely resembles a double helix --which is actually a cognitive map of the hypertext excerpt--links you to overviews of the cognitive map, with the place you currently occupy highlighted. A click of the binoculars icon on this map will reveal a closeup of whatever narrative strand you happen to be exploring.


        These navigation options appear at the bottom of each segment:

Do you remember?
At_Christmas

Move
It falls
We were weaned
Eight years later