If, Literature

Dendritic fiction: the structure of If

if graphviz kindle loc PNG

At long last, by popular demand, the graph above shows the structure of the chapters in If — using the “loc” (location) numbers from the Kindle edition, rather than the page numbers from the print edition. Click on the graph for a higher resolution, printable version.

A similar graph already appears at the beginning of the print edition, but with page numbers instead of loc numbers.

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If, Literature

If and Gamebooks


As I’ve mentioned before in a post on the relation between If and “interactive fiction,” the process of publicizing If has made me aware of related genres and media with which I wasn’t familiar while I was writing the book. The earlier post noted the difference between a novel like If — where the reader makes a choice at the end of every chapter — and interactive fiction, a kind of text-based online game. The post noted that according to Wikipedia, the general category to which If belongs is not interactive fiction, but “gamebooks.”

Just as I discovered that there’s a thriving subculture devoted to interactive fiction (IF, not If), so it turns out there’s a thriving subculture devoted to gamebooks. The leading online resource (and the first result when one Googles “gamebooks”) is a site run by Demian Katz, Demian’s Gamebook Page.

I mention all of this today because Demian just posted a review of If in an online magazine devoted to gamebooks. The review can be accessed here.