What is Electronic Literature?

The term refers to works with important literary aspects that take advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the stand-alone or networked computer. Within the broad category of electronic literature are several forms and threads of practice, some of which are:

  • Hypertext fiction and poetry, on and off the Web
  • Kinetic poetry presented in Flash and using other platforms
  • Computer art installations which ask viewers to read them or otherwise have literary aspects
  • Conversational characters, also known as chatterbots
  • Interactive fiction
  • Novels that take the form of emails, SMS messages, or blogs
  • Poems and stories that are generated by computers, either interactively or based on parameters given at the beginning
  • Collaborative writing projects that allow readers to contribute to the text of a work
  • Literary performances online that develop new ways of writing

Electronic Literature Links:

Matthew Miller’s Trip (Hypertext fiction):


Jim Rosenberg’s Diagrams Series 5 (Hypertext Poem):


Erik Loyer’s The Lair of the Marrow Monkey (Hypertext fiction):


Michael Joyce’s Twelve Blue (Hypertext fiction):


Zork emulator (Early example of computer game fiction):


Peasant’s Quest (Satire of King’s Quest video game):