The Electronic Labyrinth

Thirty Minutes in the Late Afternoon

Thirty Minutes in the Late Afternoon is a collectively authored narrative organized by Judy Malloy and produced on ACEN on the WELL in May 1990. Malloy describes the production process in "Electronic Storytelling in the 21st Century:"

Three separate characters (John, Mary, and Rubber Duck) were written simultaneously by 15 writers in three parallel topics. The story was set in the San Francisco bay area where John and Mary were preparing (separately) for their first date. The third character, a street person known as Rubber Duck for his habit of constantly muttering the words "rubber duck" was sitting on the steps of the Museum of Modern Art. The time frame was the 30 minutes preceding the 1989 earthquake. (100)

Malloy placed the characters' thoughts in three parallel panels on the computer screen. This spatial arrangement allows the reader to apprehend the text in a manner less reliant upon a linear unfolding of plot than the typical paper story. The communal method of writing points towards the potential of the on-line environment for collaboration.

© 1993-2000 Christopher Keep, Tim McLaughlin, Robin Parmar.
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