Individual Work
Mahasukha Halo

Fragmented, freely looping dystopian-future fiction with accompanying paths leading to author's notes and to external texts. “Mahasukha Halo” was written in Storyspace and first appeared in The Eastgate Quarterly Review of Hypertext (Summer 1995, volume 2 number 1), along with “Sea Island” by Ed Falco.

From the publisher’s description:

    Mahasukha: the Nepalese Buddhist concept of transcendence through erotic experience. … Mahasukha Halo -- snapshots, pleas, and confessions from a future world of alien sex and alien gods, where humans do the dirty work and put on the dirty shows. Lost missionaries, sex addicts, hyacinth men, and post-millenium religious fanatics poulate these street scenes where sex and religion are polyvalent, and body parts proliferate.

For more information see the entry from “The Electronic Labyrinth,” which includes the following:

    The 120 short passages which comprise the "core" of Halo capture not only the strange "sentience" of hypertextuality but its apparent threat to the human body. They are full of images of genetic chaos, gender confusion and somatic interference: "Everything left me through all my holes;" "Men blistered with gesturing vulvas, women with erect penis noses;" "Neighbor genetics of gender mutate cyclically." The normative human body has been invaded, taken over, and translated into something multiform, and transgressive.

    The tendency of hypertextuality to disorder the ego's sense of embodiment is imaged here as a kind of linguistic virus coiling itself into the DNA of the reader, subtly altering his or her genetic code. "That was what I thought I'd get if I made the Halo a hypertext," writes Gess. "I wanted to make a mind, feverishly free-associating, that would use that illusion to invade that dark space in each reader's skull and take it over. Something alive" ("Magister Macintosh" 41).

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