London Eye starts outor rather, where I chose to start it outwith a scenario of an anticipated meeting. The scene is set: Go to a party in the English countryside and sit in the garden. Let the blown light of a Jane Austen spring settle on your face, your bare shoulders, your hands. Close your eyes.... and so it continues where the reader is in the scene, waiting anxiously yet with a calm confidence in this garden. Diane Greco doesn't draw the bench, the flowers, the stone path that will lead your lover to you, but rather brings you out into the spinning cosmos, somewhere so much larger than what you've imagined for yourself.
Greco doesn't let us down nor, even with the structurally aligned buttons that project a specific segment of text onto the screen, are we led into a linear narrative. There are a few story lines that interweave and offer insight into human nature. There are references to old movie scenes that we so often use as fantasy, an alternative to our lives where, unlike the piece, we cannot simply press buttons to jump in and out of situations quite so easily. Star Trek, Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, all vie for our understanding of the nature of relationships not only to a lover, but to each other and to the universe that we each change in some minutest way with each choice made. There's much more to consider here: Wonder, not for the first time, who you are.
The layout of this interactive flash fiction is focused on a central television-style screen, with buttons lined horizontally and vertically in rows to offer no suggestion as to a proper course. In hyperfiction, there is no right or proper and so no wrong path to take. Greco has designed her story so that all is told whether backward or forward, left to right, vice versa, or diagonally. But in this there is also a game being played. Is the reader one who will follow a particular pattern such as left to right, top to bottom as text reading has taught us to do? In this, we can be a pick-and-chooser; as such, we may need to depend upon our memory to make each choice. Despite the references to the more modern technology of email and such, there is yet another subliminal reaching into the past via the time-fade of the screen. There is a limited amount of time allowed to complete the reading before the text fades and the button (here again, short-term memory serves well) must be hit again to complete the screen's information. After a couple reloadswhich is very much in tune with today's internetit also brings to mind feeding nickels into the old film clip viewers.
All told, Diane Greco's London Eye is a delightful read as well as a thought-provoking use of the flash medium.