Published in 1996, “Twelve Blue” is a work by Michael Joyce that has been considered the first hyperlink story of its kind. The story is devised in 8 different bars, and all relate in some way to the color blue. He sets us with minor and major characters and keeps us going through the bars. You are able to click through different links and some of them leads you to pictures, while the rest lead you through more and more of the story. Each story focuses on an object of some kind or some character. The backdrop and text is a dark and a light blue and there is a side bar with a picture of different color bars that look more like stars.The first bar starting with the short story where the person is saying “Follow Me”. You as the player are guided through each link, learning more and more information. Once you reach the end of each section, then you continue on down the line, they shift and change according to which links in the text you click.
The language in “Twelve Blue” is very concise and to the point. It is simple and is placed with a unique purpose. Even however simple the language may be, it tells a thrilling story of lust, memory, and consequences within its contents. Keeping it laid out like a map, the language and story tells of a drowning, a friendship, a boy and a girl, etc. and keeps resurfacing through a web of memories and pictures through the years or days of our lives. The reader will learn about the doctor. Javier and the virologist Lee/Lisle, who he had recently dated. Then we learn about their daughters Sam and Beth. Which connects you to to Javier’s ex-wife and mother of Beth, Aurelie and her new lover, Lisa. The reader then is engaged with Eleanor who has vowed to kill the most hated man Ed Stanko. So now we are faced wight he question as to how are all these stories connected?
“Twelve Blue” slowly morphs into a pathway and becomes a sea of moments and memories of each character. So the stars on the side of the page that we have to click on could easily be nerves or brain waves. Joyce is able to do all this using simple technology similar to that of Twine, leading us to one passage to another with ease and zero hassle of the transition. Although unlike other authors that use the same technique, his seems to be a bit different and that is because you don’t get a whole lot of options to click on, only a select few that he has carefully placed. Joyce just leads you from one thought to the other, as you the reader, think of something that reminds you of the object or storyline that you’re reading. Though the language and story is easy and the story complex, it all seems to work well together.
The story keeps you engaged throughout, constantly giving you something new and urging you to unlock more and more of the memories and go deeper into the brain of the story. It’s engrossing because you want to get all of the information instead of bits and pieces of a memory, so you want to keep doing and learn why the story got its title. This all works seamlessly together to give you Twelve Blue because of the way its laid out and the complexity of the story and it’s thematic elements. Twelve Blue contributes greatly to electronic literature because it has more than one story and is constantly changing into another story.