IFComp 2020: You Will Thank Me as Fast as You Thank a Werewolf

Here’s another strong contender for the Banana. This is essentially an interactive prose-poem, and on top of that, it’s nonsense. Oh, there’s a core of sense to the nonsense, I think. There’s a story of love and loss in there, studded with some repeatedly-revisited images: tornadoes, bugs, cancer. But the surface of it is high-intensity attention-grabbing nonsense, breezy and playful as a jig, with the energy of a youth writing a flashy first novel: “There were billboards for breaking into cars and throwing them crashing into mountains. There were vultures that drove all around the yard, searching for thunderclap. The sky was fake snow and birds were mere baubles. And there you were. Your dust and my air.”

Each page of this contains one or two footnotes, which relate to the words that spawn them, and one or two links to proceed to a new page, which doesn’t. It’s not clear to me if the work even really contains choices. It certainly doesn’t contain meaningful choices. But it makes up for it with verve. In a way, I think that the lack of agency helps it: it frees the reader from the obligation to make sense of it all, which frees the author from the obligation to produce something that can be made sense of. It does so much that I usually complain about, but it does it so well.

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