It's been lonely here recently so I had my old friend Christian DeWolf over for chowder and a chat. Christian has been keeping busy this spring; he's been programming non-stop, drinking lots of Clamato, and is hoping that writers all over the world "shell out" for his new web writing platform.
FP: It's great to have you here today.
CD: Thanks for having me. This chowder is fantastic.
FP: Can you taste the clams?
CD: Yes. It looks like there are two different kinds. Are these chives?
FP: Three kinds, actually. And they're scallions. Cassandra's recipe.
CD: Is she here?
FP: She's... no. Tell me about this new website you've got coming out next month, FractalFic, kind of maybe give me the concept behind it.
CD: Well, FractalFic is an interactive fiction platform, where users can write their own "Fractal Stories," which are non-linear, exponentially-branching adventures.
FP: How are these different than those books, where you could choose your own--
CD: Size, for one. As the stories expand, they incrementally double in size, easily overtaking the potential of a book trying to accomplish the same thing. Users don't have to learn programming or write complicated rules to build a story; they simply create multiple "trees" and link them together, with the option to hide items and locked boxes where it suits the narrative.
FP: I don't see how anyone would want that.
FP: It's all a little too "New Media" for me. Are you actually trying to make money off of it?
CD: My original idea was to have it be kind of a money machine, one that would offer a free service, fully automated, that could be improved with a small cash payment to cover my costs.
FP: Now, you've been experimenting with Clamato juice this spring--
CD: I've found, though, that as my program gets bigger, and I look at it in its full glory from the very top, that I've created more of a money castle, with myself as the--
FP: Please, let's bring it back to clams for a second. You said earlier you've been adding balsamic vinegar to your Clamato juice. That's pretty out there!
CD: And a few drops of hot sauce.
FP: Aren't you buying the Extra Spicy stuff? They have an actual--
CD: I know. I do.
FP: But you need something extra.
FP: Interesting; interesting. Do you eat clams often?
CD: Not really. I try to avoid seafood these days, you know, Fukushima and such.
FP: Clams have natural protection against radiation.
CD: They do?
FP: They have shells!
CD: You could write a clam-related game, or story, on FractalFic.
FP: Are you planning to write one?
CD: (pauses) Not immediately, I don't think. But you can just go on there, create a user, start adding trees, and you can even upload images, take submissions from other users, colour different parts of your story, collaborate with your friends on the same--
Christian had to leave at this point but he left me this recipe on his way out:
"The Black Spot"
-5 oz Clamato juice (extra spicy)
-half capful of balsamic vinegar
-3-5 drops Jamaican hot pepper sauce
Do Not Stir
I'll give it a try and let you know! And hopefully Christian will write us that clam story after all. The world needs more clam fiction.