Here you can read (or surf) a whole new fictional world in a new form of literature that makes reading a lot easier. It's a set of intertwined stories, some long, some short, some in development. All the story backgrounds and references are close at hand for easy use at a touch.
The whole collection is called Descending Road, set in a far-future world about twenty-seven light-years and over 20 millennia in the future from our Earth. This world, Tarnus, colonized long before Descending Road begins, carries ancient histories of its own, including persistent, nagging memories of the Earth left behind. Tarnus has evolved into tightly-concentrated populations in underground cities, and scattered surface-dwelling farmers struggling to exist in an ecologically-fragile environment.
If you're a surfer, a sampler, or a crazy person, you can dive straight into a random story and scene, here. You'll be totally lost, but you'll have a wild time.
I am giving this work of fiction away to readers, every word of it. It is still copyrighted, and I reserve the right to take legal action against anyone who tries to profit from this work without obtaining limited rights approved by me personally. The rights to the work remain mine. The only way we will to develop the true power of electronic literature is to get it to those who will read it and write it, and this work of mine is an attempt to broaden and enrich that process of development.
The whole idea of Descending Road is to get lost in the stories and their setting. Wander around, follow a thread, find out how to switch to another thread, enjoy the world. Eventually you'll settle on some track to follow, and then you can read the straight-ahead way.
Experiment with the window a bit. The center of the window holds the current story line, and you go to the next scene or the previous scene by selecting the down arrow at the left bottom of the scene text, or the up arrow at the left top of the text. Try selecting the pale grey vertical bars beside the story text to see what they do (the back button of the browser gets you back to the story). On the right corners of the story window there are little tree-like icons. If you select one of these, one or more icons pop out below the scene text. Try the icons to see what you get.
The same thing appears after the scene text, taking you forward through whichever thread you choose.
The story's pages are full of goodies: a glossary of terms, an index of all the appearances of each term in the scenes, and a list of all the scene titles, in alphabetic order. Any time you see a term in any window, you can select it to page and scroll the glossary to read its definition. Click on the head term, and you'll see the index showing where it appears in the scenes. The scene title list is for those times when you recall the title and want to find the scene itself.
There is also reference material on several subjects.
Descending Road doesn't fit into traditional literary forms. It's too big, too tangled, and too rich to be a novel. It demanded a new format, so it got one: the literary macramé. The reader can navigate any one of a large number of story threads. The languages, technologies, cultures, and customs of Tarnus appear in instantly-accessible references that stay conveniently out of the reader's way unless and until they're needed. Readers can browse, too, switching freely from one thread to another, leaping from place to place in a narrative using author-supplied connections, or searching out characters and situations and following forward or backward through any of the associated sequences of scenes. Reference articles are available for enrichment at any time. It's all done with links, with some programming, and a lot of author craft.
Please be advised: Descending Road is strong stuff. It contains scenes of sex, war, violence, brutality, and horror. As should be apparent from my other work here, not everything I write is like Descending Road.