m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

Early Modern Gamebooks

This post includes Amazon affiliate links to the book(s) pictured.

I’ve stumbled across yet more new-to-me dead tree hyperfiction in the process of NaNoWriMo prep, so here’s a fourth post in the series. Today’s theme is late-gamebook-period and early modern period gamebooks.

Shortly before Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Riverhead Books published Emma Campbell Webster’s Lost in Austen (2007, print and ebook), the first, and only Austen-based, gamebook in a series of two Create Your Own Jane Austen adventures. There’s a bit of gamebook-style stats tracking to the first volume; the second volume (2008) is only available in print.

The diction may be similar to the Austen stories', but Margaret Killjoy’s What Lies Beneath the Clock Tower: Being An Adventure Of Your Own Choosing (2011, print and ebook) is a more fantastical Marxist steampunk adventure, with gnomes. Beware of its many short and fatal branches.

Four classic gamebooks—with character sheets and all—by Dave Morris from the Virtual Reality series (1993–1994) have been updated and reprinted under the series title Critical IF (2013, paper and ebook). In the process, Twist of Fate was renamed Once Upon a Time in Arabia.

Dave Morris was also a coauthor of The Fabled Lands gamebooks (1995–1996), notable in that your character sheet could travel from book to book. The six volumes that ever saw print have also been reprinted (2010–2012).