Reviews and Press


Jan Baetens REVIEW: Reading Network Fiction, Image & Narrative 23 (November 2008)


“The theoretical chapters are among the best and most illuminating treatments of the nature of hypertext or networked fictions. One can hear, at last, the other shoe drop as Ciccoricco describes the evolution of hypertexts from axial (critical, encyclopedic) to arborescent (multiple path narratives) to the interconnected network. Ciccoricco’s topography is also notable for his attention to electronic texts originating from outside North America – so it really is a world literature. Networked fictions have arrived, and Ciccoricco’s book is the ideal guide through the labyrinth.”

Joseph Conte
author of Design & Debris: A Chaotics of Postmodern American Fiction


“[R]ecently, in what we might call the second generation of hypertext criticism as practiced by such critics as David Ciccoricco, Terry Harpold, Matthew Kirschenbaum, and Jessica Pressman, electronic literature is read, and read very closely.”

– N. Katherine Hayles
“Electronic Literature: What is It?”


“The field of electronic literature has recently been attracting much excellent criticism attentive to the media specificity of computational media. These include David Ciccoricco, Reading Network Fiction (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2007); Mark B. N. Hansen, New Philosophy for New Media (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004); Matthew Kirschenbaum, Mechanisms: New Media and Forensic Textuality (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, forthcoming); Alan Liu, The Laws of Cool: Knowledge Work and the Culture of Information (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004); Adalaide Morris and Thomas Swiss, eds., New Media Poetics: Contexts, Technotexts, and Theories (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006); Jessica Pressman, Digital Modernism: Making It New in New Media (PhD diss., University of California – Los Angeles, 2007); and Marie-Laure Ryan, Avatars of Story (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006).

– N. Katherine Hayles
“Intermediation: The Pursuit of a Vision”
New Literary History 38:1, Winter 2007



What does it mean to say that digital writing technologies have re-inscribed the notion of narrative? What has the World Wide Web done for, or to, contemporary literary practice? Is it too late for a study of digital fiction? Or too early?

With the recession of hypertext theory’s utopianism and the varied claims of liberation and democratization it fed, it is now possible to ask, with more perspective and precision, not what digital media will mean for narrative literature, literary study, and reading itself, but what it has already meant.

This is the task set by David Ciccoricco’s Reading Network Fiction. A thorough and deliberate critical work, Reading Network Fiction resists the rush of techno-culture and indulges in that age-old pleasure of making time for a good story – except that the stories it examines are all written, paradoxically, on and for the computer screen.



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© Copyright David Ciccoricco
Reading Network Fiction is published by the University of Alabama Press, 2007.
This site is maintained solely by the author. Excerpts re-published here with permission.

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