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Maria Engberg
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Uncle Roger by Judy Malloy first appeared from 1986-1987, placing it among the first generation of hypertexts produced on disks—contemporaneous with the earliest versions of Michael Joyce’s "afternoon: a story." The current (2003) revised web-version attempts to keep the original hypertext layout, design, and interaction. The work consists of a series of text nodes, connected via hyperlinks on words and icons. The node texts form a longer narrative in three parts: “A Party in Woodside,” “The Blue Notebook,” “Terminals.” The three sections, or "files" as the author calls them, intertwine personal recollections with descriptions of a pre-Internet, pre-PC age in California. The narrator, Jenny, serves as a focal point. The title figure “Uncle Roger” is Jenny’s uncle, an eccentric semiconductor market analyst, and the Silicon Valley culture and chip industry form the narrative backdrop. The stories bring together pieces of conversation at a California party with Jenny’s memories. In classic hyperfiction fashion, the reader chooses a path through the nodes by clicking on linked words or images. For instance, the section called “Terminals” features a keyboard-like set of icons that function as a navigational tool for accessing the separate story sections.