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  1. #1
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Default 'Choose Your Own Adventure' books back in the news...

    cool article.

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/enter...venture/52386/

    If you were a kid during the '80s and read any books at all, you probably read at least one Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA), probably by either R.A. Montgomery or Edward Packard. And if you read one, you read more than one. They were addictive, candy for our brains, but also, they empowered us in a way that normal books did not. At key plot points, the reader got to make decisions that actually changed the course of the story....

    ...That doesn't mean that the era of the Choose Your Own Adventure has ended, even if it is some 30 years (egad) after the original series began. One recent example of updated Choose Your Own Adventure-type books is the "What if" series, which began in 2006. They're dubbed "Choose Your Destiny" novels by Random House and written by Liz Ruckdeschel and Sara James. "She's all yours," promises the book cover, of the character, Haley Miller, who starts off in book 1 at 15, the new girl at a New Jersey public high school, where the reader must help her forge her way. By book 8 in the series, it's "Time to send Haley off into the world. Are you ready?"...

    ...The same elements that drew us to CYOA books in the '80s and '90s are at work again here: The ability to live vicariously though a character (an aspect of any novel) is even more actionable than in other fiction because we actually get to make decisions for the characters—assuming the author has written those options in, of course. These decisions have repercussions, often major ones: Some point to a "fixation on death" that appears to run through the original series. There are obviously stakes here—decisions are made; consequences are had.

    CYOA-esque books like the What if series and Clark's upcoming books bring us some new female-oriented plot lines about school and dating and social lives (as if informed by, say, Gossip Girl), that the old CYOA books, typically focused on adventure, fantasy, or horror—anything, really, but romance!—didn't offer. But the aspect of making a choice for your character, and seeing it through, is the same. "Whatever you decide, your night changes," says Mercado of Most Likely To. "There’s a really annoying guy in a band who wants to just tell you about his music, do you put up with him or do you see through it and go? You saw someone maybe slip a pill in someone’s drink, do you convince yourself you didn’t see it, or do you address it and be willing to take the fallout?"...

    ...Packard is now working on an adult novel and told the Wire he's not interested in writing more interactive books in the CYOA-genre. Over the past few years, however, he's revised, expanded, and adapted three of his orignal CYOA books for release as U-Ventures apps at the iTunes store. "Of course there's a lot you can do in this format that you can't do in a printed book," he says. "There is no limit to the number of pages, so in a scene where you are swimming, trying to get to shore, you can keep swiping pages and you only encounter more scenes of the sea. Your frustration and uncertainty mimic what you'd feel in reality. In one scene you have to make a repair on our spaceship and the computer says there will be a catastrophic failure in 20 seconds. The reader has to solve the problem in real time: The countdown of time remaining is shown on the screen. We have light and sound effects. The computer remembers where you've been, which can affect what you know and what happens when you reach a certain locale and if and when you come back to it." (Simon & Schuster have been releasing print versions of the apps since March.) ...
    Loved those things. Also loved the jackson books where they had more of an RPG feel to them. And of course, these books are kind of like RPG Lite, the non-gamer version of gaming. Computer tech has advanced to the point where you could read/play these books on your cell phone while bored instead of having to buy and carry a book around.

    any good memories? Opinions of what the future holds? your favorite books?
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  2. #2
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    I supposed the COA's were empowering in a way.. but also the results of your choices were totally unpredictable, and also trippy. Some of those books were gateway literature to LSD. I loved them.

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    Senior Member captain curmudgeon's Avatar
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    I was quite the fan of these books as a child, though I can't recall if I ever actually owned any.

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    I loved those books, I think I had all of them. I remember they were sold in boxed sets of five, and I must have had at least three of those. They reminded me a little of a more primitive version of the old Infocom text-only adventure games.
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  5. #5
    Kraken down on piracy Lux's Avatar
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    I loved those when I was a kid. I liked that they were more adventurous and sort of dark, if they hadn't been I don't think I would have liked them as much.
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    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Another "I loved these as a kid!" I still remember The Cave of Time, which was the very first one ever and was totally classic. My brother and I were actually more into serious-ish literature but we totally loved these books. The earlier they were, the more classic, by and large. I also remember Balloon Across the Sahara, and some space/alien ones. Then my brother and I wrote one called You Are Robin Hood, but that's another story...
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lux View Post
    I loved those when I was a kid. I liked that they were more adventurous and sort of dark, if they hadn't been I don't think I would have liked them as much.
    Me too...I guess it was pretty dark that you could actually die in a book intended for people who are 10-14 years old. And die pretty gruesomely, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Another "I loved these as a kid!" I still remember The Cave of Time, which was the very first one ever and was totally classic. My brother and I were actually more into serious-ish literature but we totally loved these books. The earlier they were, the more classic, by and large. I also remember Balloon Across the Sahara, and some space/alien ones. Then my brother and I wrote one called You Are Robin Hood, but that's another story...
    I would not have been able to remember any of the titles if my life depended on it, but as soon as I read this I remembered both those books. Balloon Across the Sahara was especially dark if I remember correctly. Something about being stranded in the desert to die slowly was pretty creepy.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

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    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    I used to love these too -- at one point I think I had all of them -- which was 15 or so at the time. For a kid, they had this gritty, almost sinister tone to them. The consequences of the choices didn't always make a lot of sense, but the idea of a story without an inevitable ending was what drew me in.

    And yeah -- they did have some fairly gruesome-for-a-kid endings.
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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Another "I loved these as a kid!" I still remember The Cave of Time, which was the very first one ever and was totally classic. My brother and I were actually more into serious-ish literature but we totally loved these books. The earlier they were, the more classic, by and large. I also remember Balloon Across the Sahara, and some space/alien ones. Then my brother and I wrote one called You Are Robin Hood, but that's another story...
    yeah, I remember Cave of Time too.

    I tended to like the Ian Livingstone books better and had the first 15-20 of them.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_Fantasy

    Here's the cover of Book #1, the Warlock of Firetop Mountain, as it was published in the US in 1982. It's had various covers, but the original US run all had similar covers to this one. Russ Nicholson, a british artist also famous for his illustrations for D&D's Fiend Folio, did the somewhat creepy internal art. And there were some pretty gruesome endings when you didn't succeed / picked the wrong path.



    http://grognardia.blogspot.com/2011/...f-firetop.html

    And then there was jackson's Sorcery series....
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  10. #10
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    For the most part I was intrigued by these books as a kid. Especially the Fighting Fantasy series that incorporated dice but didn't require other live players like D&D (the ones by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone) The 5 part epic was my fave that unlike any other choose your own adventure book that I was aware of combined 5 books into one (one of them being a spell-book where you were to memorize spell names that because of use during the series). This was the first one of those in the Sorcery/Fighting Fantasy series. http://fightingfantasy.com/index.php...id=52&Itemid=9 . (Google it and it looks like PDFs are available).

    Fond memories for an introvert. The illustrations were also trippy.
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