Dungeon Lord lovers rejoice: I’ve signed a contract for another book, and this one features none other than Girth “Meatthrust” Loinhammer himself. Just look how happy he is!
If you’re subscribed to my newsletter or a regular at the open mics I read at then you’ll have known about this for quite a while, but Aperture Editions are now on board to publish Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure, the massively interactive Dungeon Lord story that I’ve been working on for the past year and a half. This thing’s huge: it’s currently 150,00 words in total and it’s still not quite finished. The version available online only includes half the content. There’s a lot I’ve held back.
Being an exponential adventure, every choice you make leads to two more choices, which lead to two more choices, which lead to two more choices and so on, ultimately producing one of 512 possible storylines of exactly ten passages in length. Despite containing more words than A Tale of Two Cities in total, you can comfortably read any Exponential Adventure storyline in under ten minutes. Essentially, it’s not long, but it is very very wide. And also crammed full of innuendo.
I’d been considering turning Exponential Adventure into a book myself, but the sheer scale of the work made it a daunting prospect. Because the interactive elements only rely on hyperlinks – there are no stats or states to keep track of – it would be possible to convert it into a paperback using instructions such as “To grind two lemon halves into your eyes, turn to passage 803.” However, the number of linked passages would make that extremely difficult and the finished book would be truly enormous. Even converting the HTML Twine story into a properly formatted ebook would be quite a challenge for me.
That’s where Aperture Editions comes in. They’re a brand new publisher based in Spain and focused specifically on interactive fiction. There are a couple of reasons I’m really glad to have them behind this particular project. One is that they’ll be producing a Spanish language edition, which I think is immensely cool. The other is that they intend to illustrate it and generally have the sort of design know-how that I don’t. The book they produce will be far, far better than the one I originally had in mind back in November 2015.
Over the next six months I’ll be working to finish and polish up Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure to the absolute best standard I can. After that, it’ll be in their hands and hopefully available to you within another six months, so about a year in total. In the meantime, your best chance to get a glimpse of the full book is to turn up to one of the Winchester open mic nights where I’ll be reading it live: typically either Poetry Platform at The Railway Inn or PopUp Acoustic at The Willow Tree. If Southampton is easier for you, I also read at Moving Voices at The Art House. The Willow Tree is by far your best bet, though, as I find the Loinhammer Saga gets an especially good response there: I suspect it has something to do with that particular event’s proximity to the bar itself. The formula could probably be expressed as:
LAUGHTER = INNUENDO * BOOZE
If you’re not near Winchester, it’s possible I’ll also be looking for a small number of advance readers to explore the story and offer feedback. You wouldn’t be obliged to proofread the thing, and actually I’d prefer to hear first impressions rather than thoughts on the book in its entirety (though both would be welcome). I’m not certain how many of these advance readers there will be or how I’ll select them, but I’m considering putting the option out to supporters of Ten Little Astronauts first as there’s a big enough pool of readers at this point and I’d like to reward them for investing in my work.