Glossary & Map/Route Features

 

Glossary

To be able to adequately interpret the map and highlights its emergent features,
I've developed and defined a few useful terms, as found in the description pop-ups

Term
Description
Decision
The basic instance of story progression, through branching paths, as per Marie-Laure Ryan's tree model, wherein the reader/player decides between two or three given choices
Linear Path
A bit of progress decided for the reader to direct their motion, similar to the normal progress of a conventional novel.
Solution

A "happy ending" to the story, wherein some aspect of the story's mission is solved

Cliffhanger
An ultimately indeterminate ending, either favorable or unfavorable, wherein the story is concluded, unsolved, with no real completion of the story's mission
Death
(Painfully self-explanatory...)
Cross-Branch Juncture
A Linear Path that directs the flow of the story out of one Main Branch and into another
Conclusion Decision
A Decision node that results in either a Solution outcome, or a Death/Cliffhanger (essentially a life-or-death decision)
Conclusion Dilemma
A decision between two ultimately unfavorable outcomes, between a Cliffhanger and a Death. A dilemma, insofar as neither choice will "solve" the story.
Conclusion/Solution Branch

A particular fork in the Main or Secondary path that leads to either probable outcome

Adjacent Outcome pages
Instances where both outcomes of a particular decision are placed on adjacent pages, such that the reader simultaneously sees both. In these instances, the "vulnerability" of the reader seems compromised, as he/she has essentially chosen both, to his/her own safety.

 

Route Features

Over the many paths of the cybertext, several features seemed to emerge as particularly
relevant to the book's progression and its status as compared to cybertexts in general.

The route features below will be arranged by category first, and then by route number,
where the format reads: "<Main Branch #>.<Seconary Path #>.<Page #>"
(for example: following Main Branch 2 and then Secondary Path 2 to page 101 would read as "2.2.101")

Category
Route No.
Description
Start
----
Pages 1-5 occur as a linear sequence to begin the story, and then initiate the plot tree by branching in two directions, at first, to pages 6 and 8. While these are the primary choices, page 6 itself yields three decisions which bear the bulk of the text's contents. Thus, the map is arranged into these four branches -- the three branches of page 6, and the initial alternative of page 8.
Conclusion Path 2
2.2.101
Though labeled "Conclusion Path 2" (to align with its Main Branch #), this is the better example of the "Conclusion Path" feature, wherein the text has followed the reader to an area of inescapable conclusion, but offers it as a series of 50/50 chances with either continuation or conclusion as the result. At the fourth such decision, the reader arrives at a Conclusion Dilemma, wherein the conclusion is finally unavoidable, and either loops back to the cliffhanger ending of the previous decision node or the reader's death. Essentially, such a path is created as a way of drawing a particular branch of the story to a close. As an interesting side note, this particular conclusion branch yields no entirely "happy" ending.
Conclusion Path 1
1.1.54
Though essentially the same construction as the previous Conclusion Path, this branch actually features both the chance of a succesful outcome (a "Solution") and a 1/3 chance of escaping the conclusion branch to continue on. Interestingly enough, if one does break from the branch, they are immediately met with two possible Concluion Dilemmas. This feature also seems to fit into the structure of a Conclusion Path
Terminating Branch 1
2.1.14
Simply put, a bad decision. In this case, bringing Pickens as your crewmate ends the text, one way or another, within two decisions at most. Two of the three outcomes kill the reader's character, and though the other is actually one of the very few Solutions, very little is accomplished and the victory seems to come as almost a concession, given the brevity of this story branch, wherein very little was accomplished or gained.
Terminating Branch 2
3.2.34
Though Main Branch 3 as a whole is quite short, this particular Secondary Path terminates immediately with a conclusion dilemma. Though perhaps this should disqualify it as a Secondary Path, much of the other path is a linear progression, allowing very little in the way of side-branching alternative stories.
Escape
3.1.43
As stated above, Main Branch 3 terminates very quickly in either Secondary Path, and futhermore contains none of the six Solutions. In this case, this particular Cross-Branch Juncture offers an escape from this quickly terminating branch, and deposits the reader instead at the beginning of Main Branch 1 --the largest, most eventful branch, and the one with the greatest opportunity for a story Solution.

As you begin your journey, your ship passes through an antimatter storm that mysteriously freezes the captain.  Decision: Stay on course, 6 / Change course, 8