December 6, 2004
The calamities (and triumphs) that can be reached from the beginning of Edward Packard’s 1979 Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book The Third Planet from Altair are fully mapped by Greg Lord, as his justifiably proud professor Matt Kirschenbaum points out. Just as Andrew found four main paths in Night of a Thousand Boyfriends, Lord tracked down the four principal paths of Altair. He also provided a short essay relating his CYOA analysis to the theories of Espen Aarseth and Marie-Laure Ryan, and considering aspects of the material nature of the book (e.g., the effect of different “decisions” leadings to texts on facing pages, so that one can’t help but glimpse the other result). There’s a glossary explaining the terminology Lord developed and used, too.