Romeo and/or Juliet: First page!
I'm doing the same thing we did with Romeo and/or Juliet that we did with To Be or Not To Be: starting at the very first page and letting you vote to decide what happens next. THAT'S RIGHT. The emails are BACK. :)
You can pre-order the book at romeoandorjuliet.com but for now let's just start reading it, huh??
And HERE WE GO:
ROMEO AND/OR JULIET
As we now know, William Shakespeare (1564 AD–whenever he died) was well known for borrowing from existing literature when writing his plays. Our previous publication, To Be or Not To Be: That Is The Adventure, firmly established that the award-winning play Hamlet (I know, turns out there are awards for plays) was lifted wholesale from that recently rediscovered text. We suggested then that To Be or Not To Be was both the earliest example of the “book as game” genre, as well as the first instance ever in the then-newish English language that was kicking around of an adventure being chosen by YOU, the reader.
We were wrong.
THIS book, which you are now about to enjoy, really IS that earliest example of nonlinear second-person narratives that are more fun than they sound. We did some more research. It’s true this time. When Shakespeare sat down to write Romeo and Juliet, he had a choice: he could make up his own story, or he could flip through this book, Romeo and/or Juliet, and just stone-cold copy down what he read. As we now know, he chose the latter. This book he plagiarized from was lost until recently, when I found it again. It was just over there. Someone had put a coat over it which I think is why we didn’t notice it earlier.
Romeo and/or Juliet is presented here with the original text, unaltered from when Shakespeare stole it. All we’ve added are some rad illustrations, and we also put adorable little hearts next to the choices Shakespeare made when plagiarizing this book. That way if you follow that path when you make a choice, you’ll get the same play that Shakespeare ended up with! However, that is not the only story in this book, and honestly, a lot of the others are way better. Feel free to explore your other options and go on different adventures, and keep in mind that are over THREE different adventures contained in this book! Way over three, actually!
Now, prepare yourself for what’s called “the greatest love story ever told” for some reason. Gingerly place your emotions into the front car of the roller coaster. Strap them in tight. Kiss them on the forehead and tell them you love them and you’ll see them soon. Too late: this emotional roller coaster JUST GOT STARTED. Whoah. This is going to be INSANE.
O Romeo and/or Juliet, Romeo and/or Juliet! Wherefore art thou Romeo and/or Juliet?
- Ryan North, Noted Shakespeare Scholar / Enthusiast
So, intelligent and well-informed reader of interactive fiction: what would you like to do now?
- OPTION ONE: Get the book spoiled for you right off the bat
- OPTION TWO: Play without spoilers
- OPTION THREE: Learn more about the author
Vote in the comments and I'll post the winning choice tomorrow!