“Figurski at Findhorn on Acid” is a comic hypertext novel described by critic Michael Tratner as belonging “in the tradition of screwball comedy, but it raises that tradition to the level of metaphysics—a cross between Borges and the Marx Brothers” and also as a Baudrillardian examination of the “omnipotence of manipulation” in its metafictional layers. The novel’s scenes are generated from every possible combination of three characters, three artifacts, and three places, and yet it also has an overall, chronological (if unconventional) plot. In this way it is all about disconnection and reconnection, both literally and symbolically. The characters, artifacts, and places—the 9 elements out of which the novel is constructed—are all disconnected but are constantly being reconnected—one at a time, two at a time, three at a time, and so on—through the combinatorial structure of the novel. The title scene “Figurski at Findhorn on Acid” gives way to scenes such as “Figurski and Fatima Michelle Vieuchanger at Shower-Lourdes with Spam” or “Fatima Michelle Vieuchanger and The No-Hands Cup Flipper on the Holodeck on Acid with Rosellini’s 1737 Mechanical Pig.” The central element of the plot is the mechanical pig, a fictional automaton, along with a near-identical forgery. The pig is literally disconnected or taken apart by the characters as they compete for its possession across global and virtual locations. The pig becomes a metaphor for the novel, as both have 147 parts, which the characters must try to reassemble when they finally reconnect “all on the same page” at the end. Likewise, it’s the reader’s interactive task (hopefully a pleasurable one) to assemble and connect the disparate elements and scenes of the novel through its hypertext links and various navigational paths.
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