The MIT Press is going to republish Hamlet on the Holodeck. The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace by Janet H. Murray. Updated edition will be released in March twenty years after its original publication. In 1997 Hamlet on the Holodeck was one of the seminal publications alongside such books as Cybertext by Aarseth (1997) and Hypertext by Landow (1992). Then, to a certain extent, it has been overlooked in a history of electronic literature and digital culture. Therefore, I am glad to hear that Murray’s book is coming back in the new edition. The first and the beginning of second generations of digital literature are represented not only by Landow, Bolter and Aarseth, but also by Murray whose contribution in this field is invaluable.
Janet Murray’s Hamlet on the Holodeck was instantly influential and controversial when it was first published in 1997. Ahead of its time, it accurately predicted the rise of new genres of storytelling from the convergence of traditional media forms and computing. Taking the long view of artistic innovation over decades and even centuries, it remains forward-looking in its description of the development of new artistic traditions of practice, the growth of participatory audiences, and the realization of still-emerging technologies as consumer products. This updated edition of a book the New Yorker calls a “cult classic” offers a new introduction by Murray and chapter-by-chapter commentary relating Murray’s predictions and enduring design insights to the most significant storytelling innovations of the past twenty years, from long-form television to artificial intelligence to virtual reality.