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Choose Your Own Adventure Books Return

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the totally-hawesome dept.


KermodeBear writes "Eight of the original 'Choose Your Own Adventure' books are to be republished this summer. From the Article: 'First published in 1979, the books let readers remix their own stories - and face the consequences. [...] the original titles return to bookstores, revamped with 21st-century references (cell phones!).'" For me, it's all about 1987's Space Vampire , by series originator Edward Packard. "Do you eject the vampire through the airlock?"

cancel ×


Hmm... (0, Offtopic)

monkaduck (902823) | more than 8 years ago | (#15464971)

Maybe BushCo. can use one of these to find out the best way to end this silly war.

Re:Hmm... (0, Offtopic)

Ethan Allison (904983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15464977)

Oh come on, you call that a fr1st ps0t?

Re:Hmm... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15465001)

Maybe you can go fuck yourself you fucking troll.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15465055)

Maybe you can go f--- yourself you f---ing troll.

And that's just one possible outcome!

With sexy results!

Adventures Rule (2, Interesting)

SpeZek (970136) | more than 8 years ago | (#15464979)

I remember reading these books... Unfortunately, I was always so unlucky with my choices I ended up not getting any good endings.

Re:Adventures Rule (1)

micheas (231635) | more than 8 years ago | (#15464986)

I actually mapped out all the stories of a few of them. (in fifth grade.)

I remember one of them having a loop. I stopped trying to count the total number of stories after that. :-)

Re:Adventures Rule (1)

neonleonb (723406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465054)

My favorite book was one that only had a single ending. Your other choices just took you to places you'd been before. It was a fun puzzle to find the way out. I wish I knew the name of that book now--does anyone else remember it?

Re:Adventures Rule (4, Informative)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465260)

I really liked the Lone Wolf [] series. It was quite sophisticated with you being able to keep track of your characters health and choose different powers. Sometimes you'd find a spell or item that had a number attached and at various points in the books you could add that number to your current number to pull off a hidden course of action.

But I don't think anything compared to Steve Jackson's Sorcery [] series. Lots of detail, lots of depth and if you didn't beat the seven serpents in book three then the villain in book four knew you were coming! Ah, happiness!

Re:Adventures Rule (1)

calharding (897307) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465403)

I read and loved all of the Lone Wolf [] books (except the New Order series). It was great being able to follow (and aid in the development) of this character, from inexperienced young warrior to a veritable demigod.

I owe all of my initial interest in the Lone Wolf books to the Choose Your Own Adventure series which was really a logical progression to something darker and more complex, in terms of both storyline and "gameplay". Certain Choose books - such as Who are you? and Kidnapped! - still rank as some of my favourite reads.

I also have to mention that the plot of the title Comet Crash was ripped off, almost verbatim, by Deep Impact []

Re:Adventures Rule (1)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465084)

I read the 3 Investigators Choose Your own Adventure knockoffs even.

I'd keep my fingers in the previous choice page, so I could go back and try the other endings without missing any. Sometimes I'd end up flipping through the book after I'd thought I'd read everything, and I found a new page with an alternate bad ending.

Re:Adventures Rule (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465105)

Glad I wasn't the only one to do that. I used to get pissed when my parents made me put the book down, it was hard to find all my spaces again.

"Escape from Fire Island" (2, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15464982)

There's last year's "Escape from Fire Island" [] : "If you ask the lifeguard to bring you to the sheriff's office, turn to page 108. If you ask the lifeguard to warn everyone at the night club, turn to page 32. If you ask the lifeguard if he'd like to work out sometime, turn to page 140."

Re:"Escape from Fire Island" (2, Funny)

Detritus (11846) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465184)

Homicidal zombie drag queens?

I don't think we are in Kansas anymore, Toto.

Re:"Escape from Fire Island" (2, Interesting)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465297)

You think that's crazy? Try Hamlet the Text Adventure [] . You may laugh, but can you beat it?

Commit Incest

Re:"Escape from Fire Island" (1)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465230)

There's last year's "Escape from Fire Island" [...]

Hmm. While I'm sure that it's a great book, according your Amazon link [] , more people (43% vs 11%) ended up buying the Create Your Own Erotic Fantasy [] line of books instead.

Now to merge this idea with the comments further down about realistic computer games ;)

Fighting Fantasy (2, Funny)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15464984)

I always prefered the "Fighting Fantasy" series by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingston. It was like D&D for people without friends!

(...or, in my case, D&D for when the group is busy going stupid things like "learning"...)

Re:Fighting Fantasy (1)

Jamu (852752) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465071)

I hadn't heard of D&D until I got The Warlock of Firetop Mountain [] . It's what got me started with tabletop RPGs.

Re:Fighting Fantasy (4, Funny)

raehl (609729) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465169)

It was like D&D for people without friends!

What's the other kind of D&D?

Re:Fighting Fantasy (1)

Terminus32 (968892) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465342)

Link: >> Cool stuff there :-)

These books predicted the Web (4, Funny)

AEton (654737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15464987)

Every time I looked at Hypercard -- and HTML -- I thought "gosh, what an unnecessarily complicated Choose Your Own Adventure Book!"

"If you look at hard core porn, turn to page 12.

If you post to Slashdot, turn to page 14."

Re:These books predicted the Web (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15465086)

Interesting, every time I looked at a Choose Your Own Adventure Book I thought "gosh, this would be so much better implemented in HTML!"

(Actually I dunno if this is true... I think my exposure to CYOA predated my exposure to web pages. However, I did definitely corrolate the two at some point.)

Re:These books predicted the Web (1)

Lectrik (180902) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465099)

"If you look at hard core porn, turn to page 12.

If you post to Slashdot, turn to page 14."

This is the century of the fruit bat man, learn to multitask

If you look at hardcore porn with slashdot posting in a small window on the left, turn to page 13

Re:These books predicted the Web (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15465181)

Actually it's the Century of the Cobra. :)

You get a cookie for the reference, though.

Re:These books predicted the Web (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465324)

Multi-tasking is soooo last century. Try inter-tasking instead!

link to page 12 please (1)

bxbaser (252102) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465346)

tried to search for it but nothing came up.

Short books == long text (4, Interesting)

freeweed (309734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15464995)

Choose Your Own Adventure books introduced me to the concept of memory limitations in early computers.

Back when I was single-digit aged, I thought it would be pretty cool to "program" a CYOA book into our Vic20. A buttload of print statements, with function keys acting as the choices at the end of a section.

Needless to say, when you get your first "?Out of Memory" error, just when entering in a program, you start thinking hard about just how this computer is storing things. Pretty much started my obsession with computer architecture at a very low level.

Even with only a few dozen pages of large print text, these books were well over 3500 characters :) I ended up "porting" my attempts to the C64, but never bothered finishing after realizing how boring that much typing really was :)

Re:Short books == long text (1)

jbrader (697703) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465023)

During the summers I teach at a computer camp and our programming class teaches how to make a mad-lib and a choose your own adventure.

Re:Short books == long text (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465203)

Heh, I did almost exactly the same thing, except I based mine on the Fighting Fantasy books rather than CYOA - so I had to use memory for a dice-rolling routine and such.
I think I got about two rooms into the dungeon before running out of memory...

Replaced by computer RPG (5, Insightful)

johnnywheeze (792148) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465000)

Isn't that pretty much what RPG console games are now? A series of canned responses to a limited choice of options, but with some combat graphics thrown in?

These were fun when I was a kid, but that was before computer games really took off. I don't see the young whipper-snappers these days being excited by a book with simple either/or choices.

Still if the came up with a good story that was interesting and compelling, (I seem to remember the plot of these things being pretty weak, even as a kid) I don't see why they wouldn't be successful.

Actually having an interesting and compelling story could sell a few console rpg's too, or movies, or tv shows, etc. etc. It all comes back to that in the end, not the gimmick.

Re:Replaced by computer RPG (1)

Tim_F (12524) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465065)

Except console (and computer RPGs) are hardly CYoA. There is no consequence for walking down the left alley in Final Fantasy. Ever. You don't have to start over, and if you run into a fight and die, well, just continue from the alley entrance where you were smart enough to save your game on the world map.

This just shows that even though we've moved on technologically, that the closed-endedness is still there.

Thank goodness nothing can replace the classics. I'd much rather read Don Quixote than a CYoA or play through the worthless drek that is Oblivion.

Re:Replaced by computer RPG (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465185)

Isn't that pretty much what RPG console games are now? A series of canned responses to a limited choice of options, but with some combat graphics thrown in?

Ya but with the RPG's the story doesn't end for me in 3 pages. Progress is wonderful, and KOS-MOS kicks ass.

Re:Replaced by computer RPG (1)

zalas (682627) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465195)

Apparently, interactive fiction is a lot more popular in Japan than over here: []

Re:Replaced by computer RPG (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15465353)

This isn't insightful. You people are fucking idiots.

EJECT! (5, Funny)

iGN97 (83927) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465002)

"Do you eject the vampire through the airlock?"

If yes is wrong, I don't want to be right.

My Favorite One (5, Funny)

wan-fu (746576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465005)

[Page 3]
To read the article on "Choose Your Own Adventure Books" turn to page 117.

[Page 117]
Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

You have died.
The End

Re:My Favorite One (2, Funny)

_LMark (173102) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465237)

This one is rather old, but one of the funniest things I've read on the internets. It's a transcript of a hypothetical version of Adventure, but set in a college dorm.

College Adventure []

There is a militant lesbian here, blocking your path.
kick lesbian
She enjoys it. She points out that you are a fascist sexist bastard.

Yeeeeep! (4, Interesting)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465007)

Those were the days! Tiny oil eating shrimp that grew larger than a house, did you find all the possible endings?

Maybe those books lead me into computers... Taught us loops and branching as kids, no wonder I used GOTOs for so long.

Re:Yeeeeep! (1)

iGN97 (83927) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465020)

It might have accidentaly taught you recursion, but you wouldn't have noticed, you GOTO'er.

Choose life, choose a job... (1)

mctk (840035) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465017)

If only they could find a way to make these electronically, so I didn't have to search through all those pages. And since I'm always losing books, it would be nice if they could be publicly available, accessible from almost anywhere at anytime. Ooh, and they could add media like videos and songs.

Naaah. What a silly idea. It'll never take.

Re:Choose life, choose a job... (2)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465068)

Try Brad - the game []

Re:Choose life, choose a job... (1)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465072)

Maybe instead of physically turning pages, they could put a group of options at the end of the page and depending on your viewer, you either type a number or click a line. Ahh, gotta love gopher ;)

Re:Choose life, choose a job... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15465091)

If only they could find a way to make these electronically, so I didn't have to search through all those pages.

Its called wikipedia [] .

What, I'm the only one who started an adventure doing research in Stokes' Theorem [] and after several clicks somehow ended up on Juwanna Mann [] ?

Bookmarks! (3, Interesting)

Comen (321331) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465018)

I used to read these alot, and bookmark all the big choices, so I could go back when I didnt like what happened, or maybe was just to curious of what might happen if I chose a certain path.
After about 10 bookmarks its gets out of hand!
I do think these kind of books help kids think think about the way a simple pc program works.

Re:Bookmarks! (2, Funny)

Khith (608295) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465130)

Who *didn't* do this?

Re:Bookmarks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15465391)

After about 10 bookmarks its gets out of hand!

"Hey, fellas, look! His stack is running into his heap!"

from Bureaucracy []

Shamelessly stolen (5, Funny)

LaurenBC (924800) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465030)

A Selection from the Recently Discovered Jack Kerouac Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, Bop Affirmation, c. 1955

You're trudging in the riverbottom sand when zoooom, there goes a flatbed truck and you're suddenly on the back of the truck with two Nebraska farm boys and you're weeping, "Y-e-e-e-e-e-e-s," yes to the blue swing swing of the Bird, yes to Charlie Parker, that shimmering saxophone, yes to the original mind, yes to this uncompromising romp through the heartland, you who labored on the railroad with crimson sun on your back, you who know the palabra, you who look right into the blowin' breeze and cry and moan and shout


a. Discover a rainbow.
b. Go off to pick oranges with the Mexican girl.
c. Sing in a rising crescendo, "Y-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-s."
from Mcsweeny's []

They came out in 1979? (1)

Rich Klein (699591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465038)

My best friend back then had a few of those books. I had no idea they were something new back then!

For the electronic kind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15465060)

The beta of Inform 7 (A.k.a Natural Language Inform) has already had two extensions written to write Choose-your-own-adventure type games.
  There's the simpler one from Emily Short: []
  And a more powerful, but more complex one from Mark Tillford: []

  Inform 7 is a pretty nifty language, and I'm surprised /. hasn't had a story up on the beta yet: [] has the IDE for Windows and Mac OSX. There's an alpha Linux IDE in progress (currently using the Windows compiler through Wine, although a native I7 compiler should be out RSN) over at [] .. It was down earlier today. Linking to it here probably won't help, huh?
  There's also an overview of Inform 7 language and what it gets you over at []

It'd be easy... (1)

halfcuban (972832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465062)

It'd be easy to port these things over to the Z Machine Infocom engine.

Re:It'd be easy... (1)

spetey (164477) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465298)

From where I sat, Infocom games were the logical extension of the Choose Your Own Adventure books - they were what CYOA could be when freed from the limitations of the printed page. Perhaps CYOA are part of why I loved Infocom so.

Sweet! (1)

bluemeep (669505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465089)

I've always been a bigger fan of the Long Wolf [] series myself, but CYOA books were what got me into reading in the first place. I wonder how they'll fare in the face of the almighty Playstation, however. Maybe they could stand to have some technical sprucing up as well -- I could see these being done as cell phone games, for instance.

D'oh! (1)

bluemeep (669505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465108)

'Lone' Wolf, that is. Accursed spell-check, you've foiled me for the last time!

"Technical sprucing" -- already done, and in style (1)

OgdEnigmaX (535667) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465200)

Would author- and artist-approved scanning, proofreading, and HTMLization (to say nothing of an excellent Javascript app that can handle inventory management, skill advancement, and combat) meet your definition of technical sprucing [] ?

Granted, Project Aon is the first link at the bottom of the above-cited Wikipedia article -- but just in case, I thought I'd point it out. I was a huge fan of the series when I was younger, and as such it's good to see the books preserved so well.

Re:Sweet! (1)

RockClimbingFool (692426) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465340)

I first started to enjoy reading with the Lone Wolf series of books. After those, and a few other series i can't remember the names to i just started reading fantasy. Before you know it, I just wanted the thick books, the thin ones didn't last long enough.

I guess most people grew up on D&D, i grew up on Lone Wolf type books.

The best way to read... (3, Interesting)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465092)

I always thought it was really entertaining (and funny) to read them as if they were a normal book. The confusion that ensues if you read it out loud was always hilarious, especially if "you" die, but then are fine on the next page. This was especially amusing with the Goosebumps CYOA books.

About halfway through, though, it gets boring because you know all the storylines.

What made these unique... (4, Interesting)

Skevin (16048) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465093) it's the *only* genre of books I can think of told in Second Person.

Re:What made these unique... (1)

LaurenBC (924800) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465122)

As a long-time Tom Robbins fan I can say he wrote one book entirely in the Second Person; Half Alseep in Frog Pajamas. An interesting read, not my favourite of his books and certainly not for everyone. As far as genres I'm sure that is true.

Re:What made these unique... (1)

The Good Reverend (84440) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465232)

There's a fair deal of written pornography on the internet that's in the second person. Most of it is very, very poorly written, however.

Re:What made these unique... (1)

Trillian_1138 (221423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465398)

There's a fair deal of written pornography on the internet that's in the second person.

You wouldn't happen to know where any, would you? I'm looking for some...for...scientific research...


For science...

Wonderful science...

Re:What made these unique... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15465305)

Bright Lights, Big City by Jay Mcinerney is another second person book.

gamebooks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15465095)

Check out Demian's gamebook site [] and the pdf scans at the Home of the Underdogs [] if you're feeling nostalgic.

Lone Wolf (1)

moe.ron (953702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465097)

I remember getting into the Lone Wolf series as a kid. The first few books were a good time, but after a while I got bored with it and started cheating by faking my stats and doing "save games" often and seeing what each path would lead to before I picked one. I think there were a total of almost 30 books in the series, I definitely didn't make it that far and lost interest.

While I'm sure there's a "warm fuzzy" factor with bring back CYOA books, in the end isn't this a dead concept? Are people still going to be interested with having only a handful of choices in these books where there are newer forms of interactive media (video games) out these days that are drastically more open ended? What if I don't like choice A, B, and C and want to go for choice R, stab the mofo in the eye with my dagger, steal everything he owns and forget about the whole quest?

CYOA is not a dead concept (1)

jinxidoru (743428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465380)

Art--of which literature is a vital member--as a given medium rarely dies completely. One could use the same argument to claim that radio is a dead concept. After all, doesn't television provide everything that radio does? Aren't 8-bit Nintendo games dead (the answer is no)? While I do believe that the concept of choose your own adventure is not as powerful as it once was before video games, I do believe that they have a niche. I strongly doubt that we will ever come up with a way to make reading books obsolete. There is something irreplaceable about reading a book. I think that many people need no explanation of this phenomenon.

ADOM (1)

daniel10billion (963150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465109)

I didn't DL the game from here [] but it looks like the official site. I got it from Anywyz... choose your own adventure! It's better than a book because at my job it looks like I'm working instead of reading a book.

Re:ADOM (1)

suraklin (28841) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465217)

Where do you work that a Hack clone looks like something productive? And where can I get an application.

INSIDE URL 13-37 (2, Funny)

boomgopher (627124) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465110)

Pg. 101
You did not make a choice, or follow any direction, but now, somehow, your are descending from the Internet - approaching a great, glistening website. It is Slashdot - the website of paradise.

"Welcome!" says the man. "My name is Cmdr Taco. You have reached the forum of joy and beauty. All our treasures are yours to share with us. All of us here are your friends forever."


Re:INSIDE URL 13-37 (2, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465333)

HAH! I was looking for someone to post about that! (and wasn't it page 107 or 108?) I wanted to find how to get that ending so I went page-by-page three times through the book looking for the page that refers you there.

Did you know, there is no page that directs you to that ending?

They are very serious when they say you did not get there by making a choice. You had to turn to the wrong page to get there!

What got me started looking is one day I found myself at that ending and was tearing my hair out trying to remember the previous page number. (when you read those books, you just don't remember the previous page, you're too focused on finding the next page to remember it - the "cheaters" would leave a finger in the previous page in case they made a "bad choice", though sometimes the "bad choice" would not turn ugly for a few more pages and then you were just going to have to start over)

Indiana Jones (1)

nuclearpenguins (907128) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465117)

Does anyone else remember there being an Indiana Jones based CYOA book? I vaguely recall there being one.

That Reminds Me of a Story (1)

Quirk (36086) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465125)

Gregory Bateson in his book 'Mind and Nature' suggested that a computer would be equivalent to a human when it began to speak in stories. The brain searches out pattern, but it's society that provides us with the linkages that join isolated patterns into stories, allowing us to navigate the new.

The once rich variations on folk stories have been taken hostage by the large media corporations. In high school a group of us got together to watch silent movies. From the earliest silent movies to come out of Hollywood there were a series of films playing of a repeating theme:

Villian wants to run rail line through the land of kindly, hard working farmer. Farmer refuses. Villian buys up farmers mortgage and lecherously pursues farmer's virtuous daughter. Villian relentlessly harasses farmer, turning finally to murder, killing farmer and taking virtuous daughter hostage. Villian demands daughter sign over deed to land. Daughter refuses. Villian ties daughter to railway tracks, laughing (silently) while twirlling waxed handlebar moustache,waiting for train to run over our heroine. Enter the hero, (who may or may not have been introduced earlier). Just as the train rounds the bend and bears down on our fair maiden the hero swoops in to free heroine. Villian may now die run over by train as he struggles against the heroes efforts to free maiden.

Sorry for the long story line without an intermission, but I think the story line, so old and worn, could easily be done up today with the latest special effects and pretty much sum up what Hollywood has added to society.

There are copious collections of folk tales from every territory of every founding tribe in all the nations of the world. As a child I had a shelf full of folk tales from europe that were each bound in different colors, the different color of each book denoted a differnt collection of folk tales.

If the collections of folk tales from all over the world were gathered and put on the web then there would be a deluge of prior art that would act as a source of storytelling free of the cheap ripoffs the media corporations foist upon us as their art. Such collections would allow for the exchange of similarities and uniqueness of the different peoples. The same idea applies to music. So much of the music, especially classical, that is recorded and copyrighted is just an interpretation by the composer of folk music. Bringing the folk music and story corpus online would show the mega media corporations as resellers of folk themes and would galvanize the true owners of much music and many stories, the peoples of the world, against superficial caims of ownership.

Something Awful... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15465131)

I prefer the Something Awful Choose your own Adventure books. []

And people are still writing them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15465143)

A recent one I picked up was Carlton Mellick III's Ocean of Lard [] which really had the best opening line I had ever read in a CYOA book:

You shouldn't have molested all those children...

Seriously, I'm glad people are remembering these books enough to reprint the old ones in addition to writing total mockeries of them.

Interactive fiction (1)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465153)

If reading about this has started you jonesin' for the good ol' days, you can always play interactive fiction [] .

It's like Zork, except literary. I heartily recommend anything by Adam Cadre [] , especially Photopia (actually made me cry - it's an amazing piece of art) and Shrapnel.

Hated them (4, Insightful)

caseih (160668) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465159)

I absolutely hated Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was in junior high. Instead of spending 200-300 pages on plot and character development, these books were basically just a serious of 4-page stories. Even if you did find a longer path through the book there was just no substance there to keep your attention. Besides, I ran out of fingers trying to mark all my places so I could go back whenever I died. Basically the books had all the plot and storyline of a first-person shooter game without any of the graphics or weapons.

Better alternatives (3, Informative)

caseih (160668) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465182)

As I submitted my last comment, I remembered that during this time when the choose your own adventure books were all the rage, I was showed a bunch of very well-written books from a Canadian author named Gordan Korman. These books are targeted to teenagers mainly, and are at a much more advanced reading level than the choose your own adventure books. But kids are a lot smarter than they look and they do take well to intelligent, well-written fiction. Korman's books include a number of series aimed at, I'd say 12 year olds, called the McDonald Hall series, and then a bunch of very good books aimed at slightly older teenagers including "Losing Joe's Place," "A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag," "Don't Care High," "No Coins Please," and so forth. Great books. I also remember reading "Interstellar Pig" by William Sleater. Around that time I was also introduced to a great collection of science fiction short stories by various famous authors, edited by Asimov. I can't remember the title of this book, but it has some great thinker stories in it.

In short there are *lots* of good books out there that are intellectually stimulating as well as entertaining and won't insult kids' intelligence. Although perhaps the age of shoot-em-up games and FPS have ruined kids for that kind of thing. So maybe CYOA's 10-page stories will be well-received.

Re:Hated them (1)

fufubag (935599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465199)

I had a few, but a much better series was 'The Time Machine' series, including one of my favorites: Sword of The Samurai. They had a bit more depth and historical perspective. But for a good CYOA book I'll take Secret of the Ninja!

Re:Hated them (2, Funny)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465253)

just a serious of 4-page stories.

What? Were the stories that serious?

Post-Its (1)

krunk4ever (856261) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465163)

I remember reading these books as a kid and would always have a stack of Post-Its (my form of bookmarks) because if I chose a bad path, I can always go back. In order to do that, I had to number these Post-Its. As you can imagine, sometimes I had 30+ Post-Its scattered through out the book.

Choose your ending (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465187)

I know someone else out there besides me had to find the ending that they wanted and then tried to read it backwards to get to that ending.

Re:Choose your ending (1)

Hakubi_Washu (594267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465402)

I did :-) I owned two (German translations, so I'm not sure if they were part of the series discussed here, but they used the same concept), one about a "hollow earth", where you were the young assistant to a professor traveling there (He gets killed practically the second you arrive) and could end up in a hot tub with a female scientist (or being thrown into a volcano together, which pleased my morbid little self), and one about a ghost town where indian and cowboy ghosts still chase each other, trying to kill three tourist kids (one of which is you). That one had a crappy (Swing tha magical tomahawk) "good" ending, but several nice "bad" ones, including pictures (hmmm, branding iron, girl stabbed in the back, everybody turned into swiss cheese by cowboy bullets, delicious :-D ) A third (someting about pyramids and secrets) I had only as text-adventure, but knew it belonged to the series, because I had seen the book in the local library before...

After Reading several inane comments.... (2, Funny)

tpjunkie (911544) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465191)

You come across a comment that seems to be mysteriously both grammatically correct and adds additional information to the discussion

If you mod the comment +1, insightful, turn to page 15

If you suspect the comment of Karma Whoring, mod it -1, overrated, and turn to page 29

If you were too young to remember CYOA books and the format of this comment confuses you, rate it -1, Offtopic, and turn to page 39.

If you remember checking each possible result of a decision fork in a CYOA book, check pages 15, 29, and 39, and mod this comment +1, insightful.

Re:After Reading several inane comments.... (1)

Vengie (533896) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465213)

You forgot the puzzles where you had to turn to the page number that was the solution. Invariably I once flipped through....

Was Twist-A-Plot better? (1)

Etcetera (14711) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465192)

I'm not sure which was first (too lazy to look it up), but I remember reading both of them in 1st or 3rd grade. CYOA books always seemed somewhat -- I don't know -- slim to me. Not much there beyond the gimick, and often times it was only a few pages between "choices". Twistaplot books [] seemed to have more narrative substance there, longer periods that allowed for the choices you made to develop in the plot before being forced into another one page branch.

But perhaps that's just time making things all fuzzy... Amazon used books [] to the rescue?

CYOD (1)

xankar (710025) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465194)

Not to be confused with "Choose Your Own Destiny" books.

You will die on page 98.
If you would like to get it over with, turn to page 98.

The Third Planet from Altair (2, Interesting)

klenwell (960296) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465223)

I think it was "The Third Planet from Altair" (find the complete list here: ture [] where there was one ending where you ended up on some utopian planet. The thing was there was no choice that actually got you to that page.

I am still haunted by that book. It was my introduction to the disillusionments of the universe.

Dr. Who anyone? (1)

alaskana (654472) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465227)

The Dr. Who adventure books were my fav. Exterminate.. Exterminate!!

One problem (1)

Israfels (730298) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465236)

The issue I always had with the CYOA books was that the plots often would split and then merge back to the original storyline. Often times I'd find myself taking certain death choices simply to avoid a storyline I had just read 1 hour earlier.

Also, I don't remember which book, but I found myself in an infinite loop.

CYOA books are fine as long as it branches more like a tree and less like a Roman royal family tree. Think Binary Tree and not a Graph.

The Apple II Zork Clone Smirk (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465245)

Have any of you ever heard of a text adventure game similar to Zork called "Smirk". Smirk was made for the Apple IIe but thats all I know about it.

Visual Novels? (1)

Blitzwing01 (979078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465250)

The Choose Your Own Adventure concept has been around in electronic form for quite a while in Japan, although less common in the Western world. Essentially, they're novels with pictures, sound, the occasional cutscene, and a few choices here and there. Contrary to what might perhaps be a flourishing stereotype, not all of these games are sexually explicit. Games on consoles especially are almost always clean. Hirameki [] is one company that is localizing translated PC visual novels for the English speaking market.

Wellcome back (1)

adolfojp (730818) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465267)

I read some of these books when I was 6 years old. It was my formal introduction to the English language. I managed to understand about 40% of the words, however, since the stories were so compelling to me as a child I, armed myself with a dictionary and devoured those books.

Those books were not great pieces of literature, they were cheesy. They were pulp fiction. However, they were empowering and fascinating. They marked the beginning of an enduring love of reading.

It makes me happy to know that these books are making a comeback. I hope that they sell well. When the first one comes out I'll get a copy for my nephews. Perhaps a non multiple choice adventure story will motivate them to read more in the future.

Re:Wellcome back (1)

adolfojp (730818) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465275)

Perhaps a non multiple choice adventure story will motivate them to read more in the future.
- non

Remember kids: Always preview before posting. ;-)

They didn't make a whole lotta sense (1)

StarkRG (888216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465308)

I read them straight through, cover to cover, it would jump all over the place, on one page you'd be climbing a wall and find a bag in a crevice, then it'd ask you if you wanted to check through the bag or leave it where it was and on the next page you'd be drowning, and at the end it'd say you're dead, but then on the next page you're being chased by a lion.

Also, I didn't understand why they were called "choose your own adventure", yeah, I kept telling it what I wanted to do, but the next page never corresponded with what I told it.

Updated for today's Slashdot crowd (2, Funny)

professorfalcon (713985) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465323)

"Do you eject the Cylon through the airlock?"

Those Books Were (1)

8ball629 (963244) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465330)

Awesome. I remember reading those back in middle school but I must admit - I did cheat sometimes by finding the ending I wanted and going backwards O_o.

Good (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465350)

I used to love Choose Your Own Adventure books, and some of the knockoffs weren't bad either. Had a go at writing one once. Of course, now there's MediaWiki which makes it easy to create a computer-based one.

I was writing "VERB NOUN" text adventures in BBC BASIC since long ago. I had another go recently; this time in perl and using a database for the room and object descriptions. Then I got distracted and tried to make it multi-player. Ended up learning more about select(2) than it's good for a mere mortal to know.

But my hands are not yet clean. (1)

GeorgeMcBay (106610) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465370)

I must get them clean!!!!

W3b 2.O Kr3w (3, Insightful)

obsol33t (550660) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465373)

"the books let readers remix their own stories"

Can we please stop using unnecessary buzzwords and buzzimplementations-of-words in article descriptions?

Lone Wolf Lives! (2, Informative)

jinxidoru (743428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465395)

I loved the Lone Wolf books. I periodically pick them up and read one when I am in a particularly nostalgic mood. I loved the cross between D&D and CYOA. What a brilliant masterpiece they were. Fortunately, in the vein of open source software, the author, Joe Dever, has graciously given the rights for the electronic distribution of his books free of charge by Project Aon [] .

Rewriting history sucks--the series is much older (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15465412)

Why are they rewriting history?
Why can't they learn from the mistakes of George Lucas? You don't mess with a classic. Kids today don't need cell phones written into their stories to make them relevant. What next? Rewriting "Your Code Name is Jonah" with Bin Laden as the enemy instead of the Soviets?

Other notables:
#9: Who Killed Harlowe Thrombey. A dozen choices on page 101. Possibly a record for the series?
#62: Sugarcane Island. The *first* CYOA by Edward Packard, it wasn't published until much later. Don't believe me? Read the inside note. It was first written in 1969 and published in 1976 by Vermont Crossroads Press. Predates The Cave of Time.
#39: Supercomputer. You get a new computer with an AI. Geek heaven for a kid in the mid '80s. :-)

I'll spare the list of personal favorites. Most of them before #70 are utterly imaginative and captivating. Some were bound in hardcover for libraries. But they are hard to find now that local libraries have been dumping them in local book sales. :-(
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