Nanette Wylde


The computer-generated combinatorial story is one of the oldest forms of digital writing. Storyland, with its simple circus frame, plays with this tradition by performing recombination of the sort seen in cut-up and in Oulipian work. The system repeatedly plots amusingly repetitive stories, inviting the reader to consider, to read its scheme for composition.

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Author description: Storyland (version 2) is a randomly created narrative which plays with social stereotypes and elements of popular culture. Each sentence is constructed from a pool of possibilities, allowing each reader a unique story. The reader presses the "new story" button, and a story is created for that moment in time. It is unlikely that any two stories will be identical. Storyland exposes its narrative formula thus mirroring aspects of contemporary cultural production: sampling, appropriation, hybrids, stock content, design templates. It risks discontinuity and the ridiculous while providing opportunities for contemplation beyond the entertainment factor.

Instructions: To hear the sound, turn on the computer's speakers or plug in headphones. Read the generated story. Click "new story," which appears in the lower right, to start generating a new one.

Previous publication: Version 1 of Storyland was published by Wylde in 2002. Version 2 made its debut in 2004. The latest version of Storyland is available at Wylde's site,

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.