This is how you will die

This is how you will die

This is how you will die invokes the many plot points that individuals influenced by movies and novels insert into their lives to give it shape, but applies to them an over-the-top satirical whimsy typical of Nelson's absurdist worldview. Rather than providing the reader with innocuous, ambivalent fortune cookie-like predictions, Nelson takes the protagonist, you, and subjects him/her to fortunes and misfortunes that would frighten a test-crash dummy, and tops it off with a coda in the form of an important "post-death" event. As in other Nelson works, the interface is a familiar one, in this case the slot machine and the aesthetic is one of scrawls, gaudy noises and psychotic humming. However, the central focus of this biographical Mad Lib is the slippery hand of chance in a world characterized by Hanna Barbara changes of fate.


Author description: A recombinatory digital fiction/poem for predicting death. It uses the stripped down code of an online slot machine game, replacing the cards with 15 five-line death fictions/poeticals. The artwork recombines the scenarios randomly every time you spin. The writing divides the scenarios into location, method, result and post-result of each death possibility. Additionally, you can win death videos/poetry visuals and free spins. Some are rather scared of this creature's forecasting tone, while others exalt in the absurdist joy of the way all stories are interchangeable, interrelated and happily random.

Instructions: Requires Flash.

Previous publication: 2005

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.

The Electronic Literature Lab could not preserve this Flash work with Ruffle in February 2021. We do plan to preserve it with Conifer at a later date.