By Carl Frederick
Dark Zoo is a new form of novel - one that can only be achieved using the Web. Here you can click to read a multi-viewpoint novel or choose to read the same story from the point of view of one of the main characters. At any point you can switch back and forth between viewpoints to pick up different aspects of the story. This gives more than simply another viewpoint, for there are sub-plots that are only exposed in the character views. Even so, each of the views is a complete story unto itself.
This is a story and meant to be read. As a result there are no video or sound clips. There is a separate 'Picture Book'. This is a captioned photo-album of the events viewed through the eyes of one of the children of the story. This 'Snapshot' track contains small photographs. If you click on a photo, you'll get an enlarged, or related picture. Click again, and you'll go back to the 'Picture Book' page.
While you are reading, you can move the mouse-cursor over a character button (and not click). You will see a capsule summary of what is happening in that character's view. If you move the cursor over the 'Novel' button, you'll get either an animal-related fact or a quotation. NOTE: Some of these captions are lengthy, and the browser makes them go away after about five seconds. If you want to keep them on longer, just wiggle the mouse a little while you're reading.
The beginning page of any view has a 'chapter bar'. This allows you to navigate directly to a particular chapter.
At the End Page of Dark Zoo, there is a reader feedback field. The author (me) would appreciate any comments about the work. Thanks.
The major characters of Dark Zoo
Brian - A college film major who is an animal activist.
Derek - Divorced single parent, who is attempting to repair his relationship with his young son.
Rom - Cubmaster of a rural New York Cub Scout pack, visiting the zoo with his scouts.
Kit - Senior boy in Rom's Cub Scout pack.
Jack - Disaffected college student with a sadistic streak.
Joshua - Wealthy, unstable, failed politician who is eager for power.
You may also choose -
Novel - The integrated novel, but without many of the sub-plots.
Snapshot - Derek's son's photo-album.
Choose your point of view and click on a button to enter the world of Dark Zoo.