Episode 413: A Discussion of Escape From Fire Island (Bonus Episode)!

Episode 413 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on Apple podcastsstitcher, spotify, or click here to stream (right click to download, if that’s your thing.)


In this bonus, mid-week episode of The Drunken Odyssey, the game-writing expert Michael Merriam and I read and discuss Escape from Fire Island, a lost classic from the 1990s. Somehow, we touch upon Dragon’s Lair, The Canterbury Tales, Hamlet (naturally), He-Man and The Masters of the Universe, and The Hero with a Thousand Faces.


Escape from Fire IslandCanterbury TalesThe Hero with a Thousand Faces


This episode is sponsored by the excellent people at Scribophile.


TDO Listeners can get 20% of a premium subscription to Scribophile. After using the above link to register for a basic account, go here while still logged in to upgrade the account with the discount.

If you are looking for a happier view than your own window yet again, try my scenic views of Walt Disney World playlist.


Check out my adventure novel, Guy Psycho and the Ziggurat of Shame.

Guy Psycho and the Ziggurat of Shame Cover

One response to “Episode 413: A Discussion of Escape From Fire Island (Bonus Episode)!”

  1. Well, as much as I would’ve liked to have heard ‘Get Shrekked II’, this episode was very well-timed, as we’re just studying Hypertext literature and TWINE games down here in the COViD-raddled antipodes.

    You do have a point about the character not growing or changing in a CYOA book, or game, but ha’s just the limitation s of the writing. The ‘you’ character could change given various choices if you’re prepared to write them in. So, did Hypertext literature grind to a halt because characters didn’t grow in the way that they do in literary fiction? Or was it that people couldn’t be bothered with it?

    We also learnt, or at least encountered, Anna Anthropy and her idea that TWINE and CYOA allow games to ‘grow up’. She then expresses this in her own work by covering the adventures of a gaggle of sexual minorities that ‘you’ can stumble around in, just as Escape from Fire Island is doing. But there’s more to maturing than broadening your sexual horizons (or whatever the current expression is), right? Right??? Well, I hope so.

    One point that struck me was that you can kind of pick a desirable outcome by picking the lower page number in a CY(O)A book. The lower the number, the more pages are left before the end of the book, and thus more chance to survive through a longer and more interesting story. There’s no reason this has to be true—it just is. But in Hypertext literature, there’s no finite size to the book, so that strategy wouldn’t work.

    So, the apt timing of the episode does make up for a lack of ‘Get Shrekked II’ and Escape from Fire Island doesn’t really interest me as a story, and it’s clear you two had a lot of fun making it, so well done!

    Can we have ‘Get Shrekked II’ at some future time? I ♥ Donkey, too.

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The Drunken Odyssey is a forum to discuss all aspects of the writing process, in a variety of genres, in order to foster a greater community among writers.


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