C is For...

Choose Your Own Adventure books. I used to love these books as a kid. This was clearly the author coming out of me at an early age. I wanted more control in my fiction. Nowadays this kind of control is achieved through the glorious interactivity of console and computer games. In the early Eighties, however, choosing to turn left or turn right, fighting enemies or running away, was determined by questions posed at the bottom of pages and flicking halfway through the book (an added element of suspense) to find out what fate awaited your character. Although the books themselves varied in quality and imagination, the concept of the Choose Your Own Adventure books was a piece of genius. Readers could actually become the main characters in the books they were reading – influence storylines through decision making and even die (in a fictional sense!) if they made poor choices. The series ran into hundreds of books and became a publishing phenomenon.

I remember reading a lot of these books and the series often wandered into the realms of science fiction, fantasy and horror. Interestingly, my two favourites were more down to earth choices: The Deadly Shadow, which involved the global hunt for a Russian spy that was literally a ticking time bomb, and Mountain Survival – a plane crash in the Rocky Mountains survivalist story that Bear Grylls would have been proud of. I have fond memories of these
books as a child.

Do you remember any?

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