What is a fractal?

A fractal is a detailed, recursive, and infinitely self-similar geometric shape, defined by a mathematical function. In simple terms, no matter how much you "zoom in", the shape will look the same. Some famous examples include the Madelbrot Set and the Sierpinski Carpet.

What is a fractal narrative?

A fractal narrative is a story that follows the same principles of geometric fractals; it is a story that you can expand into ever-increasing levels of detail, potentially without end. Fractal narratives are built by inserting story between existing story fragments, creating a potentially infinitely complex narrative. A reader may start with a character introduction, expand this into a biography, expand this into motivations, and so on.

Where did the idea come from?

This work was inspired by the work of Charlie Hargood and David Millard at a hackathon at the Web and Internet Science lab at the University of Southampton. You can read their academic paper on the idea of fractal narratives, and other "Strange Hypertexts".

Who runs this site?

This site is run by Tom Blount, a Research Fellow at the University of Southampton in the Web and Internet Science lab. If you have any questions about the site or this work, please get in touch!