Afternoon, a story is a work of electronic literature written in 1987 by American author Michael Joyce. It was published by Eastgate Systems in 1990 and is known as the first hypertext fiction.
Afternoon was first offered to the public as a demonstration of the hypertext authoring system Storyspace, announced in 1987 at the first Association for Computing Machinery Hypertext conference in a paper by Michael Joyce and Jay David Bolter. In 1990, it was published on diskette and distributed in the same form by Eastgate Systems. It was followed by a series of other Storyspace hypertext fictions, including Stuart Moulthrop's Victory Garden, Patchwork Girl and Deena Larsen's Marble Springs.
The New York Times called Michael Joyce's afternoon "the granddaddy of hypertext fictions", while The Toronto Globe and Mail said that it "is to the hypertext interactive novel what the Gutenberg bible is to publishing," and Der TAZ in Berlin once called him "Der Homer der Hypertexte." His hyperfiction, "On the Birthday of the Stranger" was featured as the inaugural work for the Evergreen Experimental Site of the online version of the Evergreen Review.