Hard West Turn: 2018 Edition

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A computer-generated novel about gun violence in the United States.

This novel in three sections follows a nameless man on a journey west. Flat, neutral-sounding declarations meander around a variety of encyclopedic topics — firearms and mass shootings, but also homosexuality, autism, and the goth subculture. The language becomes increasingly simplified and fragmented. The 2018 edition reflects current events and was generated with up-to-date text and links from some of the writers struggling the hardest to produce explanations.

The 2018 edition went on sale July 4, 2018. Hard West Turn will be regenerated and published annually. Produced on the MIT Press Bookstore Espresso Book Machine. Edition of 13 (corresponding to the original 13 states) + 3 artist’s proofs (red, white, and blue), numbered and signed by the author/programmer.

The 2018 edition was copy-edited and designed by the proprietor of Bad Quarto (who is also the programmer/author). It was proofread by him with the kind assistance of Stephanie Strickland. Specifically, spelling and punctuation corrections were made, with U.S. spellings now used throughout. Sentences with proper nouns that remained were manually removed. No other changes were made to the output, which derives almost entirely from the English and Simple English Wikipedias.

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Nick Montfort