Rebooting Electronic Literature: Documenting Pre-Web Born Digital Media Volume 2

Critical Writing
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2019
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Rebooting Electronic Literature, Volume 2  is the second of a series of open-source, multimedia books documenting works of electronic literature held in Dene Grigar's Electronic Literature Lab (ELL) collection at Washington State University Vancouver. The five works selected for this volume are among the most unique and fragile in the collection. All constitute long-form writing produced with stand-alone hypertext authoring systems available during the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The hypertext novels include Kathryn Cramer's In Small & Large Pieces (1994), Richard Holeton's Figurski at Findhorn on Acid (2001), and Tim McLaughlin's Notes toward Absolute Zero (1995). Also featured is Stephanie Strickland's long narrative poem, True North (1997), and Deena Larsen's anthology of interconnected hypertext stories, Samplers (1997). All were produced with Storyspace, the software program created by Michael Joyce, Jay David Bolter, and John B. Smith in 1987 and licensed by Mark Bernstein of Eastgate Systems, Inc. in 1990 [1]  and published by the company. Additionally all were released on 3.5-inch floppy disks. Most works were migrated later to the CD-ROM format. That said, Strickland's True North came out both on floppy disk and CD-ROM versions close to the same time. Cramer's In Small & Large Pieces, on the other hand, was never migrated to CD-ROM format. With the demise of the CD-ROM drive as standard equipment on contemporary computers, access to all of these works is in danger of being lost to the public.

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Dene Grigar