Whatever its other virtues, a hypertext must be a pleasure to manipulate.


After years of dithering, scribbling, and wrassling with the interface, We Descend, Volume Two is finally approaching the suburbs of a DEMO version.

At the Vermont Studio Center for the month of January 2002, I completed a draft of Wyrmes Mete for HTML. Still a lot of work to do, but you can sort of read it from beginning to end, if you don't mind a little all-terrain navigating...

This year at DAC (Digital Arts and Culture conference, Brown University, 26-28 April 2001) Deena (the Conveena) Larsen has organized PiggyDAC, another intrepid hypertext writers workshop, where -- in addition to seeing all my buds -- I may get Wyrmes Mete a test drive with the Connection Muse (formerly Connection System).

Rob's AdvHTPoFic class was terrific, and I got a lot of work done converting Wyrmes Mete to HTML. However, there's a lot yet to be done. You can follow my agonies in detail, if you like that sort of thing, by visiting the in-progress version.

Well, I didn't quite make it through last year's maiden voyage of Rob Kendall's Advanced Hypertext Poetry and Fiction class at the New School Online University (see item immediately below), and so am trying again this term. Classes started 23 October, and it's a pretty small group -- just two others and me. The course offers an introduction to the Connection System, a JavaScript toolbox developed especially for authors of hypertext literature by Rob and Jean-Hugues Réty. My project is my poetry chapbook, Wyrmes Mete, which I plan to export to HTML from Storyspace and add some photos for a little more graphic sizzle!

Starting today (18 October 1999), I'll be taking Rob Kendall's Advanced Hypertext Poetry and Fiction, an online course of the New School's DIAL program. You may recall that I took the non-advanced version in the summer and again in the fall of 1995, then did a guest spot in same last summer (July 1998). The course offers an introduction to the Connection System, a JavaScript toolbox developed especially for authors of hypertext literature by Rob and Jean-Hugues Réty, in addition to providing an excuse for us long-time hypertext addicts to do some new work!

My hypertext chapbook, Wyrmes Mete, will be included in the forthcoming Eastgate anthology of hypertext poetry, Behind the Lines, for which Rob Kendall has written an exemplary introduction. Something(s) to look forward to....

Cybermoutain: The Denver Hypertext Colloquium convened 28 May through 2 June 1999 (i.e., over Memorial Day Weekend). The confabulation, subtitled "Making Hypertext Usable," was conceived and organized by hypertext archangel Deena Larsen, and gathered together some 30 hypertext engineers and writers (or, as an older formulation had it, "nerds" & "fluffies") in Trygve Lode's "museum-quality mansion with a view of Colorado's front range," in order that we might get it together in our too-often disparate endeavors. Your humble servant served as archivist.

With the same idea in mind, on 8 & 9 April 1999, Brown University hosted the conference Technology Platforms for 21st Century Literature, a co-production of Brown's Hyperfiction Workshop and Scholarly Technology Group, with Robert Coover as convener and master of ceremonies. Acronym: TP21CL, pronounced either "tippy-twenty-wunkle" or "CooverCon." Coolest feature: The Unknown.

Hypertext 99 took place 20 - 25 February 1999 in Darmstadt, Germany. I am desolated that I was unable to attend (not least because I had to miss the third Hypertext Writers Workshop, Messenger Morphs the Media), but early reports indicate that a grand time was had by all. Mark Bernstein, who gave the opening keynote address, "Where are the Hypertexts? -- Asking Again," has also provided a photo essay of the festivities, supplemented by more pix by Jocelyn Nanard.

An excerpt from We Descend, my first full-length hypertext, helped to inaugurate (November 1998) the Gallery on theWordCircuits site, where it finds itself in very good company, alongside Jackie Craven's haunting novella, In the Changing Room.

Rob Kendall's online Hypertext Poetry and Fiction class, where I cut my hyperTeeth, was profiled in the Fall 1998 issue of Kairos, a Journal for Teachers of Writing in Webbed Environments.

We Descend was handsomely reviewed (June 1998) in the Spanish journal Hipertulia. (Léese en español.)


In June, Hypertext 98 was held in my old hometown, Pittsburgh. The heat was beastly and I left my computer glasses in one of the ballrooms, but the second Hypertext Writers Workshop, Media Morphs the Messenger, was way kewl. (The rest of the conference was no slouch, either.)

Word Circuits, a new resource for writers of hypertext, is being developed by Rob Kendall, with help from Deena Larsen, Marjorie Luesebrink, and Michael Shumate.

My first full-length hypertext, We Descend, was published by Eastgate Systems in November 1997.

The 8th ACM Conference on Hypertext (HT97) was held at the University of Southampton in April 1997. I went there early to attend Media Morphing Messages, a workshop organized by Deena Larsen.

Mr. Bly went to Washington in 1996, to attend the7th ACM Conference on Hypertext. (ACM stands for The Association for Computing Machinery. Quaint, no?) He returned, mind completely blown, as chronicled in his breezy trip report.

Go back Home or e-mail bbly@infomonger.com

Last updated 9 April 2001.