I want to write a paragraph about electronic literature in the early days of the web. Michael Shumate’s Hyperizons is a good place to start, given it hasn’t been updated since July 97, but even so it lists over 60 hypertext fictions. What was there before 1995? Do you remember?

I suspect I can write the paper perfectly well without these details but of course now I want to know.

And damn it, I was there, surfing the web in 1993 and 1994, wandering through the Virtual Library’s literature/hypertext section. I should remember. But I don’t, and the Electronic Literature Directory won’t let me search by year.
Further finds:

6 thoughts on “early web hypertext fiction

  1. Jim

    hi Jill..Have you tried The Wayback Machine at The Internet Archive
    (http://www.archive.org/web/web.php)…30 billion ancient web pages
    to access!

  2. Jill

    Yes, but it only goes back to 1996 in some cases and 1997 in others. Actually Guyers and Riddle’s things in my post are from the Wayback Machine – they’re long gone from the living web.

    I wish I could SEARCH the Wayback Machine as though on a particular date. That would perhaps be a gargantuan thing to set up.

  3. Simon Mills

    Hi jill

    You may want to try the trAced section of the trAce website


    I wrote some of this way back in 1995 when it was published as a small booklet. I think the booklet is going to be put online soon to commemorate trAce’s 10 year anniversary. Most of the links probably don’t work now but it is a snapshot of literature resources available on the web at that time.



  4. Simon Mills

    Strangely enough I’d just posted the above when an email arrived in my inbox informing me that the scanned booklet has just been put online at



  5. Jill

    Simon, this is perfect! Thank you!!

  6. Prentiss Riddle

    Well, that’s a blast from the past!

    So funny to recall the day when it seemed reasonable to assemble bulleted lists of items in a category in the hope of finding most of them.

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