The Unknown: The Orange Line.
  June 10, 1998

Dear Dirk and Scott,

Listen guys, I’ve gotta go, but I’ve got one last idea for our hypertext. Okay, we’ve talked about how a hypertext is a link structure with nodes (pages) and nexuses (pages with lots of links to and from them). And we’ve talked about how that structure is very hard to visualize, and, for various reasons, writing this in such a hurry, the three of us, it’s been hard to keep track of the links and the nodes. It would be nice to have a picture, with circles and arrows, but that would be very difficult to make by hand. Okay, so, at breakfast this morning, Louis brought up the old video game Zork. What we are doing is like Zork, but more directionless, there is no sense of progress through this hypertext because we haven’t envisioned any, and we have neither a destination nor a map. So my idea is to have a secret part of the story that the intrepid or lucky reader might find. This would be a page that had only one, very hard to find, link to it, say this page. And this page would be the center of a second hypertext. This page would have lots of links to and from lots of other pages, new pages that you guys have to START WRITING RIGHT NOW and DON'T STOP until you have lost all sensation in your wrist and lungs, and these pages would connect to each other, right, but would have very few links back to the original text, the seventy or so nodes we’ve already written, as opposed to the seventy more that YOU TWO WILL WRITE TONIGHT.

Well, what do you think? You can always e-mail me, but please do not leave long messages on my answering machine like you did to Frank. That was rude.

Thanks for the swell vacation in Cincinnati,


P.S. These pages you write STARTING NOW should have a narrative, please don’t write self-conscious meta-hyper-text like this letter. HAVE FUN.

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