This is the old Webshelf. If you want the new one, go to

Deena's web bookshelf in more or less in reverse chronological order...

Most hypertext/electronic/new media works have a hidden time commitment--and so I tried to organize these in terms of the time it will take to see what is going on--not to understand the whole work. Some of these, particularly in my first category, can be seen and thoroughly "grokked" quickly. Others can be seen quickly and not grokked in a lifetime. Saying you can read this in an hour is like saying you can read T.S. Eliot's the Wasteland in an hour. Yes, you can but it isn't all that is there. So this is just a way to let you know up front what you might want to look at given your time constraints. It is by no means a description of how long to spend with a work.

I just want to sit back and let it unfold for me.
Looking for something quick --10 minutes or less to read the whole thing. (My kanjis, like Children's Time and my flashworks like Carving in Possibilities. I'm Simply Saying, Peace Roses, and Tree Woman are at this level).
  • Caren Beilin and Jennifer Smith's Animals Are Placebos An intriguing little work that repeats the same prescriptions for taking animals for healing. (buttons as links, moving text) (2008)
  • John Sparrow's Eye in the Making explores god, software, and technology in three video screens with expanding words. (2006)
  • Edward Picot's The Stream tells amusing little vignettes that use the same images (2005). A short history of everything is a linear piece that marries images and words.
  • Thom Swiss, Motomichi Nakamura, Robot Friend, Fresh Icons (2004) Doors open and close while shadow figures talk obscurely of playing cards and magnets.
  • Peter Howard's Rainbow Factory: A great little flash commentary
  • Robert Kendall's Faith: a kinetic poem that shakes out its meaning (Flash). His Study in Shades is a lovely little poem where we see the father and daughter moving away from each other (HTML, connection system)
  • Dan Waber's Strings is fun, where handwritten words morph on the screen.
  • MISSING: William Gillespie's Omnifesto text curls around "just for the fun of it."
Looking for something easy and fun to get an idea of hypertext/new media/electronic lit

(I can get in and out of these in an hour or two).

(My Ferris Wheels, Firefly, and Datafeeds are at this level)

  • Aya Karpinska's fps: This work provides a bar graph to slide through animated reflections on screens and their relationship to meaning. (Spatial text, text in motion) (2008)
  • Carrie Meadows' (NON)sense for to from Eva Hesse: A playful homage to Eva Hesse (a German-born American sculptor) through a series of linked “definitions” (linking with a central schema of text) (2007)
  • Tim Lockridge's A Sky of Cinders : A series of snapshots of a mind after a calamity that fills the sky with ash. (linking) (2007)
  • Mary Flanagan’s House explores repetitive phrases in an outline of a house. (2006)
  • M.D. Coverley ’s short fiction works: (e.g., Default Lives, Fibbonnacci's Daughter, Afterimage, The Universal Resource Locator)
  • Jennifer Ley's War Games provides a game where if you win, you lose your hands. A powerful political statement.
  • David Knoebel's click poetry combines written words and speech.
  • MISSING: Adrienne Eisen's Six Sex Scenes: short interconnected stories with links at the bottom.
  • Jackie Craven's In the Changing Room: Follow eight characters in and out of each other's lives, discovering their philosophical horrors and secrets: text with some graphics. (HTML, connection system)c
  • Ed Falco's Charmin' Cleary: a text based hypertext exploring a violent incident with the Riverside Shakespeare (HTML)
  • Gavin Ingles' Same Day Test: A "choose your own adventure" story with consequences
  • Rob Wittig's Fall of the House of Marcia shows what happens when we embrace this brand new web and its "angels" (1999)
  • Richard Pryll's Lies: a simple truth/lies structure: text only (HTML)
  • Goeff Ryman's 253: a playfully structured work: each node has 253 words (HTML)
I want to play around with pieces or games.
  • Serge Bouchardon et al.The 12 Labors of the Internet User Provides tasks for the modern day Hercules (2008).
  • Jim Andrew's Nio: An interactive jazz piece. Move the pieces around to hear the music and create your own sounds/phonemes of meaning.
  • NOT WORKING: Terry Ford's Storyproblem: Move your mouse to control the speed and direction of the story as it unfolds. (Note this is a little difficult to manuever in).
Looking for something a little more involved: something I can understand quickly, but will take some time to unravel.

These will take anywhere from several hours to several weeks to read.

(My Marble Springs, Disappearing Rain, and E:Electron are at this level)

  • Sara Sloan Bailey's Factography: A series of interwoven stories that range from the vagaries of Texas anti-sodomy laws to struggling waitresses (2008)
  • NOT WORKINGStuart Moulthrop's Radio Salience provides a rambling musing on designs when the reader puts the images together. (images, game navigation) (2007)
  • Mark Marino's Marginalia in the Library of Babel provides a static and dynamic commented tour of the library of Babel musings found on the web. (pop up commentary, original text and outside websites) (2007) REQUIRES FLASH 8 AND FIREFOX
  • Heather Raikes' The Wave: a flash work with a series of circle symbols across the top leading to pages of poetry and meditations on extensions of souls. (2007)
  • Stephanie Strickland's Slipping Glimpses (2007) places evocative poems for water to read—as the words float and move with the water—as well as the reader to control in the screen below the water. (click scroll text)
  • Jason Nelson's Between Treacherous Objects navigate texts between spaces such as the deathbed and the fridge. (2006) (game navigation)
  • Linda Carroli's Fragments of Faith: Help yourself to a do it yourself religion (on Frame 6). A nice essay that links Faith Popcorn's "develop our own moral lives" with ruminations on modern life.
  • Melinda Rackham's Carrier: an imagistic work that discusses viruses ( human, meme, and computer) in fiction, support groups, and philosophy. PORTIONS NO LONGER WORK
  • Caitlin Fisher's These Waves of Girls weaves an account of girls growing up.
  • NOT WORKING Christy Sheffield Sanford and Reiner Strasser's ~Water~Water~Water~, is a poetic meditation on water, using images and java.
  • Stephanie Strickland's works are very fine poetry, and use text and imagery to get her points across. She usually colors words according to theme rather than according to the current Web conventions for coloring words that are links. Try the Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot.
  • MD Coverley's works combine imagery and navigation with stories with characters that breathe. Try something smaller likebefore going on to more ambitious works such as Egypt: The Book of Going Forth by Day, Califia (Eastgate Systems)--where three characters search California past and present for gold.
  • MISSING: Laura Sullivan's Beautopia (visual index): This is a treatise on women's beauty, expectations, and the author's memories.
  • Judy Malloy's l0ve 0ne is a connected novel made from Gweneth's diary as she goes through Germany.
  • Bill Bly's We Descend (Eastgate Systems): A great novel/mystery using fragments of text found on a post-apocalypse world.
  • Shelley Jackson's Patchwork Girl (Eastgate Systems): A female frankenstein who tries to reassemble herself. I particularly like the graveyard and associated links.
  • HYPERCARD ONLY John Cayley's Indra's Net is a downloadable Hypercard which plays with turning letters and words.
  • Robert Kendall's A Life Set for Two (Eastgate Systems) is a programmed poetry piece where what you choose determines what you will get.
Looking for something I am going to have to spend some time unravelling and studying.

Don't expect to "Get it" the first time through---careful work on these reveals amazing insights and new fields of understanding. But these works will require investing quality time.

(The Princess Murderers is at this level).

  • Mez' work. Mez is working with mesangelle, a created language based on english/code/phonemes. Plan to spend some time getting to understand the language and the coding before diving into flash based works like _][ad][Dressed in a Skin C.ode_
  • Judd Morrisey's Jew's Daughter. This is a lovely lyrical work that breaks "in the middle" where the edges of text remain the same after crossing a link. Takes some time to read through carefully.
  • Dianne Slattery's Glide. This work includes a paper novel, The Maze Game, an oracle, and a site with music and language. The intriguing thing for me about Slattery's work is her new language, Glide, which encapsulates a form of concrete poetry. I recommend starting at the Oracle, learning the language Glide and playing with it. Then look at the site for the music and philosophy behind Glide.
  • MISSING Noah Wardrip Fruin et al Impermance Agent. You need to have a couple of weeks to spare your browser for this: the agent will gradually replace your browser with stories. This isn't as philosophically challenging as some of the others I've listed here, but does require a time commitment.
  • Talan Memmott's Lexia to Perplexia. A post-modernist philosophical treatise which uses code language, metaphor, and imagery (Flash)
  • Jim Rosenberg's work. Rosenberg is creating word symphonies where each word is a note, each set of words a chord in an overall whole.
  • HYPERCARD John McDaid's Uncle Buddy's Phantom Funhouse (Eastgate, 1990) You get a box of tapes and a hypercard stack from your Uncle Buddy. You unravel it by determining passwords, going into a mirror world, and tinkering with the scripts.
I want to write in here

(My Marble Springs lets you become a cocreator by adding poems about other denizens.)

  • NOT WORKING Lewis LaCook's King's Woods: You have to enter your own text to see the next screen of generated text. (2007)
  • Jaka Zeleznikar's Retypescape (October 2003): You enter a URL, and then you can re-type over the words.
  • Eric Bunder's Let them sing it for you (2003): enter words and hear them cut from famous songs.
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