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48 Hour Hypertext Project

In 1990, comic theorist Scott McCloud proposed the 24 Hour Comic, challenging colleagues to craft a complete 24-page comic book in the span of 24 hours McCloud’s chief interest in this era was the formal properties of sequential art, and the 24-hour comic forces the artist to distill the medium toward some essence/. Related projects include 24-hour plays and National Novel Writing Month .

We invited a number of writers and designers to craft an original 48-hour hypertext story for Hypertext 2019, and to reflect on challenges they encountered in the process. The Call was broad and agnostic with respect to platform, technology, genre and technique. We anticipate that a curated review of the projects, and discussion of reported of reflexive practice, will give rise to a lively and productive panel.

In addition to the solvent nature of time stress, with its attendant impetus to focus on those aspects of the process most necessary to its successful expression, the 48-hour challenge presents other intriguing opportunities. By capping the investment of time and by limiting the expected scope of the work, we can assure participants that their work will be judged in a generous spirit; hypertext fiction’s concern with arguing its own seriousness has not always been entirely beneficial. We know, moreover, far too little about assessing student hypertexts, about what expectations we should have for the amount of hypertext we can expect a university student to compose, or indeed about what sort of assignment a new writer might undertake with greatest profit.

The Rules

The Challenge: create a complete hypertext narrative in 48 hours.

Why? We need more hypertexts, and we need to think more clearly about the challenges of writing hypertexts, of crafting better tools, and of teaching people to write hypertexts. But we're all busy, and many of us aren’t primarily fiction writers.

Two all nighters? You can use those 48 hours however you like. And an hour a day for 6 weeks. Or 2 workdays. However you want.

What are the other rules?

Am I too late?

No! When you finish, send your hypertext (or a link to your hypertext!) to bernstein@eastgate.com . We’ll update this page — which I hope to move to its own site shortly.

The Work

Cara Fernandez-Vara. Little Red. position paper

Richard Smyth, Pre-Socratic Self-Help Manual position paper

Jessica Tremblay, Wave. position paper

Johndan Johnson-Eilola, Gun 1.2 position paper

Artemio Morales, Legend of the Girl and the Condor. position paper

John McDaid, Standing By The Wall. position paper

Mark Bernstein, In Bond. (macOS) position paper

Charlie Hargood and David Millard, The Dean Of Liminal Studies. (Locative/Ideal in Hof)

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