We Descend, The Complete Edition

Evie Godfrey2023 Longlist, Opening Up

We Descend, The Complete Edition is the life’s work of hypertext artist Bill Bly. Volume 1 of this novel was originally created in Storyspace and published on CD-ROM by Eastgate Systems, Inc. in 1997. Volumes 2 and 3 were produced in Tinderbox; the former, published in The New River in 2017, and the latter completed in 2023. Epic in nature, the work is conceived as the hypertext rendering of the Complete Edition of Archives Pertaining to Egderus Scriptor that took shape over the course of a generation and comprises writings gathered and transmitted over a span many times that long.

This reconstructed version is a mastery of design where the elegance of the interface matches that of the writing. The color palette evokes the earthy detritus of archaeological digs. The lexias are presented as pieces of parchment paper as Egderus himself may have used. The interactive map allows readers to ascend or descend through the story.

Built in open Web languages and ARIA and optimized to address vision impairments, We Descend, The Complete Edition offers an innovative way to experience long-form writing on the Web accessible to all readers.