Over the years a lot of people have worked hard to keep the damaged life of ST99 from giving up the ghost. Why? Because it’s so different from everything else that was available then and is available now. ST99 in a number of ways is the road not taken in computer gaming and virtual experience, however primitive its technologies now seem. It also inspired commitment because it has continued to be strangely reflective and predictive of the the society we have become in the 21st Century. They worked in the belief that what seemed prescient in 1999 and the early 2000s would still be on target in 2019 and beyond. You’ll have to be the judge of that.
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Just as importantly, Shuteye Town 1999 (along with its sequel Shuteye Nation) is actually one third of a larger work named Spilt Ink, which consists of two books, ‘The Boomer Bible’ and ‘Punk City’ AND the computer game/puzzle/labyrinth before you now. The trilogy is inextricably interrelated, interlocked, interconnected. Each explores the nature of thought associations and their relationship to consciousness through different means. The Boomer Bible has its Intercolumn Reference, Punk City has an architecture of literary reference and touchstones which tie directly to the canon of English literature from Cynewulf on. And Shuteye Town is an exploration of time-space links that also contains the conceptual origins, and in some cases precursor texts, of multiple other print books, specifically including Punk City, Writing America Down, and The Naked Woman.
During the interval when Shuteye Town 1999 was essentially orphaned and buried, Spilt Ink, the trilogy, was incomplete, badly if not fatally damaged. Now an important step has been taken toward restoration of the whole. And wholes are what this endeavor has always been about — the lost vision of American and World Literature.