Victory Garden 2022
A new edition of the classic 1991 hypertext novel
“I am trying to get some reading done (story of my life) but the world keeps intruding.
It is 7:05 p.m. on the 16th of January 1991. Something dark and terrible is unfolding in Baghdad, Iraq. Something dark and terrible took place in Staffordshire, England during the month of July 1916. Various things, some of them dark and perhaps terrible, are about to happen in a place called Tara.”
Victory Garden was originally written in Storyspace™ and published in late 1991 by Eastgate Systems, distributed on 3.5-inch diskette and later CD-ROM. This original version remains available from Eastgate for appropriate systems. Victory Garden was one of a handful of hypertext stories that flourished in the “Golden Age” of digital fiction, as Robert Coover has named it. After many years of obsolescence, the work returns as Victory Garden 2022, a new version designed for the World Wide Web.
Reconstruction on the novel began in January 2022 in the Electronic Literature Lab, with Moulthrop working with lab researchers Arlo Ptolemy and Andrew Thompson to reimagine the novel for the web environment. Moulthrop converted the original work via Tinderbox and outputted the code into HTML. While the new edition retains the 993 lexias and 2804 links of the original, it restructures the reading experience into paths and streams. Additionally, it offers a new interface with full color images throughout and a pervasive menu that makes navigation intuitive.
About Stuart Moulthrop
Stuart Moulthrop has long been associated with the hypertext, electronic literature, and video games communities. Along with Victory Garden (1991), he published numerous other works on various web platforms, including Hegirascope (1995, 1997), “Under Language” (2007), and Dread Box (2020). In 2001 Moulthrop and his partner Nancy Kaplan founded the School of Information Arts and Technologies at the University of Baltimore, whose M.A. program briefly included Chris Klimas, who proposed the Twine digital writing platform as a thesis project in 2008. Moulthrop moved to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2010 where he hosted ELO 2014. With Dene Grigar he developed the NEH-supported Pathfinders methodology for documenting the experience of early electronic literature, a project that led to their co-authored book, Traversals: The Uses of Preservation for Early Electronic Literature (The MIT Press, 2017). Teaching game studies and electronic literature brought Moulthrop to the Twine world, and in 2021 he co-authored a Twine-based book with Anastasia Salter, entitled Twining: Critical and Creative Perspectives (Amherst College Press, 2021). Moulthrop is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.