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The Hypertext annotated version of "A Fire Upon the Deep"

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Brad Templeton

Jun 23, 1993, 9:26:44 PM6/23/93

Those of you reading this group have read a lot of talk about Vernor
Vinge's novel "A Fire Upon the Deep" which is nominated for the Hugo and
the Nebula Award.

This novel advances much of it's super-plot via a Galactic USENET which is
a parody of our own. It also centers around AI, as many of Vinge's
ground-breaking stories have.

We're pleased to publish this novel in electronic form, along with all
the other Hugo nominees in one anthology. (See my other posting or for more details.)

However, when Vernor Vinge wrote this book, he (like a true programmer)
filled the manuscript with comments, doing his author's notes right in
the text of the manuscript.

We've converted that manuscript to a hypertext form. There are 70,000
words of notes that annotate the book's development at every step. On
most of the paragraphs, there are links which take you to the author's
and proofer's notes on the book. Some of it is quite mundane, but there's
also tons of interesting material for those interesting in this book or
the development of books in general.

Right now the hypertext version is available in two forms. Under MS windows,
you can run it from our CD-ROM, using MS multimedia viewer. In this case,
symbols appear in the margins which you can click on. They open a notes
window (or move in it) to show you the notes for the paragraphs. Special
symbols indicate the type of note.

Another version exists as an RTF file with footnotes. In MS-Word and some
other word processors that can use footnotes, you can open the footnotes
window, and as you scroll through the book, the footnotes scroll through
the footnotes window.

I also plan, in a few weeks, to make an HTML version, for use with WWW
browsers such as XMosaic. Unfortunately, XMosaic does not support popups
or dual windows yet, so if you jump to the notes, you lose the text while
looking at the notes. I'm working on some designs to help with this.

We can also offer the novel in an ASCII format with embedded notes, but
this is not really suitable for first-time readers of the novel, as they
are too distracting.

Those of you fascinated with this book will definitely enjoy this. Please
read the other posting or get our info file for details on how to buy and
FTP it or get the CD-ROM.
Brad Templeton, ClariNet Communications Corp. -- Sunnyvale, CA 408/296-0366

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