ASCII by Jason Scott

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Amnesia, Forgotten and Remembered —

Within the context of text adventure history, this is relatively big news.

From: Stephane Racle
Subject: Amnesia

Not sure if anyone here is a fan of "Amnesia", the text adventure that
was written by Thomas M. Disch and released by Electronic Arts in the
mid-1980s, but I recently acquired a number of interesting items related
to the game. Apparently, the game was originally supposed to be released
by book publisher Harper & Row, but that was cancelled - and as a result
the game was picked up by Electronic Arts. The package I got includes
the folders (bi-fold style) for the Apple II and Commodore 64 versions,
complete with a couple of trinkets. No disks, I'm told that there never
was one. There's also proofs of the folders, and a complete manuscript.
Much of the writing never made it to the game due to space
considerations, so it should be an interesting read.



The artwork is completely different from what ended up going out there. The layout is completely different, the photo of Disch is completely different. In other words, this is what was originally intended for this project before it was sold to a different entity, who redid the work in their image.

The real amazing thing, however, is the manuscript:

The fact that there exists a complete version of a work written by Disch means that people essentially have a new book by him. That’s quite a find.

Collectors find this stuff all the time, things that you didn’t know were amazing or wanted until other people hear of them. This particular find, while not overly pressing to my own text adventure documentary project, is still great news to hear. Disch’s end, alone and sad, should not take away from his work so long ago, and to suddenly find work of his from 20 years ago is just wonderful. I know work will now happen to make this additional insight into the man available more generally.

Treasures abound in this world, waiting.

Update: The manuscript is now available for browsing.

Categorised as: computer history

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  1. ross says:

    i hope you’ll be releasing the manuscript. that’s pretty dang awesome. his work should be propagated as much as possible.

  2. mike says:

    Oh my God, jason, great news! Thanks for posting the MS.