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World's First True E-Novels 1996: Documented History

Documented History:

World's First True E-Novels 1996*

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= Contents =

000 Main Museum Page & Heritage Sites
001 Notes from Underground
002 About Pages (Sequence)
010 Neon Blue Fiction May 1996
020 The Haunted Village July 1996
030 Weekly Serial Chapters 1996-7
031 First Host Electriciti Subfolders 1996+
040 Clocktower Fiction (CTF) 1996
041 CTF Domain History 1996+
042 Pioneers (SF Novel) 1997
043 CTF Listed by Locus Online 1997
044 CTF Listed by Locus Online 1998
045 WayBack Machine 9 Jan 1998
045a WayBack Machine 9 Jan 1998 Large
046 Georgetown University 29 June 1998
047 SFF Net
060 Deep Outside SFFH
070 Far Sector SFFH
999 More Info Soon


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*Parameters. We make this claim according to certain rigorous parameters outlined in these museum pages. These include: (1) proprietary, not public domain, therefore not like Gutenberg Project, but property of the author; (2) normal full length (60,000+ words), not short stories; (3) complete, not samples or teasers; (4) published directly online for reading in HTML, not on portable media like CD-ROM, floppies, or the like as was done by a few experimenters at the time; (5) using an innovative format of weekly serial chapters in sequence from Chapter 1 to Chapter N; (6) not hypertext but standard sequential chapters—that is, these were novels that were exactly like those published as print editions by New York City publishers, only they were e-books online to be read in HTML format.

Pioneers. We were publishing complete novels to be read online in HTML format before e-commerce and before virtually all digital publishing (which was mostly done on CD-ROMs, floppies, and other portable media). The world was clearly not ready for us. Now, in many ways, our day has come and gone—except that Clocktower Books continues to publish fresh new books (e-books, p-books) both fiction and nonfiction with an eye toward the future.

Clocktower Fiction. Brian Callahan registered Clocktower Fiction in December 1996 on our behalf. At that point, we had already been publishing online since April 1996. Our active websites by then included Neon Blue Fiction (suspense) and The Haunted Village (SFFH). We decided we should broaden our imprint (omnibus) and chose the title Clocktower Fiction. We purposely did not use print-related terms like 'press' because of our vision about e-books as the future (which I still hold, with some place for print as a very likely gift, keepsake, or trinket market in the future). By about 2000, we were moving toward Clocktower Books to include nonfiction options. I made the mistake at the time, from inexperience, of letting the Clocktower Fiction dot com domain go; it has since come into possession of a predatory squatter creature who tried to extort thousands of dollars to sell it back to me. My final gesture in the price negotiations, right before he terminated, was the message $69 meaning the creature and his dog. I have since made Clocktower Fiction a folder on this site, and that is good enough for serious readers. At this point, squatters are about as obsolete as the foreign-owned NYC print publishing cartel from the 20th Century. We have to move into the future looking forward, not backward.