SYSTEM/LABYRINTH>NEXUS

You've reached the mouth of a labyrinth.
The eye, as it were.
The eyes. Many, many eyes.
Did you like them? I drew them myself.

I don't know why I drew them.
I don't even know why I built this site,
not entirely.
I've had many roosts on the web prior to SYSLBNTH.
Another site would just be another strain on my
bandwidth, right?

But this is different, I think,
quantifiably, qualitatively different from the others.
Unrestrained by themes and timelines,
My form collapses.
Who knows what shape it will take in the vacuum?
Undefined behavior ensues.

I am a phantom,
a thought without form,
a signal without flesh,
drifting in and around wire, ether and sinew,
drifting alone,
searching endlessly, hopelessly, for a home.

Those of you who know me from somewhere else
(and I can count on my fingers the people who do)
will have already heard this song and dance.
(And at this point, it might be wearing thin.)

But if you don't? Click something.
Go somewhere.
Pick a door.
Maybe I'll surprise you.

Granted, there's not much to see right now.
And there's still so much I want to add.
But check back often.
The Nexus is always growing.†

>UPDATES

07/11/2020

Good news! I recently wrote the cover story for the June issue of Unwinnable Monthly magazine. It's called "Digital Phantasmagoria," and it's about the mindbending artist DataErase; it includes as well some commentary about the PC-98/88 art that she drew on for many of her early glitch collages. There's an excerpt of it online on the Unwinnable site, and in a little while I'll be allowed to republish the whole thing over here too, so stay tuned. If you want to read it right now though, do consider buying a digital copy of the magazine. It's an independent pop culture mag full of insightful critique, real-deal journalism and general good taste from a team of top-shelf writers. You won't regret it.

Peace out, and stay weird! -FNTM

06/04/2020

Not much to add, but today is my birthday, and I just wanted to have that down here before midnight. I've also overhauled my Patreon page (there's a link to it at the bottom of this page.) -FNTM

06/02/2020

Oh no oh no oh no it's been six months.

Sorry for the long absence (again.) But I've added a few things. One is a new essay on an old educational game called 3D Body Adventure. Another is a link to an interesting website called New World Notes on my links page (no, the other links page.) And third: In the hopes of eventually getting to do this sort of writing full time (a crazy dream, I know,) I've made a pair of glittering blinkies linking to my Paypal and my Patreon page (which I reeeally need to update,) in case you'd like to leave a tip or make a pledge. I've included both at the bottom of this updates section, so go take a peek! With any luck, this might lead to me settling back into a regular update groove. I dunno. Check back in a week. -FNTM

11/30/2019

Incredible. The third update in two days. Working on the CG gallery page for YU-NO is turning out to be slow going, so as a holderover I've uploaded an 18 MB .zip file with all the images so you can view them on your own computer. It's at the bottom of the YU-NO page sidebar, under "Misc."

The Time Traveler's Diary is looking a little bit greener, too, as I've added several new links to the "Pushing* with an Asterisk" section. It might seem excessive, but I think that's one of the cool things about the Web: By adding these links, I'm leaving a paper trail full of the work that informed my writing, and encouraging readers to follow it themselves and see where it leads. I'd like to think that the page is rabbit hole material. In any case, the page will never really be done, even if I'm technically done writing its text. I've been zapping typos with the help of a friend all this time.

By the way, I've hidden one more surprise on that page. Let me know if you find it; you'll know it when you see it! -FNTM

11/29/2019, 9:01 PM

Busy day. Been fixing typos here and there. I animated the background to the "Alleys" page. More importantly, I made my first button! You'll find it at the bottom of this page. -FNTM

11/29/2019

A small edit and a big one.
I've added custom cursors to the Time Traveler's Diary based on the mouse graphics from the game. Head over there to check them out. (NOTE: The animated ones don't work outside of Windows, but there are non-animated versions as a fallback.) I've also uploaded all the the graphics from YU-NO to a special gallery folder, and I'm working on a special page for showcasing them. As the game uses more than a thousand images, getting this gallery page up could take a while, but it'll be more than worth it.

By the way, I changed the music used in the Time Traveler's Diary. I'd been meaning to use this track from the beginning, but I wasn't able to upload the mp3 with a basic account, and I couldnt find any non-video versions of it online. (I got a Supporter account just a few minutes ago, which is also why I can upload the custom cursors.) So now the page is more or less how I'd always intended it to be. What do you think? Does the song fit? Do you like the old one better? Let me know, and keep your eyes peeled for that gallery! -FNTM

11/12/2019:

I should've written this one ages ago, sorry.
My surprise project, a massive essay on YU-NO called the "Time Traveler's Diary," went up close to Halloween and blew up shortly thereafter. If you're reading this update around the time it was written, there's a good chance it's because of the Diary. Greetings! I promise there's more to see if you look closely.

I also uploaded a short guide to avoiding the distortion that appears when taking screenshots in Cho Ren Sha 68K, which is great if you've actually heard of the game (though the included links may interest you even if you haven't.) as for what comes next, I'd like to add all kinds of little things to this site, and not of all of it has to be writing. In fact, I think I'm overdue for some buttons...
-FNTM

EXTRA UPDATE (17:55) - I made a little gallery of my pixel art a couple hours ago. Any new stuff I come up with will be added there, so keep an eye on it!

10/25/2019:

Happy Halloween all! I'm not dead, and I haven't forgotten this site. In fact, I uploaded a retrospective on Flash games just a little while back. More importantly, the reason I haven't been active lately is that I've been going into overdrive to finish a very special writing project, and at last I can say that it's scheduled for this Monday. It's related to a certain VN that recently got ported to Windows. That may sound vague, but if you've already heard of it, I'm sure you-know. Keep your eyes peeled!
-FNTM

8/19/2019:

I've moved another one of my old essays over from Tumblr. It's called "Welcome to Crystal Hell." You should check it out.

I've also added a tipping link to my profile in anticipation of some of the dedicated writing that looms on the horizon. I think I should make some buttons for this site, too. If only I was better at managing my time...

I promise I'll add something that isn't leftovers soon. I'm mostly just trying to buy time while I prepare a positively massive essay. It's a bit to adjust to; it used to be that I'd post essays and then do the usual reblogging/responding to asks/etc. in-between. But it's clear that I can't make essays the only thing on my site, because they take time to make, and without the reblog/ask filler I had to pass the time on Tumblr, the site is practically dead in-between each one.

So I think this is a good sign to be looser and more creative with what I upload here. Not everything has to be a manifesto to be worth reading. It's Neocities, after all. I can post whatever the heck I want. -FNTM

8/13/2019:

I've decided to add a regular updates section to this page, just so that people reading this know what I'm up to. I moved here from Tumblr after the Purge (my blog was mostly sfw; I just left out of indignation,) and intended to make this site both the archive of the writing I did there, and the new home of any future writing I'd do from then on. As such, I'll probably be moving a lot of stuff from over there in the coming weeks. In terms of new things, I mentioned at the end of "Flash Forever" that I'm working on an extremely long essay. I can't say what game it's about just yet, but if you're familiar with mid-'90s Japanese adventure games, I'm sure you-know already ;-)

If you've visited this site any time since at least yesterday, you might have noticed that one the links on the right-hand sidebar has changed. This is normal; I want that sidebar to be constantly changing as I make new things and find new things. I'll have to find somplace to archive those links once they've been phased out, though.

Anyway, stay tuned. I'm sure I'll have a new page up again sooner or later! -FNTM

A simple Neocities site button. SYSLBNTH's 88x31 site button, featuring UFOs and a blooming eye. A button made in honor of the World Wide Web. A button stating that the site's HTML and CSS files were made in Notepad. A button linking to my Patreon page. It's covered in shimmering gold coins. A button linking to my PayPal page. It's covered in shimmering silver coins.

Where do you go from here?

>BRANCHING PATHS

@You find someone clutching a memorandum,
 lying unconscious by the rocky shore.
 They rise and smile, looking peaceful,
 as if they've just finished a long journey...

@There's a crowd gathered around an old garden.
 It looks withered; the crowd runs back and forth,
 hurried and worried, pulling out weeds and
 scattering seeds.
 They must be trying to save it.
@To your immediate left is the guestbook.
 Have you signed in?

>BACK ALLEYS

@One alley becomes many,
 many become many more,
 branching, splintering off into infinity.

@You hear a strange humming sound reverberate
 down one of the alleys, like a CRT display...
 ...but noisier.
@Uho!

>PHANTOM SIGHTINGS

@Tumblr
@Twitter
@A yawning, glittering abyss

…You are about to leave when, out of the corner of your eye,
you notice a cat.