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Dylan Lederle-Ensign

Graduate Student at UC Santa Cruz. Studying games, software and ultimate frisbee

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I enjoyed reading The Raw Shark Texts immensely, and went into the official forums searching for more. These forums are less active than the House of Leaves forums, and seem a little less intimidating to a newby. The first thing I learned about was the existence of “Negatives”, additional texts by Steven Hall that expand on the story. Supposedly each chapter of the original book has a corresponding Negative, of varying length. ~

The first one can be found here in a section of the official forums devoted to cataloging all known Negatives. It is a 16 page pdf that is the prologue of the original text. Titled “The Aquarium Fragment” it describes the first Eric Sanderson’s first encounter with the Ludovician. The existence of fragments other than the “Lightbulb fragment” was alluded to in the text, but they were thought to have been destroyed.

Well, the Aquarium Fragment offers up few resolutions, but does provide a little context for the first Eric Sanderson’s mental state. This text shows that it was not accidental, doccumenting the insane lengths he went to in order to feed himself to the Ludovician. It raises up some questions of this Eric Sanderson’s relationship with the Unspace Exploration Committee that I hope additional negatives might answer.

The last page is the most intriguing of all. It features the conceptual fish that is on the book’s website and two lines of text:

The Ludovician, into my life in every way possible.

˙ǝןqıssod ʎɐʍ ʎɹǝʌǝ uı uɐıɔıʌopnן ǝɥʇ oʇuı ‘ǝɟıן ʎɯ

It emphasizes the symbiotic nature of Eric Sanderson’s original relationship with the Ludovician. He had something he wanted from it, even if things didn’t turn out the way he wanted them to.