The Lurker Files was a web-serial running between 1996 and 1997. In Wintervale University, the mysterious "Lurker"'s power is the anonymity and malleability of online activity - he assumes others' identities in chat rooms; entraps and blackmails students to do his bidding; and in general, brings to life a variety of dangers to the brave new world that was The World Wide Web of the '90s.

The series was originally written by Scott Ciencin for four books (Faceless, No Fear, Nemesis, and Incarnate). The first three of these were also printed and sold by Random House.

At the time, readers were urged to try and figure out the Lurker's true identity. In the last chapter written by Ciencin, we get:

The Lurker hesitated for a long moment--then removed the Dethboy mask.

Gia couldn't believe what she was seeing. She stared long and hard into the Lurker's face.

"Now you know," the Lurker said.

-- but the reader does not get to learn the Lurker's identity.

From this point, the series was continued by Marc Cerasini (Apparition, Triad, Clandestine). The books got kind of wonky under Cerasini, veering from web-focused thriller/mystery into SF/F.

From October 1997 to January 1998, readers were exhorted to "Get ready for the Lurker Files finale!". However, the finale never came, and the Lurker's identity was never revealed.

What happened to the Lurker Files? Why was the series never concluded, and the Lurker's identity never revealed? Did something happen behind the scenes -- perhaps relating to the switchover between Ciencin and Cerasini?

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