Graham A. Nelson (born 1968) is a British mathematician and poet and the creator of the Inform design system for creating interactive fiction (IF) games. He has also authored several IF games, including the acclaimed Curses (1993) and Jigsaw (1995), using the experience of writing Curses in particular to expand the range of verbs that Inform is capable of understanding. He has been described by The New York Times as "ornately literate."
Nelson is the author of the Inform Designer's Manual, which includes one of the first published works of interactive fiction theory, an essay titled "The Craft of Adventure". He has also written several important essays on interactive fiction in the field. He is one of a very small number of individuals (such as Andrew Plotkin) who are celebrated both for their creative and their technical contributions to the homebrew IF scene.
Nelson studied at Selwyn College, Cambridge and Magdalen College, Oxford, before becoming a fellow in pure mathematics at St Anne's College, Oxford. He co-edited Oxford Poetry and in 1997 received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors for his poetry. As of 2004[update] he was managing editor of Legenda, the imprint of the Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA).
- Curses (1993, Z-code)
- Deja Vu (1993, Z-code)
- Balances (1994, Z-code)
- Jigsaw (1995, Z-code)
- The Meteor, The Stone, And A Long Glass Of Sherbet (as "Angela M. Horns", 1996, Z-code), for IF Comp 1996 (1st place). Was a finalist for Best Individual Puzzle, Best Puzzles, Best Writing, and Best Game at the XYZZY Awards 1996
- The Tempest (1997, Z-code), for IF Comp 1997 (25th place). Winner of Best Use of Medium at the XYZZY Awards 1997.
- Time and Dwarves (1998, Inform source code). Demo code for Inform programmers.
- The Reliques of Tolti-Aph (2006, Z-code)
- (1995) "The Craft of the Adventure" (2nd ed)
- (1997) Singularities, with Polly Clark and Tim Kendall. Oxford: Hubble Press. ISBN 0-9531989-0-1. Anthology of poetry
- (2001) Inform Designers Manual (4th ed), with Gareth Rees. Placet Solutions, ISBN 0-9713119-0-0
- Rothstein, Edward (1998-04-06). "TECHNOLOGY: CONNECTIONS; In the intricacy of a text game, no object is superfluous, no formulation too strange.". New York Times. The New York Times Company. Archived from the original on 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2008-11-13.
- Eric Gregory Trust Fund Awards (winners), Society of Authors. Accessed 2007-04-19.
- "New Partners for Oxford University's Legenda Imprint", 2004-10-21. Modern Humanities Research Association. Accessed 2007-04-19
- Homepage of Graham Nelson
- The Inform homepage
- Graham Nelson's entry in Baf's Guide to IF archive
- Nelson's Index to Oxford Poetry
- IFWiki's page for Graham Nelson