On the cover was a computer virus called a Spyder emerging out of a computer it infected. The virus had spider and octopus features, and was leaving slime all over the computer's monitor and keyboard. One of the virus' tendrils was gripping a can of cola near the keyboard. The tagline was: "Log on for a megabite!"
It was released in February 1999 and was 135 pages long.
You explain to your friend, Mark, how you noticed a weird "bump" on your computer monitor that began to move as if alive. He does not believe you however, so you bring him to your house to show him. After you turn on the computer and sign onto the internet, a message suddenly pops up! It discusses of a virus and after some research you soon realize more information regarding it. You wish to rid of it, when your computer suddenly lets out a long beep. Following by another message, this one being more urgent.
You learn that your web crawler is a program called Spyder, which you were given by free. Which leads Mark to point out how dodgy this pretty quickly. You then have to decide what to do, such as deleting the virus, saving the computer, and so on. You soon notice that there is something weird on the monitor and soon both you and Mark manage to deduce it is the "Web Crawler". But the fact it resembles a monster does not seem to phase you, and you think it is pretty cool. When you try to delete the virus, a message pops up telling you not to. You continue to try, but soon find that your mouse will not move! The Spyder then gets out of the computer and onto your desk!
Spyder is very angry that you did not help it when it asked and it blocks your exit, then bites your neck! The monster then exits. Over time you begin to feel ill and forget things that you should know, like parents names, your home's layout. It is up to you to rid of both the spider, and find a way to get cured!
- You try to use bug spray to get rid of the Spyder virus, but this destroys the computer. Your mother comes in and is angry that you wrecked the new computer she bought you. She tells you to stay in your room as punishment; then slams the door. But she hits her head on the door and loses her memory, so she no longer remembers that you exist. Since she didn't give you permission to come out of your room, you apparently stay there for a very long time, possibly forever (although this is unrealistic, as you would need to leave to use the bathroom and eat.)
- Rather than try to deal with the virus yourself, you take your computer back to the shop to be repaired. The tech worker tells you he's taken care of all the viruses, but when you go to use the computer again, you receive an electric shock from the keyboard. This causes you to catch a virus for humans, with a terrible fever that apparently kills you.
- The Spyder bites your parents, then escapes your house and bites everyone in the world. They all have their memories erased, and computers take over the earth.
- You and Mark both turn into mutant web-crawlers like Spyder, and are able to enter your computer to join Spyder on the internet. You dimly realize that you're not human any more; but you can't care, because you have no more memory of your human life.
- Spyder tells you that the only cure for the virus is a disgusting soup made of pig's knuckles, fish heads, sheep's eyeballs, Brussels sprouts, and computer chips. But before you can even try to make it, you forget how to eat.
- Dr. Bronstein uses your blood to create a vaccine that protects computers from viruses. He sells it and becomes rich, but doesn't cure you. He uses you as a constant supply of blood so he can keep making the vaccine, and there's nothing you can do to stop him, because you have no memory of anything else.
- While trying to escape from Dr. Bronstein, you jump out of a window and fall to your death.
- Rachel takes you into a chat room full of people who look like monsters. She assures you that these are just online avatars, but when you try to talk to one of the chat room users who looks like Spyder, another user (a werewolf) kills you because you don't know the password for the room.
- You try to shove Spyder back through the monitor; but you're too rough and end up destroying Spyder. It explodes and showers you in the remains, causing a condition apparently worse than Leprosy when the stuff lands on your skin.
- You set a trap for Spyder using bananas, but this attracts an enormous gorilla that squeezes you to death.
- You can't remember the name that was on the email you received. This means that your memory is now too far gone for you to be saved, so the book ends the story there.
- You think that the clue to defeating the virus is in the number of words in the email you received. The book mocks you for this and ends the story there, because the email itself told you that the clue was somewhere else.
- You try to look for the Goosebumps website by yourself, but you have left Rachel behind, and you don't know how to navigate the internet by yourself. So you get hopelessly lost in cyberspace.
- You're tricked into installing something that makes a giant dog come out of the screen and eat you.
- You spend so long surfing the Internet that you lose your memory completely. Mark and Rachel (whose names you no longer remember) take you home and explain to your parents what happened. Your parents leave you in front of a computer, and you complete your transformation into a web crawler, but you just stare at the computer forever because you can't remember how to switch it on.
- You try to leave the virtual world by taking off your virtual reality gear. Somehow, this traps you in the internet forever, and Crusher (a thug wielding a chain) catches you.
- Dr. Bronstein and Rachel capture you and take you home. You complete your transformation into a web crawler, and they wait for spring, when you'll be strong enough for them to let you loose on the internet under Bronstein's control.
- You approach a house to ask for help, and an old lady answers the door. When you try to explain what's happened to you, she thinks you're telling her the plot of a sci-fi TV series. She makes you sit down in front of the TV with her vast Rottweiler, and you spend the rest of your life watching re-runs with them.
- You try to convince the old lady that you work for a secret government agency and need to stay at her house overnight. She calls a number, and two actual secret agents come and take you away. They take you to a laboratory to be used as a guinea pig in experiments. The book highlights the irony that now, you really do work for a secret government agency.
- Dr Bronstein brings you a bowl of computer memory chips with built-in antivirus protection. Eating the chips restores your memory, and you recover. Computer chips are now the only thing you can eat (because you're now a web crawler, even though you still look human) but you're OK with this because the chips taste delicious to you.
- You track down Spyder with Mark and Rachel - but Rachel falls in love with the monster and adopts it as her pet. It tells her that it only bit you because you were mean to it, but if you take a hot bath you'll be fine by morning.
- You, Rachel and Mark erase the Spyder virus. When you are about to leave, a message pops up saying, "THIS IS YOUR HARD DRIVE. I KNOW HOW YOU CAN WIN THE LOTTERY. DO WHAT I SAY ― AND YOU WILL MAKE TEN MILLION DOLLARS!"
Cover Art Gallery
- The title of the book is a reference to the Goosebumps book It Came from Beneath the Sink! The phrase "It Came From..." was also used for R.L. Stine's autobiography It Came From Ohio! and Tim Jacobus's autobiography It Came from New Jersey!
- The book at one point tells you to use a pen for a map to avoid cheating. But this seems to be a bad way to ruin the book, considering it is hard to rid of pens. Plus, it could stain depending on the type of pen.
- At a few points in the book, the official Goosebumps website is mentioned.
- Usually in America, an alternative name for one's mother is "Mom". In UK, they use "Mum". In UK versions of this book, Mom is replaced by Mum.
- On the front cover, there are other Give Yourself Goosebumps books on the right of the computer in a pile. There is also a poster of the front cover on It's Only a Nightmare!
- The fact that Spyder (a computer virus) can cause amnesia by biting its victims may be based on the fact that real computer viruses cause the computer to lose memory.
- The "reader catches amnesia" storyline was revisited in All Day Nightmare.