fictions present

Decollage of an Iconic Image


Even as the first biography of Kathy Acker appears, we have word of a newly assembled Acker archive in Cologne, under the curatorship of Daniel Schulz. The gist of which, could be to re-orient Acker’s personal relationships to “the politics inherent in Acker’s life.”

Of Myth and Madness: A Postmodern Fable


Ralph Clare reviews After Kathy Acker: A Literary Biography by Chris Kraus.  


Review of Making Literature Now by Amy Hungerford


Berry, who with ebr editor Joseph Tabbi initiated the Fictions Present thread (circa 2006), finds few intersections of that project with Hungerford’s celebrated Making Literature Now, not least because Hungerford shows little interest in the question of how her titular concept, when applied to commercial and cultural productions, indie and alt endeavors, “manages to mean what those trying to make literature are trying to make.” 


Illegal Literature: Toward a Disruptive Creativity


Dani Spinosa reviews David S. Roh’s Illegal Literature, a book about authorship, copyright, fair use and literary disruptions.


Review of Stewart O'Nan's West of Sunset


In this review of O’Nan’s West of Sunset, Messenger explores 20th Century American literary history as a kind of contemporary metafictional myth. Using Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald as characters composing the life of a literary icon against the emergence of “Hollywood,” O’Nan’s work is considered a bittersweet meditation on the death of an author and the hope that his work lives on.

The New, New, New Philology


In this review of Rethinking the New Medievalism, Matt Cohen ponders the significance of philology’s ongoing period of “reflection, […] refraction, and revisitation.” Against the backdrop of contemporary shifts in the humanities, more generally, Cohen sees opportunities for medievalists to intervene, bringing with them both clarity and innovation to fields in a state of fluctuation.

An Aesthetics of the Unsaid


Andrew Lindquist reviews Michael LeMahieu’s Fictions of Fact and Value, examining the influence of logical positivism on American literature of the postwar era.

“Persist in Folly”: Review of Mark Greif, The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-1973.


Afterthoughts on the end of the sixties, the death of the author, the rise of Theory and the fall of humanism.

The Primacy of the Object


In his review of Martin Paul Eve’s Pynchon and Philosophy: Wittgenstein, Foucault and Adorno, Julius Greve situates this new book on Pynchon within the upheavals produced by speculative realism and contemporary discourses on materialism. In doing so, Greve reminds us of what was always already the case: the literary-philosophical relevance of Pynchon, which turns out to be all the more inescapable in contemporary political climates.

Recounting Signatures: A Review of James McFarland’s Constellation


In reviewing James McFarland’s Constellation, Donald Cross reminds readers of the rich potential of scholarly discourse. Beyond mere citations and their absence, Cross traces across the bright stars of Nietzsche and Benjamin (and Derrida) relationships worthy of serious consideration. In an age of copy/paste citations, impact reports, and optimized academics, pondering the constellations offers an opportunity to rediscover the subtle intensity of tracing forms in the void.

The Last Novel


Originally publication: The Schofield, Issue 1.1 - David Markson & Solitude - Summer 2015 (page 13). Reprinted with permission.

Digital Revision


In this analytical, unabashedly philosophical engagement with Alex Galloway’s “sneakily-titled” Laruelle Against the Digital, Martin Eve sides with the skeptics for whom “Laruelle proves a better diagnostician of epistemic illness than he is prescriber of a cure.”

Love Will Tear Us Apart, Again: Tupitsyn Art Review


McKenzie Wark explores the work of Masha Tupitsyn as a pathway into the conditions of life in the 21st Century, somewhere above (or below) the framework of mediated experience, even beyond the limits of what we often call “theory.” With Tupitsyn, Wark troubles the current stasis of representation that stultifies thought in this age of unrepentantly industrialized culture, not by turning us away from the spectacle, but by smashing right through it, picking up its pieces, and discovering new things in the wreckage.

Undead Letters and Archaeologies of the Imagination: Review of Michael Joyce’s Foucault, in Winter, in the Linnaeus Garden


Ciccoricco acknowledges that Michael Joyce’s new novel (Foucault, in Winter, in the Linnaeus Garden), which gives a fictionalized account of Foucualt’s relationship to Jean Barraque, opens Joyce up to a broader range of criticisms, though Ciccoricco also argues that by focusing on a “productive and troubled time for Foucault,” Joyce ultimately offers a “compelling meditation on what we might call the nexus of madness, philosophy, and literature.”

An Interview with Steve Tomasula


Steve Tomasula discusses the development and context of his work (and TOC in particular), including relations to print and electronic literature, in this interview with Kiki Benzon.

The Importance of Being Earnest in Flatland


By working through the resemblances between Tomasula’s Vas: An Opera in Flatland (2004) and Edward Abbott’s much earlier Flatland (1884), Pham-Thanh establishes how Tomasula “orchestrates the downfall of the traditional hegemonic masculinity” that defined Abbott’s time.

A World in Numbers: A Review of Michael Joyce, Going the Distance


Joyce’s treatment of baseball in Going the Distance isn’t merely thematic, according to Punday, who believes that baseball (and its emphasis on numerical ordering) here represents the balance of the poetic and computational that defines Joyce’s electronic literature.

I Read Because it is Absurd


Vanwesenbeeck situates Mark Taylor’s recent Rewiring the Real, within a growing body of critical literature (which also includes John McClure’s Partial Faiths and Amy Hungerford’s Postmodern Belief) that regards religion as key to a robust account of postmodern culture—and for Taylor, in particular, as key to appreciating the novels of William Gaddis, Richard Powers, Mark Danielewski, and Don DeLillo

… without shame or concern for etymology: 11 September in Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge


In “…without shame or concern for etymology,” Hanjo Berressem discusses Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge in the context of post-9/11 fiction. In contrast to narratives of post-traumatic melancholy, Berressem argues that Bleeding Edge is a “Jeremiad about the fall and the sins of America.” The result is an essay that makes a powerful case for Pynchon as a prophetic, if brutal, witness to American society turning towards security and control in the shadow of tragedy.

Against an Aesthetics of Disappearance (review of Timothy Melley's The Covert Sphere)


According to Fabienne Collignon, Timothy Melley’s refusal to submit “clear vectors of resistance” to “so-called democratic states” in The Covert Sphere is far from a shortcoming of the work, and instead marks its distinct quality. The absence of clear political solution, Collignon contends, informs The Covert Sphere’s achievement as a call for a change of mind in a population who, wittingly or not, have “participated in, and continue to collaborate with, a system of pretended innocence and victimization.”

The Archeology of Representation: Steve Tomasula’s The Book of Portraiture


Shoba Ghosh contends that in The Book of Portraiture, Steve Tomasula’s exploration of how artists in specific historic moments narrativize uncertainty in the constitution of the subject illuminates the conceptual framework that produces a number of significant global dynamics. According to Ghosh, Tomasula demonstrates that the contemporary subject’s body has become “no more than an agglomeration of brands” that can be “fashioned in the image of desire,” though at the same time, “desire also seeks to deterritorialize itself.” For Ghosh, Tomasula’s aesthetic treatment of that subject-defining tension ultimately assists in “track[ing] the loop by which Empire and Terrorism, State and Extremism, America and its ‘other’ produce each other simultaneously.”

And the Last Shall Be the First


Ralph Clare sees the new essay collection on William Gaddis as engaging a growing reassessment of the novelist’s work. Taking up the task of moving the scholarship past the postmodern theories that framed and determined it for some time, Clare argues that ‘The Last of Something’ turns out to be the beginning of something more. Approaches in the collection range from new forms of biographical and contextual criticism, to theories of data storage and “bare life,” but the nuance and ambition of the scholarship re-asserts the relevance of Gaddis.

Of Pilgrims and Anarchists


Time to get anarchic! Ralph Clare’s review of A Corrupted Pilgrim’s Guide, the first scholarly take on Thomas Pynchon’s 2006 Against the Day, zooms in and illuminates the novel’s anarchist framework as the major claim and long-term contribution of the collection. The aesthetics and ethics of anarchism turn out to be not merely a theme in the novel’s setting - the late ninetieth to early twentieth-century - but the way it impinges on our current situation.

Revealing Noise: The Conspiracy of Presence in Alternate Reality Aesthetics


Adam Pilkey argues that the ARG Year Zero’s use of “revealing noise” allows and encourages the audience to help in the building of the narrative by becoming participants in a conspiracy theory within the ARG. Pilkey argues that “The Presence” found in the Nine Inch Nails album and corresponding ARG, Year Zero, symbolizes and denies a truth, which in turn provides a means that furthers the resources that constructs conspiracy theories in this alternate reality.

Review of Karin Hoepker's No Maps for These Territories: Cities, Spaces, and Archeologies of the Future in William Gibson


The good news in Alex Link’s review is that Karin Hoepker’s No Maps for These Territories begins the necessary work on spatiality in William Gibson’s first two trilogies. Still, much remains to be done. Link points the way to a critically productive analysis built on Hoepker’s opening moves.

A Video Interview with Steve Tomasula by Jhave


Steve Tomasula in Conversation with Jhave. Recorded at the Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada. 2012-02-21.

“You’ve never experienced a novel like this”: Time and Interaction when reading TOC


Steve Tomasula’s TOC is hard to explain, according to Alison Gibbons. You’re better off experiencing it in all its multimodal and multimedial complexity. Using human computer interaction and narrative theory, Gibbons shows that the emergent, singular, fractured temporality of reading TOC raises the bar for the new media book.

Flatland in VAS


Lila Marz Harper shows the many dimensions of intertextuality between Edwin Abbott’s Flatland and Steve Tomasula’s VAS. From typography to narratology, Tomasula’s “opera in flatland” follows Abbott, in a geometry of fiction that interrogates the biopolitics of today.

Tech-TOC: Complex Temporalities in Living and Technical Beings


Katherine Hayles uses Steve Tomasula’s multimodal TOC for a significant engagement with the temporal processuality of complex technical beings. Drawing on Bergon’s “duration” and its elaboration in recent theories of technicity and consciousness, Hayles explores the complex temporal enfoldings of living and technical beings, showing that Tomasula’s new media novel narrates and materially embodies such assemblages.

Languages of Fear in Steve Tomasula’s VAS, an Opera in Flatland


Is literature a medium for handling our fears? Anne-Laure Tissut argues that the polysemous multimedial procedures of Steve Tomasula’s VAS collapse body and text in a way that both amplifies and cushions fears of mortality, instability, and otherness.

Pierre Menard with a Pipette: VAS and the Body of Text


Like a text whose every rewriting is a reinterpretation, the body changes each time its “naturalness” is re-articulated anew. This is the spiraling history traced by Steve Tomasula’s VAS, which depicts the body, according to Alex Link, as “the place where cultural work is naturalized, and where the natural is worked.”

Looking for Writing after Postmodernism


House of Leaves may be on everyone’s shortlist of postmodern media-savvy novels, but are we ready for a retrospective collection of essays on Mark Z. Danielewski? According to Daniel Punday’s review, Joe Bray and Alison Gibbons’ collection says as much about the current state of (post) postmodernist writing as it does about Danielewski’s scant oeuvre.

The Latest Word


Can a corporate-dominated Web become an environment conducive to literary activity? The novelist, essayist, and cultural critic Curtis White is skeptical. Responding to criticisms of his account of the devolution of literary publishing and reflecting on the prevalence of market-driven values in online exchanges, White doubts whether literature can distinguish itself in the noisy new media ecology, which he likens to a high-tech prison house.

New Media: Its Utility and Liability for Literature and for Life


This formulation by Joseph Tabbi is being reprinted with permission from the University of Minnesota Press’s remixthebook. The original online version can be found here:…

"Is this for real? Is that a stupid question?": A Review of Dennis Cooper's The Sluts


Dennis Cooper’s disorienting novel, The Sluts, complicates reader expectations about subjectivity and identity. As a result, Megan Milks notes that it “is either the most honest or the most dishonest literature I have come across.”

Epic at the End of Empire


In The American Epic Novel, Gilbert Adair presents a “State-of-the-Empire address” that interrogates the epical form in a time where authors no longer talk of writing “The Great American Novel.” As Joseph Tabbi finds, such an exploration goes beyond expanding the canon and presents “a new, compelling context for ‘the literary’ itself.”

Due Diligence


Too much about too little, and too little about too much. Reviewing the new critical collection Against the Grain: Reading Pynchon’s Counternarratives, this critic finds evidence of overproduction in the “Pyndustry.”

A Review of Brian Lennon's In Babel's Shadow: Multilingual Literatures, Monolingual States


Literature joins the living dead. A critic illuminates Brian Lennon’s “scene” of literature today: both suspended and emergent in the world system.

How to Fail (at) Fiction and Influence Everybody: A Review of Penthouse-F by Richard Kalich


Richard Kalich’s latest protagonist is Richard Kalich, but one critic views this postmodern occupation of the novel as an opportunity - even an encouragement - to forget about him.

Late Light in the House of Sounds: Joseph McElroy's Night Soul and Other Stories


Gregg Biglieri offers some advice on reading McElroy: jettison one’s habitual grammars and adopt the grammars of time and timing. Become an expert in sound. Become all ear.

Hysteria and Democracy: Exfoliating Difference in Lynne Tillman's American Genius, A Comedy


Citing the narrator’s radical ambivalence about time, history, and the flesh, Maureen Curtin argues that American Genius, A Comedy represents the hysteria of the contemporary “post-political” moment.

How to Write the Present Without Irony: Immanent Critique in Lynne Tillman's American Genius, A Comedy


Contrasting Lynne Tillman’s text with the “complicitous critique” of Donald Barthelme and other postmodern ironists, Sue-Im Lee argues that Tillman’s narration displays the “mobility” of Adornian cultural criticism, in which contradiction is not a problem but a mode of interrogating the present.

Lynne Tillman and the Great American Novel


Most recent “Great American Novels” are not great, but merely big. Lynne Tillman’s American Genius, A Comedy, by contrast, is designed with scale, not size, in mind. So argues Kasia Boddy, who reads the novel as a critical engagement with book reviewers’ favorite cliché for ambitious social fiction. Instead of resisting cultural obsolescence through sheer assertion, Tillman’s book examines how the cracks and contradictions of American ideology have imprinted themselves on the individual body, bearer of the national disease: sensitivity.

Skin Deep: Lynne Tillman's American Genius, A Comedy


“Like skin, the comma both connects and divides.” Peter Nicholls traces Tillman’s endlessly subordinating, endlessly equivocating sentences, showing how their quest for historical and social clarity passes through an interminable sequence of deferral and denial.



How does one write science fiction when the atom bomb (and later 9/11) makes the future seem impossible to predict? Justin Roby reviews Paul Youngquist’s Cyberfiction: After the Future, which explores how postwar “cy-fi” critiqued life in the age of cybernetic control systems.

Going Up, Falling Down


Can the rising cost of cosmopolitan real estate have brought the New York City novel to a low point? Tom LeClair measures recent fictions from and about New York City - including three “9/11 novels” - against the Systems Novel of the mid-1970s.

Lydia Davis Interviews Lynne Tillman


Two innovative contemporary writers discuss the relationship between encyclopedic narrative and notions of gender and writing, the body as the physical embodiment of memory, and the unique syntax of Tillman’s American Genius, a Comedy. The novel’s prose depicts the way “thought, when you’re not thinking, happens.”

"Essential Reading": A Review of Daniel Punday's Five Strands of Fictionality


Anthony Warde traces Daniel Punday’s analysis of the intertwining strands of contemporary “fictionality,” the different modes - from “myth” to “assemblage” - by which invented stories are legitimated. Punday’s work implies that the active construction of ‘life-fictions’ is becoming more significant in contemporary technoculture, a view that runs counter to the more pessimistic view of agency in Baudrillard’s Simulacrum America and other accounts of a wholly ‘virtual’ reality.

David Shields' Reality Hunger: A Manifesto: A Review in the Form of a Memoir


David Shields is hungry, but not hungry enough. So says Curtis White, who argues that by ignoring anti-realism’s past and present, Shields writes as if “New York” and “now” are the only contexts that matter.

Cognition Against Narrative: Six Essays on Contemporary Cognitive Fiction


In his introduction to the Cognitive Fictions cluster, Joseph Tabbi suggests that reflexive, non-narrative literature plays a critical role in the new media ecology. Postmodernist writing by Joseph McElroy and Italo Calvino, the posthumanist thought of Cary Wolfe, and the emerging forms of electronic literature each occupy a position between narrative modes of consciousness and “object-oriented” computer and cognitive science.

Phantasmal Fictions


D. Fox Harrell considers how a media theory of the “phantasmal” - mental image and ideological construction - can be used to cover gaps within electronic literary practice and criticism. His perspective is shaped by cognitive semantics and the approach to meaning-making known as “conceptual blending theory.”

Fictions of the Visual Cortex


Stephen Burn connects Don DeLillo’s fifteenth novel, Point Omega, with the author’s long-running investigation into the structures of the mind. Using an elusive narrative architecture, images from a slowed-down film, and moments of second- and third-order observation, the novel dramatizes the mind’s pre-conscious fiction-making processes.

Liquid Ontology


In this review-essay, James J. Pulizzi reads Joseph McElroy’s 1977 novel, Plus,
as a Bildungsroman for the posthuman: instead of tracing the development of a subject, the novel traces the development of processes that call the very idea of a subject into question. As a human brain adjusts to its new housing in an experimental satellite, the text unfolds in a series of re-entries and re-mappings, an unfolding that necessarily implicates the reader.

Water on Us


Excerpted from a forthcoming nonfiction book on water, Joseph McElroy’s essay ponders (among other questions) the relationship between the physical waters of the world and brain and the phenomenal waters of the mind. “I meant to ask, ‘What has water to say on the subject of us?” - i.e., on its own without prompting? Dumb question, it tells me.”

The Binding Problem


Minds bind - make coherent meaning from distributed processes - and narratives do, too.
The means by which they do so remains a mystery, however. Kiki Benzon suggests that this mystery is at the heart of Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves, a text whose layered structure, typographical blending, and central metaphor - a house much bigger than the sum of its parts - enact the problem of binding on multiple levels.

Tillman's Turbulent Thinking


Eric Dean Rasmussen explores Lynne Tillman’s “cognitive aesthetic,” suggesting that her work is powered by the generative disconnect between asignifying affect and signifying emotion. He argues that her 1998 novel, No Lease on Life, examines the role of affectively sustained universal values in responding politically to the neoliberal city.

Gaming the System


In the wake of massive shifts in the function and purview of the University in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, Brian Lennon considers two recent texts on the system of higher educational institutions and the academic practices that supports it.

Review of A Companion to Digital Literary Studies


Scott Hermanson considers the Companion’s success in negotiating its own position between digital literature and print media.

Tom LeClair's Passing Trilogy: Recovering Adventure in the Age of Post-Genre


Surveying the decline of adventure as a culturally relevant theme, Steffen Hantke argues that Tom LeClair’s Passing Trilogy finds new ways of revalidating adventure for a millennial world of bourgeois security and moderation.

Senseless Resistances: Feeling the Friction in Fiction


Eric Dean Rasmussen introduces a gathering of twelve essays on literary resistances that imagine how a materially engaged and affectively attuned literary culture might play a more transformative role in the emergent network society.

Intensifying Affect


Marco Abel reads recent affect theory and suggests, via discussions of fiction by Don DeLillo, Brian Evenson, and Cormac McCarthy, how literature can cultivate the reader’s receptivity to these pre-subjective bodily forces.

A Language of the Ordinary, or the eLEET?


Dave Ciccoricco reviews Michael Joyce’s novel of network culture, Was.
Seeing an inversion of Russian formalism in Joyce’s work, Ciccoricco explores how Joyce’s novel attempts to “reconcile the polylinguistic, stylistic, and ludic difficulty” of the text with an “affinity for the

Brain Drain Against the Grain: A Report on the International Pynchon Week 2008


Bruno Arich-Gerz reports from Munich on International Pynchon Week, 2008. Finding a retreat to traditional reading strategies, Arich-Gerz wonders whether we have lost more than we gained in the turn against theory.

The Novel at the Center of the World


John Limon surveys the boundaries of the global novel in this review of John Newman’s The Fountain at the Center of the World and Naomi Klein’s Fences and Windows. Limon traces the trajectory of plot, character, and argument in the genre, as he reads “perhaps the first great global novel.”

Postmodernism Redux


Stephen Schryer contrasts narratological and postsecular readings of postmodernism in a review of Gerhard Hoffmann’s vast study, From Modernsism to Postmodernism (2005), and John McClure’s narrower but more pointed exploration, Partial Faiths (2007).

Paranoid Modernity and the Diagnostics of Cultural Theory


A review of John Farrell’s magnificent Paranoia and Modernity: Cervantes to Rousseau, in light of contemporary literary criticism: Where Brian McHale declares an end to postmodernism, and where many discount paranoia as a passing literary interest, reviewer Tim Melley sees postmodern paranoia everywhere. As long as corporations are regarded by law as ‘individuals’ and conspiracy is the preferred way of understanding political and social systems, it seems that we’ll remain in the longue duree of the postmodern moment.

Devoted to Fake


Brian Willems reads a number of fictional and critical texts, from ebr essays to William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition, to argue that they all point toward the dissolution of the borders among humans, animals, and machines.

Middle Spaces: Media and the Ethics of Infinitely Demanding


Simon Critchley’s study of ethics has been prominently reviewed by literary and cultural theorists, though most treatments accept the premise that ethical relations are primarily among people, that ethics depends mainly on intersubjective relations. This review by Daniel Punday resituates “Infinitely Demanding” in a networked context, one that is constructed by “media, by global flows, and by the larger network swarms which themselves take on an identity.” For Punday, an ethics for our time is best found, not by the study of identities and localities, but rather by authors of contemporary fiction such as Jonathan Letham, Susan Daitch, Ishmael Reed, and Toni Cade Bambara.

Utopia's Doubles


Nichoas Spencer argues for the importance of “anarchistic and spatial factors” in twentieth-century utopian thought despite the resistance to them in the Marxist texts under review by Brown, DeKoven, Jameson, and Puchner.

Home: A Conversation with Richard Powers and Tom LeClair


Scott Hermanson presents a dialogue he conducted with novelists Richard Powers and Tom LeClair, at the University of Cincinnati in 2005. Moderated by Hermanson, the novelists discuss the intricacies of writing about nature, the role of history in the novel, and their fictions’ use of imitative form.

Parasitic Fiction


Stephen Burn considers Tom LeClair’s recent novel through the lens of the latter’s own critical work on postmodern fiction, while also excavating the novel’s relation to Faulkner’s tale of racial empire building, Absalom, Absalom!

Electronic Media, Identity Politics, and the Rhetoric of Obsolescence


Anthony Enns questions Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s link between an anxiety about the displacement of male privilige and the fear of new media technology in postmodern fiction.

Nothing Lasts


In “Nothing Lasts,” Stephen Schryer considers Tom LeClair’s Passing On and The Liquidators as paired novels, one immersing the reader in the maelstrom of the social and economic systems that shape contemporary life, the other shielding the reader from those systems. Unlike the massive novels from the seventies that fascinated LeClair the critic, Schryer finds the novelist a “literary miniaturist,” seeking “concise synecdoches for the larger systems” his books evoke.

"A realm forever beyond reach": William Vollmann's Expelled from Eden and Poor People


Jeff Bursey argues for a coherent, if unlikely, set of predecessors for William T. Vollmann: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Blaise Cendrars, and John Cowper Powys. In the process of tracing this genealogy, Bursey defends Vollmann against critics who attack his alleged objectification of his subjects - prostitutes, the poor, and victims of violence.

Black Postmodernism


Amy J. Elias reviews Madhu Dubey’s second book Signs and Cities: Black Literary Postmodernism and gauges the argument that we can locate within literary history a distinctive African American strain of postmodernism.

What Was Postmodernism?


Brian McHale looks back on the movement in “What Was Postmodernism?” He contrasts postmodernism’s canonization with critical constructions of modernism, and moves through contemporary painting to reflect on intersections between the violence of recent history and postmodernism, as the postwar world lived “in the ruins of our own civilization, if only in our imaginations.”

Plagiarism, Creativity, and the Communal Politics of Renewal


As Christian Moraru argues here that the new is still the objective in contemporary writing. But writers and artists make it by making it anew rather than new (“Get it used,” Andrei Codrescu invites us), a new not so much novel as renovated, reframed and reproduced rather than produced, which by the same token redefines and advertises authorship as deliberate plagiarism.



Rob Swigart’s “Seeking” is a clever and funny story whose roots lie in the materialization of internet interdating connections. Moving through the technological and media reductions of desire, Swigart parallels the overarching theme of “seeking” with a form that is itself punctuated with questions.

Geek Love Is All You Need


Steven Shaviro reviews Shelley Jackson’s Half Life, the first print-based novel by a pioneering hypertextualist.

Fictions Present


Joseph Tabbi introduces the thread and gathers prior essays by fiction writers on fiction writing.

Long Talking Bad Conditions Illinois Blues: A Report on &Now, A Festival of Innovative Writing and Art


Ted Pelton writes an in-depth account not just of the &Now Conference at Lake Forest College but of the state of experimental writers and small press publishing.



“Dispersion” is a short-story by Rob Swigart.

Life Sentences for the New America


Tim Keane reviews David Matlin’s Prisons: Inside the New America.

The Eternal Hourglass of Existence


Sascha Pöhlmann reviews Lance Olsen’s 2006 novel Nietzsche’s Kisses.