dreamlives of debris
dzanc, 2017

The Minotaur in this retelling of the myth is not a monster with a man's head & bull's body, but a little deformed girl—she calls herself Debris—hidden away from public view beneath Knossos. A kind of living instrument through which sound & time travel, Debris possesses the ability to hear the fthoughts & see the memories, desires, & futures of others throughout history as she roams her labyrinth without center or perimeter.

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there's no place like time
&Now Books, 2016

There's No Place Like Time is a catalogue for an actual traveling multimodal retrospective (so far shown in Germany, France, & around the U.S.) dedicated to the career of a video artist, Alana Olsen, who never existed, & curated by her equally non-existent daughter, Aila.

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theories of forgetting
fc2, 2014

The story of a filmmaker struggling to complete a documentary about Robert Smithson's earthwork, The Spiral Jetty. The story of her husband & his slow disappearance in Jordan. The story in the marginalia added to his section by his daughter. All housed in a spiral structure & ultimately about the impossibility of remembering, the impossibility of forgetting.

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theories of forgetting by lance olsen

calendar of regrets
fc2, 2010

Calendar of Regrets. 12 intersecting stories. 12 historical moments. 12 styles. 12 genres. A narrative about narrativity, about how we tell ourselves & our world again and again in an attempt to make sense of it, & fail every time.

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head in flames
chiasmus, 2009

Head in Flames is a collage novel exploring two intersecting narratives about the nature of art: Vincent van Gogh's suicide in Auvers in 1890 & filmmaker Theo's murder in Amsterdam in 2004 at the hands of Mohammed Bouyeri.

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anxious pleasures
shoemaker & hoard, 2007

"A cerebral treat." —Publishers Weekly

"Highly recommended." —Library Journal

"What a wonderfully and intellectually satisfying novel this is!" —Samuel R. Delany

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nietzsche's kisses
fc2, 2006

"A brilliant book and a book of brilliances, one which follows the logic of the disintegration of a great mind with poetic grace, profound comedy, and a sense of tragic inevitability." —Michael Joyce

"[A] beautiful novel." —Steven Shaviro

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chiasmus, 2005

What goes through the heads of a few dozen people, one cat, one mouse, & several ghosts one winter midafternoon in a movie theater in the Mall of America ten minutes and one second before the feature begins.

"A fine, penetrating novel." —Alvin Greenberg

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girl imagined by chance
fc2, 2002

A critifiction about a couple who in an unguarded moment create a make-believe daughter (and a make-believe life to accompany her) in order to appease their friends, family, and the culture of reproduction.

"Smart and moving and elegant." —Shelley Jackson

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wordcraft, 2000

"A treat for anyone interested in the place of the human will in a society that seeks at every turn to remove and commodify our memories and selves, turning us all into isolated units locked inside a building, dreaming dreams that were, and never will be, truly ours." —American Book Review

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time famine
permeable, 1996

"Relentless, savage, hysterically funny. . . . With his amped-up language and massive powers of invention, Olsen succeeds in tattooing his future on your hide." —Paul Di Filippo, Asimov's

Science Fiction Chronicle: one of the best of 1996.

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wordcraft, 1996

"A wonderfully funny, definitely unusual SF novel. . . . Witty prose, outrageous situations, a healthy sense of the absurd and genuinely entertaining writing prevail in this unique look into one of the less obvious side alleys of speculative fiction." —Don D'Ammassa, Science Fiction Chronicle

"A funny cautionary tale." —Publishers Weekly

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tonguing the zeitgeist
permeable, 1994

"Brilliant black comedy." —Booklist

"The ultimate rock'n'roll novel." —Brian Stableford, Interzone

finalist for philip k. dick award

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live from earth
available/ballantine, 1991

"This story is an outstanding portrait of human interaction on an emotional and visceral level. It is often absurd, sometimes disturbing, and wholly engrossing . . . . [An] excellent piece of contemporary fiction." —Booklist

"Radiant." —Lexington Herald-Leader

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