Spanning the years 1987-2001, from just before the rise of the internet to just before 9/11, Remedia: A Picaresque engages readers in an unruly spiritual odyssey. Remedia's hero, a postmodern-day picaro, joins a quirkily connected and diverse band of characters traveling together and separately via multiple planes in time on a spiritual quest.

Its narrator's peregrinations take him to France, Ireland, San Francisco, and the Utah desert before he makes a phantasmagoric first foray through one of the portals. Thereafter Remedia's exploration of late 20th century media culture prophetically transforms into a transgressive and tragicomic apocalypse taking the traveler to distant deserts and islands, both actual and spiritual

 

Poetry. Religion & Spirituality. The dictionary definition of "hagiography" is a biography of a saint, but though some saints turn up here, Michael Joyce's A HAGIOGRAPHY OF HEAVEN AND VICINITY is more a travelogue through a unique poetic landscape where the spiritual and secular intertwine, "salvation and damnation mixed," in a heady brew of cultural highbrow and pop, of past and present, the imagined and real. The book both begins and ends with images of "an ordinary place upon this earth," one the "placeless place" of a shopping mall (where Saul of Tarsus contemplates the end of prophesy while eating sesame chicken), the other the author's memories of a street corner in Uppsala, which in its very lack of anything remarkable answers the "silence of god." As this book travels the interpenetration of the sacred and the mundane, it is also a celebration, brilliantly and joyfully done.

Fiction. LBGT Studies. Michel Foucault famously wrote, "I am fully aware that I have never written anything other than fictions." In this polylingual, operatic fantasy comprised of invented letters, most of them unsent, set in Sweden during February 1956 while Foucault was undergoing a Swedish winter, the philosopher finds himself not just researching, but living through, his work to come, Madness and Civilization.

 

Poetry. "...these poems split the seconds of daily life into splinters that, with time, catch the light..."—Charles Bernstein

Fiction. LBGT Studies. Michel Foucault famously wrote, "I am fully aware that I have never written anything other than fictions." In this polylingual, operatic fantasy comprised of invented letters, most of them unsent, set in Sweden during February 1956 while Foucault was undergoing a Swedish winter, the philosopher finds himself not just researching, but living through, his work to come, Madness and Civilization.

Going the Distance is a baseball novel with a difference; a multilayered love story, a celebration of both America’s game and the New York landscape. John “Jack” Flynn was a major league pitcher with all-star promise. But on the day of the 1979 All-Star game, he finds himself back in the North Country of New York where he was born, his career cut short by an injury, no recollection as to how he came to be back there with a beautiful woman he doesn’t recognize beside him in the passenger seat of his car. The mystery of this passenger is but the first of many mysteries in this richly poetic, deeply moving, and sometimes comic novel.

Flynn faces losses much greater than the end of an athletic career. In a journey both to recover his past and to find a place and time to begin life anew, he faces perhaps the most difficult decision a human being must make. In the process he garners support from a band of magical characters: a mystical girl who tells fortunes with baseball cards; a onetime “bird dog” baseball scout who dresses in a hazmat body suit to avoid polluting himself with human contact; a former teammate, a homerun hitter and juju man who comes to the rescue from the sky; and, most of all, that woman beside Flynn who teaches him how to love again, or perhaps for the first time.

Disappearance enmeshes us in nested networks from which it is impossible to escape unchanged. The novel spins up an elegant series of labyrinthine, mirror-rimmed puzzles that seem intended not so much for solution as habitation - propositions that bring into alarming clarity the strangeness of domains we so casually inhabit: memory, imagination, time. Arriving in a restless tidal flow of casually virtuosic language, the novel's many mysteries twirl, invert, and disgorge more mysteries.

 

 

As in other Joyce stories we could mention, we may have seen someone die this morning, or in the not too distant future, or at some point as yet unfixed in the viscous fore-and-backwardness of disappearing time. The narrator may be the victim, or perhaps a cybernetic detective who assumes the dead man's memories, a version of everyone's maze-trapped prisoner. Wayfarer, philosoph, this man may lie in the grip of dementia, or dystopian oppression, or a video game from the future - names, no doubt, for a common disorder. This is a seriously playful book, hip to all the slippery ontologies of protean path-work, evocative both of old-school games (Mindwheel, Myst) and more recent philosophical entertainments (Passage, Dear Esther, The Stanley Parable). Fans of far-sighted fiction will find parallels with Borges, Robbe-Grillet, Burroughs, Hawkes, and the newer world-games of Mark Danielewski, Steve Erickson, and Jeff Noon. Followers of the graphic novel may find sublimely paranoid resonance with visions like Warren Ellis's Planetary or Grant Morrison's Filth. In life as not in fiction, however, there is only ever one Michael Joyce, and Disappearance demonstrates that he is not simply a master of fictional craft, but of fiction itself, in its most vital and changing form. Joyce is a genuinely transformational artist capable not simply of imagining other worlds, but of extending the range of imagination itself. This is a book that may change not just the way you see fiction, but indeed the way you see. - Stuart Moulthrop

Paris Views emerged from what began as finger exercises during an autumn spent in Paris.  These poetical sketches quickly revealed themselves as a series of philosophical meditations in Franglais, the sort of tuning in and out one does- like scanning across radio frequencies- living in one and a half languages and a faraway, familiar city. My focus became the infiltration and imbrication of place and language.  Speaking of Nathalie Stephens's, Touch to Affliction, the poet and translator Cole Swensen has commented that Stephens "writes in both English and French, often using one to infiltrate the other, to crack the other open. Often we sense the two languages passing each other, and as they do, a charge arcs from one to the other, making each stand out in sharp relief." I would not presume to characterize myself as truly writing in two languages in Paris Views but the poems there nonetheless share an affinity with Stephens' kind of infiltrations and arcs-and, one hopes, her dense music as well.

Was is half-poem, half-narrative, a nomadic history whose main character is the fleetingness of information itself. The novel’s title figure, the word was, marks that instant of utterance outside the present; neither past nor future but rather the interstitial space of any telling. Like Ariel in flight, Was takes place before you can say ‘come’ and ‘go,'" slipping away before you can "breath twice and cry ‘so, so."

The nomadic lovers here, as any lovers, attempt to linger in the afterglow of what was, but it slips away like mist. Story begets story as if without author, events gathering into one another, as much memory as dream, their locales literally moving across the face of the globe. Continent to continent, from hemisphere to hemisphere, synaptic episodes strobe across the earth’s surface like thunderstorms seen from a satellite. Yet in these brief flashes a memorable and deeply moving procession of characters passes in vignette: lovers and children, parents and refugees, sailors, missionaries, clowns, mourners, forlorn warriors, sweet singers.

Liam Williams is heading to college, and eagerly anticipates his independence. But for Cathleen, his mother, and Noah, his father, Liam's going is anything but easy. Both project their lost dreams of youth onto their only child, and when Cathleen leaves Noah alone upstate to drive Liam down through New York's Hudson Valley to his school, their separation becomes a moving story of coming to grips with losing... without letting go.

Novelist, cyber-theorist, and widely acclaimed hypertext fiction writer Michael Joyce weaves an evocative and provocative set of brief essays and short parable-like fictions into a compelling collection of meditations on how technology and new media affect our culture and everyday lives. Taken together, these pieces present a writer's reflections on a life of sudden changes at the edge of an uncertain future. They continue Joyce's effort to construct what in previous collections he has called "theoretical narratives." Here, however, Joyce turns from reflections to what he terms "refractions," alluding to the turning or bending a wave undergoes when it passes from one medium into another of different density. Through these refractions, he formulates an understanding of the wave of change we face as human beings in a multimediated age.

Michael Joyce's new collection continues to examine the connections between the poles of art and instruction, writing and teaching in the form of what Joyce has called theoretical narratives, pieces that are both narratives of theory and texts in which theory often takes the form of narrative. His concerns include hypertext and interactive fiction, the geography of cyberspace, and interactive film, and Joyce here searches out the emergence of network culture in spaces ranging from the shifting nature of the library to MOOs and other virtual spaces to life along a river.

While in this collection Joyce continues to be one of our most lyrical, wide-ranging, and informed cultural critics and theorists of new media, his essays exhibit an evolving distrust of unconsidered claims for newness in the midst of what Joyce calls "the blizzard of the next," as well as a recurrent insistence upon grounding our experience of the emergence of network culture in the body.

A classic of electronic fiction, afternoon is the richly imagined story of Peter, a technical writer who (in one reading) begins his afternoon with a terrible suspicion that the wrecked car he saw hours earlier might have belonged to his former wife.

A story is told about two elderly sisters who made a pact that the first to die would, as her death approached, begin talking to the other sister at her bedside. The dying sister was to tell everything she heard and saw, attempting to talk without ceasing up to and, if at all possible, past the point of death. The sisters did not dare to hope that they could penetrate the dark edge of existence. Rather, they wished to off the comfort of knowing they were not lost to each other at the end of time.

A raucous family history of the Irish-American enclave of South Buffalo, New York, Michael Joyce's novel, The War Outside Ireland, The War Outside Ireland was widely reviewed and selected as a Small Press Book Club selection; won the Great Lakes New Writers Award in fiction in 1983; and was featured in the USIA international traveling exhibit, "America's Best."