(Review excerpt from Cyber-Psychos AOD #6.)
TONGUING THE ZEITGEIST
by Lance Olsen (192pp, Permeable Press)
An actual novel! Make that an actual novel worth reading that isn't written by Hodge! Me? Jaded? But of course! Try weeding through the amounts of schlock I do & see how enthused you are about anything. This enthused me from the moment I heard 2 excerpts at a reading. I normally don't have the attention span to heavily absorb readings, but the intensive imagery of the first chapter pulled me in & kept me focused. You may already be familiar with Lance Olsen -- after all, he does have a few short story collections out, has had poetry & prose in a couple hundred magazines, & wrote the full-length study of William Gibson. Either that or you could've spotted him on-line or at the University. Mark Amerika compared Zeitgeist to Gibson's Neuromancer, but I would beg to differ on a level. Yes, the imagery is as intensive as Gibson's. But then Gibson inevitably tends to fall short on the psychological tangents of conspiracy, while Olsen takes the all-out plunge into a futuristic, nihilistic, all- your- dreams- are- turning- against- you, head fuck. In this world, dreams are about the same: fame, love, & rock 'n roll. Trying to escape the day-to-day contamination & rot to be one step above it all. Ben Tendo has that dream for his band, Lithium Breed, but his main weakness is that he is a bit too spectacular compared to his bandmates. He finds a hazardous success awaiting him as he watches, in horror, the newscasts relaying the "terrorist-related" deaths of top current musical act Kama Quyntifonic. You thought you knew how evil & back-stabbing the corporate music industry was.. Problem with intensive conspiracy stories like this is that I can't really say anything about it without giving everything away. Put down the latest Gibson novel & READ THIS INSTEAD! -Jasmine Sailing
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