Tonguing the Zeitgeist
|Genre||Postmodern novel, Speculative Fiction, Science Fiction, Satire|
Tonguing the Zeitgeist is a Avantpop novel by Lance Olsen, published in 1994 by Permeable Press. Finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award, it is a work of speculative fiction satirizing the commodification of the arts.
Set in a post-earthquake Seattle, Tonguing the Zeitgeist is a story about Ben Tendo, a musician wannabe whose day job consists in taking orders at porno supplier Beautiful Mutants, Ltd. When every member of the reigning media-anointed grunge band is mysteriously assassinated, the music industry searches out a new pawn and zeros in on Ben Tendo, who they kidnap, turn into an addict, and implant with a new voicebox to increase the corporation's market shares.
Book List wrote that "Olsen's densely packed, kaleidoscopic prose paints a nightmare vision of a near future spawned from our worst contemporary fears, such as rampant global warming, environmental decay, and an increasingly sick and cynical media," and concluded Tonguing the Zeitgeist is "brilliant black comedy."
- Interview (1995) Interview with Lance Olsen about Tonguing the Zeitgeist, by Charles Bernstein at Line Break, SUNY-Buffalo
- "Editorial Reviews From Syndetics". Read On. 1994. Retrieved 10 May 2013.