Joyce's afternoon: a story, 1987, was among the first literary hypertexts to present itself as undeniably serious literature, and experimented with the short-story form in novel ways. It was created with the then-new Storyspace software, deployed the ambiguity and dubious narrator characteristic of high modernism, along with some suspense and romance elements, in a story whose meaning could change dramatically depending on the path taken through its lexias on each reading. (For instance, a hard-to-find series of lexias presented a new set of facts about the narrator's actions which dramatically affected the reader's judgment of him.) In The New York Times, Robert Coover called afternoon "the granddaddy of hypertext fictions", while The Toronto Globe and Mail said that it "is to the hypertext interactive novel what the Gutenberg bible is to publishing." His Twilight, a symphony: a hyperfiction (1996) was a second hypertext story.
Joyce's books include War outside Ireland: a novel (1982), Of two minds: hypertext pedagogy and poetics (1995), Othermindedness: the emergence of network culture (2000), and Moral tales and meditations: technological parables and refractions (2001). His most recent work of fiction is Foucault, in Winter, in the Linnaeus Garden, published by Starcherone in Buffalo. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop.
Joyce has collaborated for the last six years with Los Angeles-based visual artist Alexandra Grant. The work Grant has made based on his texts ("The Ladder Quartet" and the "Six Portals") has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) and Honor Fraser Gallery (Los Angeles).