Surfing Tomorrow – A Checklist for the Future of American Fiction

In 1985, Surfing Tomorrow: Essays on the Future of American Fiction, edited by Lance Olsen, was published, containing a series on essays on the future of US (with an occasional token Canadian) fiction. Contributors included such avant-garde luminaries as Mark Amerika, Kelly Cherry, Tracy Daugherty, Janice Eidus, Raymond Federmann, Frederick Karl, Larry McCaffery, Ronald Sukenick, Curtis White and Robley Wilson. In his introductory essay – The Last Pterodactyl or the Future of American Fiction, Olsen produced A Checklist for the Future of American Fiction, which he defined as a list of fifty fiction writers and critics whose work has gone and probably will continue to go a a good way towards shaping the outlines of American fiction and our understanding of it at the fin de millennium.

Kathy Acker: Empire of Senseless
Mark Amerika: The Kafka Chronicles
Nicholson Baker: Vox
John Barth: The Floating Opera
Donald Barthelme: The King
Ann Beattie: Chilly Scenes of Winter
T. Coraghessan Boyle: The Road to Wellville
Scott Bukatman: Terminal Identity (criticism)
William Burroughs: Naked Lunch
Jay Cantor: Krazy Kat: A Novel in Five Panels
Raymond Carver: Cathedral
Kelly Cherry: My Life and Dr. Joyce Brothers
Steven Connor: Postmodernist Culture (criticism)
Robert Coover: Pinocchio in Venice
Douglas Coupland: Generation X
Guy Davenport: The Jules Verne Steam Balloon
Don DeLillo: White Noise
Don DeLillo: Mao II
Stanley Elkin: The MacGuffin
Louise Erdrich: Love Medicine
Steve Erickson: Tours of the Black Clock
Eurudice: f/32
Hal Foster (ed.): The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture (criticism)
William Gaddis: A Frolic of His Own
George Garrett: The Succession
William Gibson: Neuroromancer
Linda Hutcheon (ed.): A Postmodern Reader (criticism)
Harold Jaffe: Eros Anti-Eros
Michael Joyce: Afternoon
Maxine Hong Kingston: Tripmaster Monkey
Ursula Le Guin: Always Coming Home
Mark Leyner: My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist
Larry McCaffery (ed.): Storming the Reality Studio: A Casebook of Cyberpunk and Postmodern Fiction (criticism)
John McDaid: Uncle Buddy’s Phantom Funhouse
Joseph McElroy: Women and Men
Brain McHale: Postmodern Fictionist (criticism)
Ted Mooney: Easy Travel to Other Planets
Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons: Watchmen
Toni Morrison: Beloved
Richard Powers: The Gold Bug Variations
Thomas Pynchon: Gravity’s Rainbow
Ishmael Reed: The Terrible Threes
Lewis Shiner: Slam
Tom Spanbauer: The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon
Bruce Sterling: Catscan: Slipstream (criticism)
Neal Stephenson: Snow Crash
Ronald Sukenick: Doggy Bag
Gerald Vizenor: Griever
William T. Vollmann: The Ice-Shirt
David Foster Wallace: The Broom of the System
Stephen Wright: Going Native