Unbury Stephenson

While I wasn’t quite done with Neal Stephenson, I had resolved to be more circumspect in the future.  However, Boing Boing’s cred is still good with me, and a post last December pointed me to Interface, a collaboration between Stephenson and his uncle published (under the nom de plume "Stephen Bury") between Snow Crash and The Diamond Age.  A comment in the same thread also mentioned the other "Stephen Bury" book, The Cobweb, and I read both in rapid succession.

Interface was the more ambitious of the two books, and it probably suffers thereby.  As it happened, my completion of the book coincided with Super Tuesday, and so I was perhaps more alert than I otherwise might have been to the demoralizing details of our primary "system."  The Cobweb (published in 1996) is much more specifically situated during the run-up to the first (or second) Gulf War and almost tries to be an understated version of Tom Clancy, but sardonically funnier.  Neither book is a dramatic departure from Stephenson’s style: neither provides a satisfactory ending, and both indulge in digressions designed to appeal to the Asperger set.

Spoilerific comments can be found here.

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