What was this book? (Very vague.)
May 16, 2008 1:32 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to recall a book I read 11 or 12 years ago. Be warned: This may be the vaguest post ever.

I bought it in 1996 or 1997 at a bookstore in Boulder (probably not relevant). It was the first "internet era" book I read, but it's not like it was a "look how the internet works!" book or anything.

It wasn't straight prose. It was a mix of emails and IRC transcripts and other conceits of the "e-" variety. It read as a record of real events, but after a while I realized it was fiction, which was a disappointment.

It was fiction, but it had little to no structure. It was (maybe) about a group of computer users of some ilk (probably the "Zero Cool" ilk, but think less leather and Angelina Jolie and more ponytails and trench coats -- but don't trust me too much on that), who share their communications and hackeries as they explore the net.

I hesitate to call it "cyberpunk" although I now think that's what they were going for (at the time I was not aware of cyberpunk; boy do I wish I had been).

I'm pretty sure it was written by some alternate version of Neil Stephenson if he had been a total wanker, in fact I would have been well-served if someone had come to me and said, "you really want to read Cryptonomicon, or, really, anything with sensical words in it."

I want to find it not because I think of it fondly, but because I want to go back and find out why I was so confused the whole time I was reading it.

Was it really as bad as I remember? Or was it actually a work of genius that I just didn't understand?

My money is on the former.
posted by crickets to Media & Arts (16 answers total)
 
Was it by Douglas Rushkoff?
posted by mecran01 at 1:34 PM on May 16, 2008


There's e, but that's from 2000.
posted by transona5 at 1:39 PM on May 16, 2008


Looking through his bibliography, I'm pretty sure no.
posted by crickets at 1:40 PM on May 16, 2008


It wasn't e.
posted by crickets at 1:45 PM on May 16, 2008


Microserfs?
posted by Sweetie Darling at 2:09 PM on May 16, 2008


Not Microserfs.

The interior design was non-standard -- I'm pretty sure it featured the UI of whatever medium it was featuring.
posted by crickets at 2:25 PM on May 16, 2008


Sounds a bit like "HOW TO MUTATE AND TAKE OVER THE WORLD" by R.U. Sirius and St. Jude. Note, I've never actually read the book, just seen it/heard about it.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 2:44 PM on May 16, 2008


Oh, link (Amazon).
posted by [insert clever name here] at 2:47 PM on May 16, 2008


Chat?
posted by zadcat at 3:13 PM on May 16, 2008


Sounds a little like Hard Drive.
posted by Phssthpok at 3:49 PM on May 16, 2008


"Vox"?
posted by RavinDave at 4:50 PM on May 16, 2008


Exegesis.. the book of "emails" between a programmer and the AI computer program she invented... it was kinda cool. is that it??
posted by ChickenringNYC at 5:30 PM on May 16, 2008


Sounds a bit like How to Mutate… to me also. I have a copy in a box somewhere, I think… did the story end with the characters watching as the world was consumed by nanotech gray goo?
posted by hattifattener at 5:32 PM on May 16, 2008


Sounds like HTM to me as well. Great book, BTW. Well maybe not GREAT but it was quite good. Off the wall, but RU Sirius is terribly underappreciated as pranksters usually are.
posted by mikel at 8:33 PM on May 16, 2008


Sounds like something by Steve Beard, like Digital Leatherette.
posted by Falconetti at 7:38 AM on May 17, 2008


We have a winner! Nice! Thanks!
posted by crickets at 9:40 AM on May 17, 2008


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